«Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Co-management Board Annual Report 2014–15 ...»
The Board is committed to working with neighbouring landholders to achieve shared management objectives. A promotional newsletter distributed through the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA), helps keep the local community informed. Board meetings are generally open to the public and community members are encouraged to, and regularly attend and participate in Board activities.
Employing Adnyamathanha people
Staff employed by DEWNR to manage the Park are local Adnyamathanha people, this is a historical achievement for co-management in South Australia. The staff work closely with the Board and provide advice on operational issues, including cultural site protection and visitor management.
Supporting the local community
The Board continued its involvement with the Grindell’s Hut Artist in Residence Program. This Program is an initiative of the Northern Arts, Country Arts SA and Fountain Gallery, Pt Augusta and is aimed at supporting local art. The program was established in consultation with ATLA to ensure Adnyamathanha association with the land was accurately reflected. In recognition of the community benefit of the program the Board waived the accommodation fees for Grindell’s Hut. An Adnyamathanha Board member was also invited to participate on the selection panel.
Managing the Park for success Co-management of the Park is a partnership where the Adnyamathanha people work together with DEWNR to share decision-making and responsibility for the management of the Park.
Promoting Co-management The Board continues to maintain an active role in promoting the park and co-management (including at National forums). Adnyamathanha Board members also provide regular presentations and updates at Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) and South Australian Native Title Services (SANTS) Congress meetings.
Page 10 Vulkathunha-Gammon- Ranges National Park Co-management Board | Annual Report 2014–2015 State-wide Co-management Workshop The inaugural workshop was held in November 2014 to bring together Co-management Boards and Advisory Committees across the State to share co-management experiences.
There are now 12 co-management agreements, covering two-thirds of the protected area systems in South Australia.
The Workshop identified a number of key issues, challenges and opportunities that will be progressed by both DEWNR and the traditional owners.
Members Under Regulation 5 of the National Parks and Wildlife (Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park) Regulations 2005, the Board consists of eight members appointed by the
Minster, of whom:
(a) four must be Adnyamathanha people appointed on the nomination of ATLA; and (b) three must be officers of the Department, of whom – (i) one must be the person for the time being holding the office of Regional Conservator for the region in which the park is located (or the person for the time being performing the functions of the Regional Conservator for that region); and (ii) one must be a person with qualifications or experience in the field of ecology or a related field; and (c) one must be a person nominated by the Minister who has qualifications or experience that may, in the opinion of the Minister, be of benefit to the Board.
The full membership of the Co-management Board is as follows.
Meetings The Board held three meetings.
17/18 July 2014: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park 29 October 2014: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park 30 April & 1 May 2015: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Attendance at Meetings
The Co-management Board The functions and powers of the Board are set out in Regulation 10 of the National Parks and
Wildlife (Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park) Regulations 2005 as follows:
(1) The functions of the Board area) to carry out the functions assigned to the Board by or under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972; and
b) to carry out the functions assigned to the Board by the co-management agreement;
c) to carry out other functions assigned to the Board by the Minister.
(2) The Board has the power to do anything necessary, expedient or incidental to the performance of its functions.
(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), the Board may enter into any form of contract, agreement or arrangement.
(4) The Board must perform its functions, or exercise a power, in a manner that is consistent with the co-management agreement.
Regulation 12 (1) of the Regulations states that six members (of whom at least three must be Adnyamathanha people and at least three must be members appointed under regulation 5(1)(b) or (c)) constitute a quorum of the Board. This requirement was met at each Board meeting.
Regulations The following information addresses annual reporting requirements established under Regulation 16 of the National Parks and Wildlife (Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park) Regulations 2005.
(a) Information relating to traditional hunting activities in the park carried out in accordance with section 68D of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.
A voluntary log book system records use of the Cultural Use Zone in the Park for traditional hunting activities.
The Board believes that the log book may be being underutilised and will continue liaising with community members to ensure that information about traditional hunting in the park is accurately recorded.
(b) Information relating to the effect of traditional hunting activities in the park carried out in accordance with section 68D of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 on native plants and protected animals, or the eggs of protected animals (and in particular those species that are scheduled as rare, endangered or vulnerable under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972).
The density of kangaroos in the Cultural Use Zone of the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park was not assessed this year. The Bounceback Program are in the process of developing monitoring techniques to asses browse damage from kangaroos in the Park. Walking kangaroo surveys to asses roo density maybe conducted every 3 years, if there are sufficient resources.
Page 13 Vulkathunha-Gammon- Ranges National Park Co-management Board | Annual Report 2014–2015 (c) Information relating to the operations and work programs undertaken by or on behalf of the Board.
The Board continued to implement its work program based on the obligations under the Co-Management Agreement, Indigenous Land Use Agreement, National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, National Parks and Wildlife (Vulkathunha-GRNP) Regulations 2005, Management Plan and Public Sector Act 2009. The work program also addresses the strategic priorities that have been identified by the Board.
DEWNR officers report on operational and management activities undertaken in the Park to the Board at each meeting. The report addresses visitor management, biodiversity programs, cultural management matters, asset maintenance, projects, planning, training and development, work health and safety, and funding applications.
Due to the cultural significance of the Munyi site, the Board has taken an active interest in its protection. It is patrolled twice a week by the Senior Ranger V-GRNP and regular reports are provided to the Board. Inconspicuous vehicle track closure work has also been undertaken in the Munyi area as directed by the Board.
Feral Control Feral animal control undertaken throughout the year included fox baiting and goat control.
(d) Information relating to park infrastructure.
Park infrastructure is managed through DEWNR’s asset management program to ensure appropriate maintenance of infrastructure/assets on reserves. The Board is provided with an overview at each meeting as part of the DEWNR management report.
During the reporting period there were a number of infrastructure improvements.
Maintenance work was undertaken on Grindell’s Hut and the Balcanoona workshop and shearers quarters.
(e) Any other information required by the Minister.
No additional information was required by the Minister during this reporting period.
Reconciliation Statement The Board would like to acknowledge that the land on which it meets is the traditional lands for the Adnyamathanha people.
In fulfilling its functions, the Board is cognisant of the cultural and natural heritage of traditional owners and strives to achieve positive outcomes wherever these matters are concerned.
Human Resource Matters Staffing The Board has no staff of its own. Ms Denise McCourt, from DEWNR’s South Australian Arid Lands Region provides executive support to the Board.
In accordance with the Co-Management Agreement, the Board is kept informed of DEWNR staff development and training. Staff working in the Park have undertaken a number of training programs including warden, fire, procurement and conflict training.
Page 14 Vulkathunha-Gammon- Ranges National Park Co-management Board | Annual Report 2014–2015 Disability Action Plans The members of the Board are aware of and abide by their obligations under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the State Equal Opportunity Act 1984.
Reporting on this matter is contained in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 Reporting requirements against the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 require the Board to report on the number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a Responsible Officer of the agency. There were no disclosures made during the 2014-15 financial year.
Equal Opportunity Programs The Board has no staff of its own and is serviced by staff of DEWNR. Members are aware of and abide by the equal opportunity policies and programs of DEWNR. Reporting on this matter may be viewed in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Gender Reporting The gender balance of the Board is always taken into consideration when members are appointed. Within the reporting period there were four male and four female members.
Work Health and Safety There were no incidents reported by the Board during the reporting period.
As a user of DEWNR facilities and equipment, the Board is aware of and abides by DEWNR’s OHS&W policies. Reporting on this matter is contained in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
During the reporting period DEWNR Staff operating in the Park undertook First Aid, manual handling, safety awareness and 4WD vehicle training.
Use of Consultants The Board did not engage any consultants in the reporting period.
Public Complaints Nil Financial Performance DEWNR administers the budget for the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park on behalf of the Board and provides a financial report to members at each meeting.
Expenditure has been maintained with the budget allocation.
Finance The costs associated with the administration of the Board are met from within the existing resources of DEWNR. Members are paid sitting fees in accordance with the recommendation from the Chief Executive, DPC which states;
Chair: $221.00 per 4 hour session Members: $177.00 per 4 hour session.
Government employees are not entitled to sitting fees.
Account Payment Performance DEWNR provides administrative resources for processing account payments for the Board.
Reporting on this matter is contained in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Other Reporting Items Energy Efficiency Action Plan Reports The Board uses the facilities and services of DEWNR staff. Reporting on this matter is contained in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Overseas Travel It is declared that no member of the Board has travelled overseas on the business of the Board during the reporting period.
Fraud It is declared that there were no instances of fraud detected in the activities undertaken by the Board.
Financial services are provided to the Board by DEWNR. Strategies to detect instances of fraud are reported in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Regional Impact Assessment Statement The Board undertook no Regional Impact Assessment Statements in 2014-15.
Freedom of Information As a DEWNR administered entity, the Board participates and abides by the arrangements outlined in the DEWNR Freedom of Information regime. Reporting on this matter is available on the DEWNR internet site. Please visit www.environment.sa.gov.au to view the FOI Statement.
Urban Design Charter No events occurred in 2014-15 that required the Board to consider the principles of urban design contained in the South Australian Urban Design Charter.
Greening of Government (GoGo) Framework The Board uses the facilities and services of DEWNR Staff. Reporting on this matter is contained in the DEWNR Annual Report 2014-15.
Acknowledgment The Board appreciates the support and encouragement it received over the past year from the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Hon Ian Hunter MLC.
The Board records its appreciation for the assistance provided by senior DEWNR staff, including: Ms Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive; Mr John Schutz, Group Executive Director Partnership and Stewardships; Stuart Paul, Regional Manager South Australian Arid Lands Region; Tony Magor, Manager Public Lands and Co-management; Arthur Coulthard, Senior Cultural Ranger and Ms Denise McCourt, Executive Officer.
The Board acknowledges key stakeholders including the Adnyamathanha community, ATLA members, Mr Vince Coulthard and Michael Anderson (ATLA) the Native Title Holders.
The Board is working collaboratively and advancing partnership arrangements between DEWNR and Adnyamathanha to achieve shared objectives for future conservation management in Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park.