NCSSA hosts National Parks Australia Council 2010 AGM

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This year our busy schedule of events in November included hosting the National Parks Australia Council AGM. We were joined by delegates from the National Parks Associations of Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania for a weekend of meetings to celebrate, review and plan campaigns, share our skills and experience and of course, the usual business of an AGM.

It is always wonderful to meet and work with the good people involved in the National Parks Associations interstate. A particularly exciting outcome of the meeting is our plan to draft a joint, national policy statement regarding visitor, tourism and recreation management in parks.

Other highlights included interesting and informative presentations from John Schutz (Executive Director, Regional Services Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and Paul Donatiu (Executive Coordinator, National Parks Association of Queensland). John spoke about the important role of community organisations and volunteers in managing parks and biodiversity, and the implications of the recent merger of the departments DEH and DWLBC (including the regional NRM Boards). Paul gave us a report about his recent Churchill Fellowship study tour, in which he investigated the role of reserves for protecting rare fl ora from the impacts of climate change.

Our interstate visitors were also treated to a tour of threatened fl ora restoration sites, visitor facilities development sites and off track cycling impacts in Belair National Park, with witty commentary and insightful interpretation by our very own Tim Jury.

Many thanks to our speakers, leaders and behind the scenes organisers for an excellent event, and to Friends of Belair and DENR for the meeting facilities in Belair National Park.