What is a park management plan?

    Park management plans are 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.

    The draft plan sets consistent direction for the protection and management of natural and wilderness values of 15 parks and wilderness protection areas on Kangaroo Island.

    Park management plans are developed and adopted in accordance with the requirements of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. The objectives of the Act ensure the parks are managed primarily for conservation, while supporting public use, enjoyment and education about the parks’ purpose and significance.

    The Wilderness Protection Act 1992 and the Wilderness Code of Management require management with a focus on conservation and protection of biodiversity and the enhancement of wilderness quality. The Wilderness Code of Management supports public use and enjoyment where this is compatible with maximising wilderness quality.

    Why has a new management plan been developed?

    Some of the park management plans that are currently in place are nearly 30 years old and many of the strategies and objectives they contain are out of date. The new plan needs to make sure management objectives and strategies cover current and emerging issues such as increasing visitor numbers and climate change.

    The 2019-20 bushfires on Kangaroo Island were the largest in the island’s recorded history and burnt 86,720 hectares of protected areas. Wildlife and habitat were impacted and visitor facilities and infrastructure destroyed. The new management plan is needed to support the rebuild of fire affected facilities.

    A key direction for the plan is to balance the preservation of native vegetation and vulnerable ecosystems while also enabling visitors to experience the natural wonders and wilderness qualities of the island.

    It will guide the provision of visitor facilities that will create exceptional experiences and directs fire management that will reduce risk to people, property and the environment, and maintain and enhance biodiversity.

    Kangaroo Island is an important part of Creation Stories for the Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Narungga People. The First Nations groups’ ongoing cultural connection with Kangaroo Island will be shared and celebrated through the plan.

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

    This draft plan was developed with input from technical specialists, First Nations groups, community leaders and interested members of the public. They contributed their views about the rebuild of visitor facilities following the 2019-20 bushfires through Reimagine Kangaroo Island and park management directions in a series of forums and meetings during 2020 and 2021.

    Which parks are included?

    The following 15 parks are included in the draft plan:

    • National Parks: Flinders Chase National Park
    • Conservation Parks: Kelly Hill, Lathami, Mt Taylor, Parndana, Seal Bay, Seddon, Vivonne Bay, Beyeria and Cape Gantheaume Conservation Parks.
    • Wilderness Protection Areas: Cape Bouguer, Cape Gantheaume, Cape Torrens, Ravine des Casoars and Western River Wilderness Protection Areas.

    What is contained in the plan?

    The plan is centered around six management themes, addressing the most important issues for the protected areas. Within each of these themes the draft plan identifies objectives and specific strategies that will be implemented to achieve them.

    The six management themes are:

    Theme 1: Conserving wildlife and ecosystems

    Theme 2: Maintaining wilderness quality

    Theme 3: Creating exceptional visitor experiences

    Theme 4: Managing fire

    Theme 5: Conserving cave and karst features and palaeontological sites

    Theme 6: Celebrating cultural heritage and history

    What does the plan say about development in the park?

    Following the 2019-20 bushfires, opportunities to rebuild and enhance visitor experiences have been identified that are ecologically sensitive and better manage increased visitor numbers.

    The reconstruction of burnt facilities and establishment of new ones is planned for the next 10 years and these facilities will be designed flexibly to adapt to accommodate future growth beyond this timeframe.

    The plan designates visitor use zones at specific locations where facilities will be located.

    When will the management plan be finalised?

    At the conclusion of the 3-month consultation period the feedback received will be collated and analysed and used in the development of the final plan. The consultation report, analysis of feedback, and final plan will be submitted to the Parks and Wilderness Council for advice before being submitted to the Minister for Environment and Water for adoption in 2022. 

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

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

    • Seal Bay and Cape Gantheaume Conservation Parks Management Plan (DEHAA 1977)
    • Beyeria and Lathami Conservation Parks Management Plan 1992 (DEP 1992)
    • Seal Bay Conservation Park Management Plan –Amendment to Plan of Management (DENR 1993)
    • Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area and Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area Management Plans (DEHAA 2000)
    • Cape Torrens and Western River Wilderness Protection Areas Management Plans (DEH 2006)
    • Flinders Chase National Park, Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area and Cape Bouguer Wilderness Protection Area Management Plans Amendment (DEWNR 2017).

    How can I have a say on the draft plan?

    You can have your say by:

    • filling out the survey
    • emailing DEWProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au - please ensure Kangaroo Island is in the email 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