Posted on 05/10/2021 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks Board update – September 2021

The Phillip Island Nature Parks Board met on Thursday 30 September to discuss a range of issues and opportunities, and continue its ongoing review of policies, compliance responsibilities and strategic planning as set out under its governance framework. The highlights of this meeting are outlined below.

Vaccination rates in Bass Coast
The Board discussed vaccination rates in the Bass Coast shire in the context of the Victorian government’s Roadmap to deliver the National Plan. The Board was very pleased to note that over 89% of eligible Bass Coast residents had already received their first vaccination, and they wished to acknowledge and congratulate all of the people involved in this amazing achievement, and thank them for their commitment to helping protect the wider community.

The Board also expressed support for the State Government’s Regional Vaccinated Economy trials and noted the Nature Parks willingness to participate if its site(s) were considered appropriate.

Financial Review
The Board reviewed the Nature Parks’ financial situation, with both revenue and costs continuing to be closely monitored and managed. The Nature Parks continues to draw down on its existing cash reserves as visitation and associated revenue remains low under the current conditions. The letter of support from the State Government continues to enable the Board to have confidence in the Nature Parks ongoing operations.

The Board noted that redeployment activities had re-commenced across the organisation for those staff members who are currently unable to work onsite.

Nature Parks Regulations
The Board received a briefing on the continuing management by the Nature Parks of Crown Land under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, and reviewed the proposed Regulations and Set Aside Determinations which are due to replace the current regulations, which are due to expire in November 2021.

The Board acknowledged and appreciated the feedback and support provided by community groups and individuals in the development of the regulations, especially as they relate to sharing the island’s beaches with dogs, and the protection of wildlife and habitat. The Nature Parks is on target to release the regulations in time to meet the expiry deadline.

Organisational Values
The Board received a briefing, and supported the review and development of the Nature Parks’ Organisational Values, which set the benchmarks to drive the desired organisational culture, align with the Nature Parks brand, and have a supporting set of behaviours and expectations that bring the values to life.

The Board thanked Nature Parks staff for their high levels of engagement as these values were being developed, noting that over 65% of staff participated and contributed directly through the various consultation phases held by the working group.

Tourism Recovery
The Board committed to further strengthening its focus on tourism recovery with the formation of a new Tourism Recovery Board Sub-committee, tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Nature Parks’ recovery plan over two years. The Board also re-confirmed the required Sub-Committees and Advisory Committees that support the Board’s role and endorsed their Terms Of Reference. This includes the Community and Environment Advisory Committee, which will meet again soon to commence its next three year term.

Annual Report
The Board approved the Nature Parks’ Annual Report which will be tabled in Parliament before being released to the community within the next couple of months.

Kevin Love
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.