July 24, 2013
Victorians are being invited to comment on new regulations governing the use of the state’s much-loved national parks. Comments are invited before the closing date of 19 August.
The regulations are reviewed at least every decade to ensure they are contemporary and effective.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Executive Director (Land Management Policy) Peter Beaumont said “In Victoria, we are very fortunate to have access to 3.45 million hectares of national, state and other parks, visited by 33 million visitors each year.”
“The National Parks Regulations are primarily a tool for enabling people to access parks in accordance with the National Parks Act 1975,” Mr Beaumont said.
“The current regulations prescribe appropriate behaviours for the protection of flora and fauna, cultural heritage, park facilities, water supply and to ensure the safety and education of park visitors. Victoria’s parks are managed to provide a broad range of experiences for people to value and enjoy a healthy environment.”
“Victoria’s population is growing and more people are visiting our parks. We need to ensure that national parks are well managed so that people will be able to enjoy them now and into the future.”
Parks Victoria is responsible for management of Victoria’s national parks.
The main changes include removing unnecessary and unused provisions of the previous regulations, reducing overlap and improving consistency with other regulations regarding vehicles, fires and permit and making the regulations easier to interpret.
The new regulations allow the declaration of days when wheel chains are not required to be carried in Mt Baw Baw and Mt Buffalo National Parks, as is possible in other areas during the snow season.
The new regulations also incorporate provisions of the current National Parks (Cape Howe Marine National Park) Regulations 2006 into one set of national park regulations.
Targeted consultation with key stakeholders was conducted earlier this year. A regulatory impact statement has been prepared and is now available for review.
Mr Beaumont said “The Victorian Government is working to gain maximum benefit from our state’s public land, including national parks, to ensure Victorians continue to have opportunities to enjoy these unique places into the future and while maintaining the environmental values of the parks.”
“We invite people to review the proposed regulations and provide comment. Responses from members of the community will be considered in finalising the regulations.”