Nullarbor Parks Draft Management Plan

Have your say on the Nullarbor Parks Draft Management Plan

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David Gillieson

22 Jan 2018

The Nullarbor Plain is a biogeographical entity and effective management should reflect this unity. Thus management strategies need to be seamless across the SA/WA border. DEWNR is to be congratulated in seeking to put a Management Plan in place and I would urge you to consider expanding this to an holistic plan that embraces the entire Nullarbor Plain. The collected Nullarbor Parks comprise an area of nearly three million hectares. The management of such an extensive area would be incredibly challenging with existing limited human and financial resources. This would be made somewhat easier if the several existing tenures were amalgamated into one protected area tenure. There needs to be an ongoing ranger presence and this could be facilitated by provision of training and casual employment for Mirning people. Coupled with this would be the provision of accurate and culturally appropriate interpretation at several sites.

The Nullarbor is internationally recognised as an important karst area worthy of World Heritage listing. An IUCN commissioned study on World Heritage and karst (Williams, 2008) stated that:
‘Some outstanding karsts are known … with other examples at the more arid extreme from the Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia.’
and
‘… there are areas mentioned above and not on the Tentative List that are of equal or sometimes greater conservation value, e.g. parts of the Kimberley and Nullarbor regions of Australia’

The Nullarbor has been the subject of many scientific studies over the last five decades, in the fields of geomorphology, ecology, palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology. There should be some scientific representation on any management committee and indeed in any development of the management plan. In terms of the values of the Parks, the Nullarbor karst and caves contain speleothems (cave formations), fossil remains and well preserved sub-fossil material which are internationally recognised.

The draft plan sets a series of worthwhile objectives and strategies under four themes, but these need to be prioritised and measurable targets need to be identified. For example, Themes 3 and 4 seek to develop a ‘visitor experience strategy’ for the Nullarbor parks. This is very open-ended, yet damage caused by uncontrolled and uneducated access is clearly identified as a management issue. This work should be prioritised with clear target dates established. The South Australian Code Management for the Wilderness Protection Areas and Zones (2004) requires a visitor management strategy to be included in any management plan.

I carried out extensive geomorphological and ecological research on the Nullarbor in the 1980s and 1990s. I have retained an interest in this area during subsequent decades, when I have carried out World Heritage evaluations for IUCN and applied karst research in northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. I am currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and at James Cook University.

Relevant references:
Davey, A.G. and Spate, A.P. 1990. Management of karst features in parks and reserves of the Nullarbor Region, South Australia, A report to the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Applied Natural Resource Management, Canberra.
Davey, A.G., Gray, M.R. Grimes, K.G., Hamilton-Smith, E., James, J.M., and Spate, A.P., 1992. World Heritage Significance of karst and other landforms in the Nullarbor Region, report to the Department of Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories, Canberra.
Gillieson, D., Cochrane, A. and Murray, A. 1994. Surface hydrology and soil erosion in an arid karst: the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. Environmental Geology 23(2):125-133.
Gillieson, D. 1993. Environmental Change and Human Impact on Arid and Semi-arid Karsts of Australia, in Williams, P.(ed.) Karst Terrains: Environmental Changes and Human Impact, Catena Supplement 25: 127-146 .
Gillieson, D., Wallbrink P., Murray, A. and Cochrane, A. 1996. Estimation of wind erosion using GIS modelling and caesium-137 on the Nullarbor Plain karst, Australia. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 105:73-90.
Gillieson, D., Wallbrink P. and Cochrane, A. 1996. Vegetation change, erosion risk and land management on the Nullarbor Plain, Australia. Environmental Geology 28(3): 145-153.
Gillieson, D., 2004. Nullarbor Plain, Australia. In: J. Gunn (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Caves and Karst Science, New York: Taylor and Francis Routledge, pp 544 546
Gillieson, D. 2011 Management of Caves, In: Van Beynen, P (ed) Karst and Cave Management, New York, Springer, pp141-158.
Williams, P. 2008. World Heritage Caves and Karst. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 57pp.

Government Agency

DEWNR Protected Areas > David Gillieson

24 Jan 2018

Thank you David for your submission on the Nullarbor Parks Draft Management Plan. We appreciate your interest and 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.

Julie Fiedler

22 Jan 2018

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Nullabor Parks Draft Management Plan.

Horse SA works with and for horse owners across South Australia, and is interested in access opportunities for National Parks.
Whilst this is a very remote area park, it would be appreciated if the new plan can note the option to apply for a permit should there be a public or private ride or drive planned through the park. This includes for historical reenactment purposes.

It is likely that this option may also be of interest to Cameleers.

We look forward to working with DEWNR on sustainable access to many parks in the state.

Government Agency

DEWNR Protected Areas > Julie Fiedler

24 Jan 2018

Dear Julie. Thank you for your submission to the Nullarbor Parks 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.

Government Agency

Protected Areas Unit

09 Jan 2018

There is just under 1 month left to submit your comments to the Nullarbor Parks Draft Management Plan! Submit your views here, via email to DEWNRProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au, or post to:
Saras Kumar
Policy and Planning Officer, Far West Coast
Protected Areas Unit
GPO Box 1047
ADELAIDE, SA 5001

We look forward to hearing your views!

Andy Spate

02 Jan 2018

No comments yet?

Government Agency

Protected Areas Unit > Andy Spate

09 Jan 2018

Hi Andy,

The discussion board is just one of several ways to submit comment to the draft management plan. Submissions can also be emailed to DEWNRProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au, or posted to:
Saras Kumar
Policy and Planning Officer, Far West Coast
Protected Areas Unit
GPO Box 1047
ADELAIDE, SA 5001

Kind regards,

DEWNR Protected Area Management