When the Myall Lakes National Park, Little Broughton Island and Stormpetrel Nature Reserves Plan of Management was developed in 2001-2002, the NPWS were negotiating with the Broughton Island Conservation Society Incorporated (BICSI) for one of the existing huts on Broughton Island to be allocated for NPWS use and storage. The outcome of the negotiations was that NPWS could use a hut for maintenance when one was available with notice to BICSI. At the time this was sufficient for NPWS management needs.
In recent years the management regime on the island has changed substantially. Increased public visitation, improved camping facilities, increasing commercial tours, a significant population of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog, and an active pest control programme, all require management effort on the island. As a result, the NPWS needs to undertake work on the island more frequently, including over the busy summer period when existing huts are typically fully occupied by BICSI members. Essential NPWS works include maintenance, pest species control, research and monitoring, fire management and law enforcement. The work regularly involves groups of 6-8 people including volunteers, researchers and staff.
The existing arrangement for NPWS hut use is insufficient for the work required, and is limiting the ability of NPWS to manage the island. Providing a NPWS management hut and a storage container on the island would allow greater flexibility to fit in with sea and weather conditions, and significantly reduce the amount of equipment taken to and from the island each trip. This would subsequently reduce the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) risks associated with manually handling equipment from vessels, and increase time available for management activities.
The management hut would be designed to provide basic accommodation for up to eight people, with a small kitchen, amenities, furniture and an outside covered area. The demountable structure would be designed to be transported to the island via helicopter. The proposed facility would be located adjacent to the existing huts at the northern end of Esmeralda Beach to limit visual impacts and disturbance and to improve site security. It is also proposed to provide a shaded area for day visitors at the southern end of the hut, incorporating visitor information. The remaining grassed area at the northern end of Esmeralda Beach, between the management hut and the other huts, would then be designated day use only.
A half sized (10ft) portable shipping container has been used to form the storage facility. It is located in a cleared site west of the walking track to North Beach which is surrounded by tall shrubs. The storage facility provides secure storage for tools and equipment and small amounts of fuel and chemicals.
The NPWS have commenced formalising camp site management at Broughton Island, including the introduction of a booking system, in line with the existing plan of management. However, given the unique situation at Broughton Island and the limited number of sites, it is envisaged that demand for sites will exceed supply during peak holiday periods. It is proposed to develop a camping strategy for Broughton Island to maximise access to the limited number of sites and ensure equity. This may include limiting the maximum length of stay for campers during peak holiday periods and/or introducing ballot bookings.
This amendment should be read in conjunction with the Myall Lakes National Park, Little Broughton Island and Stormpetrel Island Nature Reserves Plan of Management (2002).