Groups and individuals with an interest in Gippsland’s parks and reserves and/or Aboriginal culture have just over a week left to provide feedback on the region’s first ever draft Joint Management Plan (JMP).
The plan, which is the first of its kind to be publically released in Victoria for community comment, is expected to pave the way for a new partnership approach to managing the region’s parks and reserves under Aboriginal Native title.
Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board (GKTOLMB) Chair Grattan Mullett said representatives from the four JMP partners—being the GKTOLMB, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning—had recently completed a series of draft JMP community drop-in sessions throughout Gippsland and Melbourne.
“We’ve been out and about, chatting with people across Gippsland, explaining the plan and talking them through submission process for the last six weeks or so,” Mr Mullett said.
“During this time, we’ve received some great feedback on how the plan could be further refined, and we’ve seen strong interest from stakeholder groups who would like to get involved in the implementation process”.
With just over a week to go until the consultation process closes, Mr Mullett said the Board was keen to hear from anyone else who may an interest in the plan.
“It’s important for us to gather and consider as many different perspectives as possible before preparing a final version of the plan for the Minister’s approval in the first half of the new year,” Mr Mullett said.
Parks and reserves included in the plan are the Buchan Caves Reserve, Corringle Foreshore Reserve, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Gippsland Lakes Reserve at Raymond Island, Lake Tyers State Park, The Lakes National Park, Mitchell River National Park, New Guinea Caves within the Snowy River National Park, Tarra Bulga National Park and The Knob Reserve at Stratford.
“Users of these parks and reserves should be aware that the draft JMP is made up ten sections including an overarching strategic plan and nine localised park plans which once approved, which will supersede any past or existing plans for each of those parks,” Mr Mullet said.
The deadline for lodging submissions is Friday 15 December 2017, however groups or individuals who are planning to respond and need more time can contact the GKTOLMB to seek an extension.
“While the draft plan will have been publically available for some two months, we understand that some people may need extra time to talk with their friends, family, groups or colleagues, to help inform and validate their submissions,” Mr Mullett said.
“If you need more time, please contact us either by phone on 03 5150 3573 or email at email@example.com before Friday 15 December and we will do our best to accommodate an extension”.
The draft Gunaikurnai and Victorian Government Joint Management Plan (along with summary information sheets and details on how to lodge a submission) can be accessed online at https://www.gunaikurnai.com.au/jmp or in hard copy at any of the following locations:
- Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning offices at Orbost, Bairnsdale, Traralgon and Yarram (see https://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au for office addresses)
- Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation office at Forestec, Kalimna West
- Parks Victoria Information Centres at Buchan Caves Reserve and Tarra-Bulga National Park