Posted on 07/06/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks Board Update – May 2019
The Phillip Island Nature Parks Board met on Thursday 30 May to discuss a range of important issues and opportunities and the highlights of this meeting are outlined below.
Annual Business Plan and Budget approved
The Board considered and approved the Business Plan and Budget for 2019-20, and agreed on a range of priorities which would provide benefit to both visitors and community.
- Preparations for transitioning operations to the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre will remain a strong focus, along with the implementation of a suite of engaging launch activities scheduled through to June 2020 on Phillip Island, in Melbourne and overseas.
- The Information & Communications Technology (ICT) project continues, with a focus on support processes, the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management system, an Asset Management System, and investigations to commence into a new ticketing system.
- Threatened Species programs will continue with a focus on the translocation plan for the Bush Stone Curlew, which we hope to introduce with the support of the local community.
- The plans to reinvigorate the Penguin Parade Boardwalk and viewing platforms will continue with a view to completing the design and costing the project ready for investment.
- An ongoing community engagement strategy will be developed, including the creation of a range of engagement tools. A ‘Living with Wildlife’ community program is an integral component of this strategy, which will be a focus in 2020.
- A biosecurity risk assessment and mitigation procedure for staff and contractors will be developed for all areas of the Nature Parks with priority given to identified higher risk areas.
- The Nature Parks’ partnership with Traditional Owners will continue to be enhanced through the execution of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bunurong Land Council, the implementation of Reconciliation Action Plan initiatives and employment of an Aboriginal Education and Interpretation Officer.
- Fundraising through the Penguin Foundation will become a greater focus with the roll out of a new website, more diverse product offerings aligned with the Nature Parks conservation initiatives, the development of a Conservation Prospectus and the employment of a Grants Officer.
Penguin Parade Visitor Centre opening soon
The new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre is expected to be delivered well ahead of the scheduled completion date of November 2019. The Penguin Parade will operate from the new Centre for the first time on Thursday 25 July, following some opening formalities in the preceding week. The Community will be welcomed to visit the new Centre at an Open Day Festival event, scheduled to take place shortly after opening, with final dates to be advised soon.
The Board received an update from the CEO of Visit Victoria, Mr Peter Bingeman, who highlighted the importance of domestic visitation to regional tourism destinations such as Phillip Island. While Phillip Island enjoys close proximity to the city and certainly attracts international visitors, the Board acknowledged the need for the Nature Parks to continue its activities to attract domestic visitors. Mr Bingeman also updated the Board on Visit Victoria’s plan to place emphasis on its digital strategies and activities into the future.
Strategic Risk Review
The Board undertook an organisational risk review as one of its regular key responsibilities, focussing this month on risks related to the impacts of human interaction, pest animals and pest plants on wildlife and the environment, with a focus on the island’s foreshores. The Board identified that the risk of detrimental impacts are still high, however are confident that many of the Nature Parks ongoing projects mitigate and manage these risks. Erosion control projects on Summerland Peninsula and Cape Woolamai, weed control projects, major research projects, and a review of the Nature Parks’ regulations in 2020 were all cited as examples of effective risk management and mitigation.
The Board received an update on the Nature Parks’ major projects, including the plans for a significant number of staff to transition to new workplaces. The Worksyard is the first workspace to be relocated, with staff inductions to the new Worksyard site at the Koala Reserve to commence during the week of Tuesday 11 June. Staff will commence inductions and begin a phased move into the new Cowes office site from the following week. The Cowes offices will open to the public from Monday 1 July. The last workgroups to relocate will be those currently located at the Penguin Parade Pods, and they will begin their transitions to the new office spaces at the Koala Reserve during the week of Monday 24 June.
Liz Stinson. Chair, Phillip Island Nature Parks
About Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on its ecotourism attractions to deliver ongoing funding for social, environmental, conservation, research and education outcomes.
The Nature Parks is governed by a Board of Management established under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978. Board members are appointed by the Responsible Minister under the Act and the Board meets regularly to provide governance and strategic direction.
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