In view of all of the very positive ideas fielded in the draft document, there’s one observation in it which gives pause for thought. It’s on page 46:
‘High quality planning is critical in a time when visitor numbers and expectations are growing faster than budgets; assets are ageing and climate change is increasing the frequency of fire, floods and storms.’
As we’ve pointed out before, Victoria’s population has grown by over a million in the last ten years, and in that time Parks Victoria’s staffing has stayed about the same. After ruthless cuts made during the recent period of the state coalition government, budgets have still not really been restored. And any visitor to our local parks can confirm from the sight of rotting and out of date signage that ‘assets are ageing.’
Co management is a great idea, a proven winner elsewhere in Australia . Let’s hope it’s given a fair chance to succeed.
Hope the ideas in this report/plan actually get some action!
Hopefully a new era in shared conservation of our forests and living creatures.