19 March 2019
My wife and I attended the rally at Parliament House in support of the Friends of Parks KI. It was encouraging to see around 30 Friends groups represented in the 500 strong crowd. There is clearly significant concern amongst Friends Groups and members of the public, about this governments plans to develop inside National Parks. If this development is allowed to proceed, in this most remote, wild and pristine of our National Parks at Flinders Chase, nothing will stop development in the other Parks.
I ask the Board to use its influence with Government ministers and departments to have this development moved to a more appropriate location in the park . Locations near the already established campgrounds on the Wilderness Walking Trail would be acceptable to most people.
Can you do more to inform and encourage other Friends Groups to take a stand?
I have just posted up a statement by the Board in relation to the KI accommodation proposal at Flinders Chase National Park. This came about after the Friends of KI Western District approached the Board to represent their views and concerns to Executive management of DEW, regarding the proposal and the associated community consultation process.
Myself and Carole Pinnock (a Board member as well as representing the Friends of KI West), met on many occasions with John Schutz CE DEW, Grant Pelton A/Director Parks and Regions, and the KI developers to work through the proposal and the local community’s concerns regarding the development’s footprint within the park. The Board held an extra-ordinary meeting 2 weeks ago to discuss the proposal with the developer as well as DEW management.
At this stage, there is broad agreement that the community consultation wasn’t satisfactory, and to this end the Board is still in discussion with senior management as to how future development proposals in parks are to be enacted and how the Friends group and the community will be engaged.
At last week’s Board meeting, the Minister for Environment and Water, David Spiers MP, spoke to the Board about his commitment to DEW’s core business of conservation and biodiversity management in the State’s national parks, and the importance of effective, early community consultation regarding any development proposals.
The Board’s statement is therefore a reflection of many discussions with all stakeholders over many weeks. It is a principled position that seeks to support and validate the independence of member groups to make their own decisions, and places clear expectations on DEW as a genuine partner in park management.
If you could direct any feedback to the Board around this to Ian Radbone, firstname.lastname@example.org (in Pam’s absence), he will direct that back to the Board.
Many ThanksDuncan MacKenzie, President
Friends of Parks Inc statement concerning development in National Parks and the proposed luxury accommodation in Flinders Chase National Park
Friends of Parks Inc believes that commercial developments in parks should be consistent with the Park’s Management Plan and only occur after careful consideration of the environmental impact and full public consultation.
Friends of Parks (FOP) are a strong and respected working partner of DEW. The FOP Board has an expectation that there will be early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups when developments in their Parks are considered. We support the right of Parks groups – as independent groups – to have at times a differing view on developments in their parks and for the Group to readily express these views.
Flinders Chase Accommodation Development
It is agreed in relation to Friends of Parks Kangaroo Island Western Districts (FOPKIWD) and the Flinders Chase accommodation development,
1. DEW will seek to facilitate FOPKIWD to make a submission the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) currently considering the Flinders Chase development, the findings from which are due in February 2019
2. The Board is disappointed that early and transparent communication with local Friends of Parks member groups and the local community did not occur regarding this development
3. As a consequence FOPKIWD have withdrawn their labour in the park and in preparation for the Flinders Chase Centenary Celebration. If this continues, then in support, the President of FOP Inc. Board will also withdraw from the steering committee for the Centenary Celebration
4. While the Board has not supported universal withdrawal of labour by Friends groups on this issue, the Board is clear that each member group has a right to choose to do so, or to support FOPKIWD in other ways that are thought to be helpful
5. It is noted that Australian Walking Company (AWC) stated they would like to actively engage with Friends of Parks groups on Kangaroo Island and are actively seeking ways in which this could occur. Friends groups may consider talking to AWC about this possibility.