Latest news

Posted on 21/10/2022 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks Board Update – October 2022 


The Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Board met on 13 October for a virtual board meeting. This month, the Board held a joint strategy session with the Western Port Biosphere’s Chief Executive Officer and Chair, and shared key strategic initiatives and discussed opportunities for future collaboration. Below are some further highlights from the October Board meeting:

VISITATION

The Board noted visitation to the Nature Parks had experienced a strong quarter facilitated by a successful September school holiday period, with several ‘sell out’ nights throughout. Pleasingly, international visitation represented approximately 20% of the Nature Parks overall visitation throughout the period and domestic demand remained strong.

STRATEGIC RISK REVIEW

Each year prior to the upcoming bushfire season, the Board reviews our strategic risk associated with fire across Nature Parks managed land. The Board received a progress update from our Senior Ranger on the various mitigation measures in place to manage this risk, including managing fire breaks in critical areas, slashing to reduce fuel load, planned fuel reduction burns and vegetation modification in both structure and species to promote more fire resilient habitat. Similar to the previous year, the Board noted another “below-normal” bushfire potential for the 2022/23 fire season.

PENGUIN PARADE BOARDWALKS & STANDS – PROJECT UPDATE

The Board received an update on the Penguin Parade Boardwalks and Viewing Stands Redevelopment project.  Detailed designs were completed and endorsed by the Board in August 2022 and recent activity in this project has focused on the completion of the cost plan, Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) and biodiversity assessment for the component of works funding through State Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund (RTIF). This work includes the creation of a new boardwalk to access the rear of the stands, which will enable a circular flow of visitors through the site, better access for visitors with mobility constraints and improved visitor flow for emergency management. Further work on this stage of the project is ongoing, with planning processes and Request for Tender (RFT) for construction the next steps towards completion.

RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN – PROGRESS REPORT

The Board received an update on the organisation’s progress against its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and was pleased to hear of our contribution to the delivery of two successful events for National Sorry Day and NAIDOC, with the well-attended Bridge Walk for Reconciliation growing in participation each year! Of note, the Nature Parks had established its Aboriginal Employment Strategy, facilitating the creation of four designated Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander roles for which recruitment was underway.

The Nature Parks sought an extension from Reconciliation Australia to its current RAP, which was due to conclude in 2022. The Board was pleased to see that initiatives within this plan were back on track and confirmed the intent to renew the RAP.

THREATENED SPECIES UPDATE

The Phillip Island Nature Parks’ long-term vision for threatened species conservation on Phillip Island is outlined in the 30-Year Conservation Vision ‘Beyond the Horizon’ with short-term actions detailed in the 5-Year Conservation Plan 2019-2023. Central to these strategic documents is the Threatened Species Plan, which the Board endorsed in September 2019. This month, the Board noted progress on the Threatened Species Plan, noting the success of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery program and planning for the future release of Bush Stone-curlews.

 

Kevin Love

Chair

Phillip Island Nature Parks