Flora reserves offer similar conservation and public use benefits to those offered through the national park estate managed by NPWS. The dedication of the Murrah Flora Reserves provides important connections between adjoining Aboriginal-owned lands and national park estate held sacred by the traditional owners. It also provides the opportunity to integrate management programs to aid the recovery of the koala population and manage other significant ecological and cultural features valued by the community.
Public exhibition of the draft plan provided an opportunity for members of the community to have a say in the future management of Murrah Flora Reserves. Submissions closed 31 January 2018.
Questions and answers
What is a working plan?
Flora reserves established under the Forestry Act 2012 need to have a working plan. The plan includes information on important reserve values and provides directions for future management. The working plan is a legal document, and after the plan is adopted all operations and activities in the reserve must be in line with the plan.
Why is a plan being prepared now?
In 2016 the NSW Government dedicated state forest areas between Bega and Bermagui as flora reserves under the Forestry Act 2012. In a unique arrangement, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been appointed land manager for these reserves.
The primary purpose of this arrangement is to conserve the south coast's last known koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) population and extend the protection of a natural and cultural landscape incorporating Biamanga and Gulaga national parks, both of which are Aboriginal owned and managed by a majority Aboriginal owner board of management. Under the Forestry Act, flora reserves must be managed for the preservation of native plants and animals in accordance with a working plan.
This working plan has been prepared in accordance with section 25 of the Forestry Act.
After public consultation, draft plans are adopted by the Minister for Primary Industries.