What is a park management plan?

    Park management plans are the main strategic documents used to manage protected areas in South Australia.

    Management plans set strategic direction, contain information on park values and threats, and outline the objectives and strategies for how parks will be managed.

    South Australia’s national parks and conservation parks are managed to achieve the objectives of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

    These objectives ensure that the parks are managed primarily for conservation, while supporting public use, enjoyment and education about the parks’ purpose and significance.

    Why has a new draft management plan been developed?

    In 2018, the Buthera Agreement between the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation and the State of South Australia committed to co-management of Innes National Park with Narungga people.

    Subsequently, the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park Co-management Board formed in November 2020 and the park was co-named to reflect Narungga Traditional Owners.

    Through the Co-management Agreement, the Minister committed to collaborate with the board to prepare a new management plan that reflects the new park management structure and takes into account:

    • Narungga cultural, spiritual, and traditional uses of the park
    • protecting the culture and Aboriginal Heritage of the Narungga People.

    While the board doesn’t have statutory responsibility for management of the conservation parks covered in the plan, it maintains a strong cultural connection.

    The management plans currently in place for the parks are at least 13 years old and many of the strategies and objectives they contain are out of date.

    Developing the new plan for Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park has provided an opportunity to incorporate the strategic direction for 12 parks across Yorke Peninsula into a single plan.

    This enables actions to be applied across the landscape and supports a coordinated and consistent approach to park management across Yorke Peninsula.

    The plan sets the future direction for managing the parks and progressing the aspirations of Narungga people for their Country.

    What is the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park Co-management Board?

    The board has statutory responsibility for the management of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972.

    Co-management provides the framework for the Department for Environment and Water and the Narungga people to share responsibility and decision-making for the park’s strategic management.

    The Co-management Board consists of 8 members, 4 representatives from the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation, 3  representatives from the department and one representative of the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. Each member has a deputy member.

    The board meets on average 4 times per year. Meetings are usually held on Narungga Country in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park.

    Co-management plays an important role in advancing the reconciliation process. The involvement of Aboriginal people in managing their traditional lands contributes to improved cultural site protection, maintenance of traditional practices, and improved management of parks through the combination of traditional knowledge and contemporary science.

    How has the draft plan been developed? Who was involved?

    The draft plan has been developed in partnership with the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park Co-management Board with input from Narungga Traditional Owners, technical experts, key stakeholders, and park managers involved with on-going management of the parks.

    Key outcomes from reviewing the current park management plans have been incorporated into the draft plan.

    Which parks are included?

    The following 12 parks are included in the plan:

    • National park: Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park
    • Conservation parks: Warrenben, Thidna, Carribie, Point Davenport, Leven Beach, Minlacowie, Ramsay, Bird Islands, Troubridge Island, Goose Island and Althorpe Islands conservation parks.

    What is contained in the plan?

    The plan is centred on 4 management themes which address the most important issues for the parks.

    Within each of these themes the plan identifies objectives and specific strategies that will be implemented to achieve them.

    The management themes are:

    Theme 1: Honouring and advancing Narungga cultural and spiritual connection to Country

    Theme 2: Healthy land and sea

    Theme 3: Embracing the spirit of Narungga Country

    Theme 4: Understanding our shared histories

    Why are management zones designated in the parks?

    The 5 management zones establish a framework for using and managing the parks during the life of this plan. The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 determines that each zone must be kept and maintained according to conditions outlined in the plan.

    The zones:

    • ensure areas of high conservation value are managed primarily for the protection of ecological, cultural, and heritage values
    • ensure Narungga people have areas for exclusive use to undertake non-commercial activities for cultural, spiritual, and traditional purposes
    • enable protection of culturally sensitive sites and provide areas for Narungga to repatriate ancestral remains to Narungga Country
    • identify areas suitable for ecologically sensitive small scale development and commercial tourism activities
    • allow for upgrades to shacks in order to meet contemporary standards.

    What does the plan say about development in the parks?

    A range of development types are specified as permitted within different management zones to support park usage and visitation.

    Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park has a greater focus on nature-based tourism than the conservation parks.

    Development of visitor facilities and infrastructure to support low impact recreation such as basic camping areas, trails and day visitor areas (including associated facilities such as shelters, toilets and barbeques) is permitted in Conservation Zones and Visitor Use Zones. Every effort will be made to minimise this disturbance, and will be monitored and managed to ensure that existing biodiversity values are not further compromised.

    Small scale development and commercial tourism activities, including establishing tourism accommodation is permitted in the Visitor Use Zones. Development must be ecologically sensitive, ensure minimal impacts to the natural, cultural, recreation and heritage values of the park, and be sympathetic to the site’s aesthetic values. 

    All development proposals will be subject to formal assessment and approval processes under the provisions of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and Native Vegetation Act 1991.

    Development such as workshops, buildings and staff housing that are necessary to support park operations will be permitted in the Conservation Zones and Visitor Use Zones.

    Development of basic facilities necessary to support sustainable use and to limit environmental impacts is permitted in the Traditional Use Zones.

    Why doesn't the plan contain more detail on what will be undertaken?

    The draft plan is intended to set the direction for strategic management of the parks as outlined in the objectives and strategies. It is not intended to address every issue or cover every aspect of management in detail.

    The specific actions required to manage the parks in accordance with the plan will be developed and monitored at a park operations level.

    This approach ensures that the plan is flexible and able to guide future management challenges.

    When will the management plan be finalised?

    At the conclusion of the 3-month consultation period, feedback received will be collated and analysed and used in the developing the final plan.

    Community feedback and the final plan will be submitted to the Parks and Wilderness Council for advice before being submitted to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water for adoption at the end of 2022.

    What happens to the existing management plans when the new one is finalised?

    Once the final plan is adopted by the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, it will replace the existing plans and amendments:

    • Innes National Park Management Plan 2003 (DEH)
    • Innes National Park Management Plan Amendment 2004 (DEH)
    • Mainland Conservation Parks of Yorke Peninsula Management Plan 2009 (DEH)
    • Althorpe Islands, Goose Island and Troubridge Island Conservation Parks 2009 (DEH)
    • Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park Management Plan Amendment 2020 (DEW)

    How can I have a say on the draft plan?

    You can have your say by:

    • filling out the survey 
    • emailing a written submission to DEWProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au with 'Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park and Yorke Peninsula Parks Draft Management Plan' in the subject heading 
    • posting a written submission to: 

    National Parks and Protected Area Program Unit
    Department for Environment and Water
    GPO Box 1047, ADELAIDE SA 5001