- taking our survey
- Email a submission to: DEWProtectedAreaManagement@sa.gov.au
What is a park management plan?
Park management plans are the main strategic documents used to manage protected areas in South Australia. Management plans, as well as any amendments which come after the plans have been enacted, are developed through a process that includes a statutory three month public consultation, review by the Parks and Wilderness Council, and final endorsement by the Minister for Environment and Water. The management plan for Mount Remarkable National Park was first developed in 2006, with some parts of the plan amended in 2015.
Copies of the current park management plan and previous amendments are available on the Department for Environment and Water website at https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/park-management/statewide-park-strategies/park-management-plans.
Why is the park management plan being amended?
The South Australian and Federal Governments have announced they will jointly fund projects in parks across the Southern Flinders to develop a world class adventure tourism destination through the Remarkable Southern Flinders Ranges project.
This includes the upgrade of existing facilities and the development of new experiences in Mount Remarkable National Park. More information on investment rolling out across the Southern Flinders Ranges on the website.
Some sections of the management plan will require amendment to guide how additional visitor facilities in Mount Remarkable National Park can be developed in a sustainable manner.
How will the proposed developments support the values of the park?
The amendment seeks to enable developments of a kind which support the social, cultural, and environmental qualities of the park. The amendment does this by providing some of the context missing in the existing plan regarding tourism accommodation, cycling near campgrounds, four-wheel driving, and the development of new mountain biking tracks.
The amendments seek to enable developments, but only of a sustainable kind that contribute to the enjoyment of the park while protecting important biological and cultural assets.
Importantly, a management plan only provides the broad strategic overview for park management. Developments and all operations are subject to a detailed process prior to approval, including risk assessment to investigate impacts to biological and cultural values. The requirement for these activities are outlined in the current plan, and are a part of protected area management generally.
How will the conservation values of the park be protected?
The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 provides protections for the conservation values of the park. The vision for Mount Remarkable National Park (as included in the management plan) is for a reserve of outstanding natural beauty that provides for ecologically sustainable recreational activities while protecting biodiversity and cultural zones.
The amendments, and the management prescriptions already outlined in the management plan, seek to provide for this vision by allowing development where it is of lower impact. More detailed risk assessment and consultation processes then occur at an operational level to ensure any new visitor facilities have minimal impact on the reserve’s ecological qualities.
Where will additional cycling trails be developed?
Cycling trails are being upgraded in the Willowie forest section of Mount Remarkable National Park. Improvements are already underway under the existing management plan.
New trails elsewhere in the park will be focussed on the development of an internationally recognised long distance trail. The exact location of the trail requires further discussion with stakeholders and assessment to ensure it fits with regional trail infrastructure and has minimal impact to park values.
Will cycling trails disrupt the existing walking trail network?
In Mount Remarkable National Park, the focus is on developing world class dedicated hiking and cycling trail networks. Shared use trails are less preferred, to ensure a premium experience is available for both recreation types. However, experience from other parks has shown that some wide, gentle trails (such as management tracks) can be used for both cycling and walking. This presents an opportunity for gentle riding experiences adjacent Mambray Creek campground.
An assessment process will occur before any trail is designated for cycling. Rigorous hiking or mountain biking trails which contain steep hills and poor sighting distances are not suitable for shared use.
Can I see more specific plans for tourism accommodation planned in Mount Remarkable National Park?
There are no detailed design specifications for tourism accommodation developments currently available. The intent of the draft amendments is to demonstrate that tourism accommodation of a certain kind is envisaged in certain areas of the park. The draft amendments are not to allow a specific proposal to be developed in the park, but instead makes sure that any proponent seeking to work with the Department for Environment and Water to develop tourism accommodation will be aware of the conditions they will be expected to comply with.
While the amendments allow for a more transparent and open first step when discussing tourism accommodation, there are a number of further steps before a tourism accommodation proposal can be developed, including an assessment of all risks and a formal planning approval process under the planning and development code.
Why don't the amendments contain mapping to show the exact location of new cycling trails and tourism accommodation developments?
The amendments do not contain detailed maps with the exact location of new cycling trails and other visitor facilities because that is a level of detail not considered appropriate in a park management plan.
One of the purposes of the park management plan is to indicate the forms of development that are envisaged. The plan is enacted only after extensive public consultation to determine if that development is in-keeping with community expectations.
There are still a number of steps to develop the facilities or trails themselves once the management plan is in place, including detailed biological assessment and, in some cases, targeted public consultation. The assessment process will help determine the exact location of the trail or facility, and will lead to better understanding of the native vegetation present in the area.
Developments will generally only proceed to the detailed assessment and planning process if they are envisaged in the park management plan.
Where can I find out more?
More information on the Southern Flinders Precinct and proposed developments in Mount Remarkable National Park can be found at the Engagement Hub.
How can I have my say on the proposed management plan amendments?
Have your say by:
Post your written submission to:
Department for Environment and Water
National Parks and Protected Area Program
Attn: Jacob Arnold
GPO Box 1047 ADELAIDE SA 5001
How will kangaroos be managed in the park?
Kangaroo populations will be managed as part of the overall strategy for managing total grazing pressure in Mount Remarkable National Park.
The current management plan outlines priority introduced animals that are impacting on the landscape through increased grazing pressure, such as rabbits, hares, and, in some areas, goats. However, kangaroos can also impact on habitat quality when there is an overpopulation issue.
While non-lethal control options will always be considered in the first instance, culling may be required in the future to manage an overpopulation of kangaroos where it is found to be the only practicable method of control. This is to help protect the overall habitat quality of park, preserving areas for other important native species to thrive.