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Posted on 07/01/2022 by

Nature Parks Board update – December 2021


The Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Board met on Thursday 16 December 2021 for its regular Board meeting.

The night before the meeting, the Board was treated to experience the full Churchill Island attraction, complete with a farm tour and an Eastern-Barred Bandicoot prowl to acknowledge the success of this species and its return from the brink of extinction. The night was finished off with local entertainment and sampling of delicious food prepared in our Cafe! The growth of meetings, conferences and special events at Churchill Island is a key part of the Nature Parks’ strategy and this experience highlighted such potential.

Below are highlights from our December Board meeting:


Strategy Day debrief

The Board held its annual Strategy Day Workshop on the 19 November at the Penguin Parade and was briefed by industry experts from Tourism Australia and Visit Victoria on visitor travel sentiment, trends, and border restrictions, and were provided insights into Australia’s tourism recovery. In addition, the Board used this day to test our recently adopted Strategic Recovery Plan 2021-23 in light of the changing environment in which we’re operating. The Board held robust discussions with Management and was able to reaffirm its comfort with the Nature Parks’ strategy to steer the organisation through the next 2 years.


Animal Ethics Committee Annual Report

This important committee serves to ensure that animal research conducted by the Nature Parks has the highest regard for animal welfare, is ethical and compliant with legislative standards. The Board passed on its thanks to the voluntary committee for the exceptional contribution and noted the positive work undertaken by the committee over the past 12 months.  


Strategic Risk & Policy

The Board undertook its regular review of risks and policies for the organisation. The Board received an update on risks related to penguin health and risks of wildfire to the safety of people and wildlife. The Board acknowledged the importance of both risks and noted the actions being taken by the organisation to reduce the risks as far as practical.


Conservation plan progress

The Conservation Manager reported on the Nature Parks’ 30-Year Conservation Vision, 5-Year Conservation Plan and priorities for the next two years.  Despite some challenges with resources throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board noted the strong progress made towards the goals outlined in the 5-Year Conservation Plan and confirmed that some of the actions could only be achieved with additional partnerships and funding.

 

Highlights over the last year of conservation work included:

  • Deployment of Tourism Operations team members to fast forward the conservation on-ground effort.
  • Collaborations in monitoring and measuring marine ecosystem health.
  • State-wide fox detection work, which has supported pest control and threatened species programs on Phillip Island and across the state.
  • Turn the Tide marine debris volunteer program.
  • 536 hectares treated for weeds.

Key area Plans

The Board was briefed on the progress against all of the Nature Parks Key Area Plans and supporting Master Plans including:

  • Churchill Island Key Area Plan.
  • Summerland Peninsula Infrastructure and Procurement Master Plan. 
  • South and North Coast Key Area Plan (incl. Cape Woolamai Coastal Reserves Master Plan).
  • Wetland and Woodland Key Area Plan.

 

The actions from these plans were reviewed and updated in February 2020 and these revised actions are now available on the Nature Parks website https://www.penguins.org.au/about/corporate-affairs/publications/management-plans/.

 

Kevin Love

Chair

Phillip Island Nature Parks