Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Minister Parker’s Tourism Action Plan ignores nature conservation

 

Minister Parker’s River Red Gum Tourism Action Plan will see facilities in the new River Red Gum Reserves built before reserve management plans have even been exhibited for these parks.  A Tourism Action Plan is no substitute for a reserve management plan. The reserve plans of management are a well proven method for considering visitor use within the context of conservation management needs.  

“Today’s Tourism Action Plan is a done deal. The dollars for facilitates in these new parks have been committed, and this approach to park development is a formula for misjudgement, while reserve management plans continue to lag way behind” saidKeith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“On private land Council’s don’t approve development without a local environmental plan, so why should Minister Parker develop park facilities in 100,000 hectares of reserves, over half of which are national parks, without a reserve management plan?, asks Mr Muir.

“National Parks should be places where nature comes first, including in planning.  When you turn that around and make the people come first, the danger is that park visitors get the wrong idea, and begin to think that national parks are play grounds for their needs. Next comes reserve access for speed boats, jet skis, trail bikes, mountain bikes, horse riders, hunters and all the rest, with each group wanting bits of park for their ‘fun and games’”, Mr Muir said.  

Today the Office of Environment and Heritage has taken another step down that path towards managing parks as playgrounds and away from nature-focused reserve management”, said Mr Muir.

For more info contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk); 0412 791 404 (mob)