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We want your ideas on the vision and direction for Lake Gairdner National Park. How can we manage this area and ensure it is protected for future generations?

Read the Lake Gairdner National Park Draft Management Plan and provide your comments below.

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Darren Leaver

12 Apr 2019

I am in agreeance with Mr Quinn free access to this area should be encouraged to all peoples, The areas susceptible to damage should be learly marked and declared no go areas.

Rod Irvine

12 Apr 2019

I have visited SA parks regularly since coming to Australia in 1967. Unfortunately access to all parks has steadily diminished over the years until the whole point of going “bush” has become impossible due to restrictions which seem to be for the convenience of the operators rather than the amenity of the owners (all Australians).
I fully support the comments of Mr Quinn who has also has similar concerns about access. There is no point in having National parks if you can only camp in crowded designated areas and cannot appreciate the quiet isolation of these natural wonders. I could camp in Rundle Mall and look at a video of a National Park which seems to be the direction we are heading.
The time has come to open Parks up and encourage free, responsible exploration and camping to educate future generations of our natural wonders.

Albert Quinn

07 Mar 2019

I have recently returned from Lake Gairdner where I attended the Speed Week 2019 as a spectator. Whilst there I spoke to Gawler Ranges Park Rangers about the manner in which Parks within South Australia are managed and importantly the future of Parks in S.A. It was at this time I received a copy of this 'Draft Plan' Having now read this Draft Management Plan. I would like to make the following comments about this plan and the broader issue of accessibility to National Parks and Conservation Parks in South Australia as I see it important given this plan may be used as a model for future such plans.

A) I have lived in remote areas and pro-actively policed offences against the National Parks and Wildlife Act as a former member of SAPOL over my 41 year career. In areas including the West Coast (Port Lincoln), Yorke Peninsula, Gawler Ranges, Coorong and Riverland areas I feel there is a growing disjoint between National Parks Management and the broader SA community. Parks are and should be peoples places, and access to these parks; whether designated as Conservation or accessible National Parks should be encouraged.

B) By encouragement I mean that people should have the ability to access a broad range of areas within Parks, and should be able to access areas without restriction unless such access would cause significant risk to Flora & Fauna or cause cultural offence to native title / indigenous land holders.

As example, I lived in the North East for several years prior to Bimbowrie Station north of Olary being handed over to National Parks Control. It was designated several years ago as a Conservation Park and since that time, access by locals and those who have loved to camp unrestricted in this area has been removed. I and other locals loved this area and pro-actively policed this beautiful part of the North East however now cannot access the area to free camp as previous. I do not accept that a no-go / no-access policy is good for anyone except those within Parks Management, and further do not accept that a no access policy is the only means by which flora and fauna can be protected.

B) Having read this Draft Plan, I note and support the intent to encourage indigenous land holders to reconnect with the Lake Gairdner area, and support that this continues. The business model does not I believe adequately canvas the issue to public access, permit process, and camping. The Plan includes some comment on economic development however as part of that development the Plan should state the intent to increased accessibility to campers, caravaners and other recreational users. Having worked the APY Lands previously and having indigenous family, I would like to see that as part of that economic development, a robust simple form of access permit system is developed to those who wish to see these remote beautiful areas whether by 4WD / caravan or other form of recreation vehicles. The access should include conditions of access, remote camp sites with suitable natural shade where available, provision of firewood, and the possibility of local interaction with land holders or indigenous title holders who may wish to provide stories around the camp sites or information about the areas used by visitors. It is important that Camp sites should not be defined like Pondalowie Bay within permanent pine boundaries and gravelled sites herded into small enclave.

C) The Plan should also include an intent to allow the parks to be self managed by the People; both indigenous land holders supported by Parks Staff BUT also by visitors themselves. The community wants access to these parks, without restriction (unless as stated for previous reasons) and if guidelines are clearly communicated to permit seekers, this should be achievable.

If this becomes the intent to increase the access, the disjoint between Parks Management and the broader community may disappear; however this can only occur if Parks Management provide the appropriate training to Rangers and staff.

Lake Gairdner is a beautiful place, however facilities are limited and access restricted considerably at this time. This Plan has the opportunity to not only allow appropriate management if done right, but also to reconnect traditional owners to the land whilst allowing the broader community to connect to the land as traditional owners have in the past.

Please get this right.

Government Agency

Protected Areas Unit > Albert Quinn

13 Mar 2019

Hi Albert,

Thank you for your submission to the Lake Gairdner National Park Draft Management Plan. We appreciate the time and effort that was put into your submission. All issues, concerns and comments expressed by those who responded will be considered in the development of the final management plan, and incorporated as appropriate.

We are now working towards the development of the final management plan in collaboration with the Lake Gairdner National Park Co-management Board. Once finalised, the final plan will be sent to you via the contact details you have provided.

Should you wish to discuss the development of the management plan further or update your details please to do hesitate to contact us at

Kind regards,

DEW Protected Area Management