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Category: Open space and recreation areas

national, state and local parks; state forests; rivers and reservoirs; coastal waters and beaches; public parks and gardens; community gardens; botanic gardens; arboreta

Proposed National Parks and Nature Reserves Reporting

This brief internal paper from the National Parks Service Victoria records criteria that investigating officers should include in reports proposing new national parks. It long pre-dates more detailed criteria such as the 1999 Queensland Assessing, Evaluating and Protecting Land as Open Space, but was at the forefront of practice at the time.


 

Review Status: Pending

MidCoast Playspace Strategy

MidCoast Playspace Strategy – Final

 

 

The MidCoast Playspace Strategy 2023 – 2035 is the most contemporary strategy of its type in Australia, having been adopted by Council in December 2023.

The Playspace Strategy forms part of the MidCoast Parks and Recreation Planning Portfolio, which includes the following documents:

  • MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035 (OSRS)
  • MidCoast Playspace Strategy 2023 – 2035
  • MidCoast Skatepark Strategy 2023 – 2035
  • MidCoast Outdoor Sports Courts Strategy 2023 – 2035, and
  • MidCoast Sports Lighting Plan 2023 – 2035

Each “sub-strategy” directly relates to the OSRS, with the OSRS being the source document for it’s sub-strategies.

 

The Playspace Strategy addresses a number of unique subjects in relation to the subject of play, including:

  • Adaptive Management
  • Parks for Playspaces
  • Play as Human Movement
  • The Benefits of Play
  • Play Theory
  • Play Value
  • Types of Play
  • Play Planning, including Catchment, Length of Stay, Hierarchy, Everyone Can Play, Play for Tourists, To Fence of not to Fence, and Play Planning Decision Tool
  • Action Plan
  • Management and Maintenance
  • FInancial
Review Status: Pending

MidCoast Skatepark Strategy

MidCoast Skatepark Strategy – Final

 

The MidCoast Skatepark Strategy 2023 – 2035 is the most contemporary strategy of its type in Australia, having been adopted by Council in December 2023.

The Skatepark Strategy forms part of the MidCoast Parks and Recreation Planning Portfolio, which includes the following documents:

  • MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035 (OSRS)
  • MidCoast Playspace Strategy 2023 – 2035
  • MidCoast Skatepark Strategy 2023 – 2035
  • MidCoast Outdoor Sports Courts Strategy 2023 – 2035, and
  • MidCoast Sports Lighting Plan 2023 – 2035

Each “sub-strategy” directly relates to the OSRS, with the OSRS being the source document for it’s sub-strategies.

The Skatepark Strategy addresses a number of unique subjects in relation to the subject of skate, including:

  • Planning for Skate, including What is a skate park, Why Skate?, Skate as an elite sport, A Skate Portfolio, Trends in Skate
  • Not in my back yard (NIMBY)
  • The Importance of being seen
  • Action Plan
  • Management and Maintenance
  • Financial
Review Status: Pending

Little Desert including the National Park

The Little Desert in western Victoria, lying south of the Western Highway that links Melbourne and Adelaide, was the subject of an intensive grassroots-led lobbying campaign in the late 1960s against a proposal to clear its native bushland for agriculture. A browse through newspaper archives of the period surprises one even now at the breadth and depth of the opposition to the government’s plans. Libby Robins’ book Defending The Little Desert: The Rise of Ecological Consciousness in Australia of 1998 tells the story.

 

Kaniva Flower Show 1973 – flyer.

The earliest leaflet for the new Park, enlarged from the Kiata Lowan Sanctuary, 1971

Various leaflets by the National Parks Service – birds, the Mallee-Fowl, tourist guides.

Nature trail guides to the Kiata and Pomponderoo trails.

A flyer announcing a ceremony in 2006 to honour long-time Ranger Keith Hateley.

Review Status: Pending

Land-owning cooperatives

Personal involvement in the outdoors, and in particular, in bush regeneration, can be expressed via a wide spectrum of opportunities in all states of Australia, from couch surfing, online activities, motor touring and bushwalking to joining a Friends group… and even to owning a slice of a bushland property along with other like-minded people.

In various states a number of properties have been purchased by cooperatives: to protect them from development, to regenerate them, or simply to allow the members to enjoy the outdoor experience together.

The earliest cooperatives in Victoria were the Round the Bend Conservation Cooperative on the Yarra River in Kangaroo Ground (1971), a residential conservation community with an objective of building environmentally friendly houses; the Montrose Environment Group Co-op’s 9 acres at Wartook, northern Grampians (1971); the Moora Moora Co-operative Community at Mt Toolebewong (1974), another residential community; one in the north-western Grampians; and Urimbirra Cooperative Society Ltd in the northern Little Desert (1973).

Land held by a “cooperative” can be held under a number of different legal forms: for example, a group title/strata title/community title (the states have different regimes); a company limited by guarantee; or a cooperative under state law (such as the Co-operatives National Law (Victoria) Act 2013) which in recent years has conformed to the Australian Uniform Co-operative Laws Agreement.

A leaflet advertising the Kurri Kurri Cooperative in south-western Victoria lists a couple of coops.

 

The Urimbirra story is illustrative

The Urimbirra Co-operative Society was formed in 1973 to acquire and protect remnant bushland in the Little Desert region of the Wimmera district of Victoria. It followed the conservation battle of the late 1960s against State Government and AMP plans to alienate and subdivide most of the Crown land in this area for farming. At the time of purchase, privately owned bushland properties in good condition were still being sold for farming purposes. Professional people from outside the area were incentivised to buy the land through tax concessions on clearing costs. ln this area, the climate and soil type ensured that, once it was used for farming purposes, the land was likely to revert to a weedy scrub after the first drought year. There are several examples of properties close to Urimbirra which have been devastated in this way.

The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society, which had a substantial involvement in the fight to save the Little Desert from subdivision for farming, decided to form a co-operative to buy 400 hectares of remnant bush for conservation. Shares were sold at $25 per share. In 1995, the Cooperative acquired a further 600 hectares of adjoining land. Today, Urimbirra has over 150 active shareholders and owns 1,040 hectares of land under Trust for Nature conservation covenants.

The Urimbirra blocks are located on the northern boundary of the Little Desert National Park between Nhill and Kaniva. The blocks sit on a mix of sandy soils of low natural fertility (named Lowan Sands) and shallow clay with some sandstone. The low natural fertility of the soils supports a diverse range of Mallee shrublands, woodlands and heathlands as well as Yellow Gum, Black Box and Desert Stringybark woodlands that sustain rich biodiversity. Thanks to Alex English, Secretary, for this account.

 

Review Status: Pending

River Red Gum Parks Management Plan

River Red Gums Management Plan (20MB)

 

The River Red Gum Parks Management Plan (RRGPMP) is a strategic guide for managing and protecting five national parks and more than 100 other parks and reserves that comprise the planning area in northern Victoria. This plan takes a multi-park approach within a geographic landscape covering over 215 000 ha of parks and reserves.

The RRGPMP is the largest landscape based management plan produced. It covers the Murray, Goulburn and Ovens river corridors. The River Red Gum has been voted the most popular tree in Australia, with its inland river environments presenting the classic Australian ecosystem. Many generations of Australians have camped on these rivers, and have enjoyed the shade under the red gums. A diverse ecosystem of animals depend on the gums as do many towns along the rivers.

This management plan involved a team of authors and took 10 years to complete. It is registered in both the National Library in Canberra as well as being noted by the United Nations. Of particular note is the extensive narrative and actions  in the MP regarding the RAMSAR wetlands that form a significant portion of the landscape.

Review Status:

MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035

MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035 Final (27.5MB)

The MidCoast Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2035 is the most contemporary strategy of its type in Australia, having been adopted by Council in July 2023.

The Strategy is based on an Adaptive Management model, making it unique in Australia for its appreciation of MidCoast’s 4100ha of open space and the activities that the community does on that space as a complete system, needing to be managed for emergent challenges. The Strategy includes an Impact Assessment model that assists Council’s land managers in being able to identify impacts on their parks and reserves, and what measures to put in place to meet those challenges. Primary among those challenges is climate change and impacts from over-use and over-visitation.

The Strategy also includes a new set of parks guiding principles, that once again are focused on the “whole system” rather than just human activity.

Review Status: