Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

How and why NPWS policies are made

The NPWS has certain legislative powers, duties and functions. However, these are often broadly defined. Policies are needed to work out the best way to administer them.

Policies deliver the outcomes that the NPWS and the community want to achieve. They also ensure that the NPWS deals with issues in a consistent, accountable and transparent manner.

A policy must be consistent with relevant state and Commonwealth legislation, as well as the major policy frameworks of the NSW Government.

The policy process

A policy is not required if the issue is being adequately addressed in another way, e.g. by legislation, regulations, plans of management, guidelines or procedures.

Issues often emerge where there are a number of different options and a range of views about how best to address a situation. Policies are therefore only necessary where there are choices; and with choices comes contention. The impetus for the policy process is therefore generally some level of contention within the community about an issue.

In preparing a policy, the NPWS will analyse the issue, consult with the relevant stakeholder groups and create an informed and balanced policy instrument. The NPWS always refers draft policies to the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council for consideration and comment.

Policies need to remain relevant to a changing world. This means that the policy process is a cycle of analysis, development, implementation, evaluation and review.


Page last updated: 20 May 2011