The Ben Boyd National Park and Bell Bird Creek Nature Reserve: Draft Amendment to Plan of Management – Light to Light Walk Improvements closed for comment 26 August 2019.
Public exhibition of the draft plan amendment provided an important opportunity for members of the community to have a say in the management of Ben Boyd National Park.
What is a plan of management amendment?
Parks and reserves established under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 need to have a plan of management. The plan includes information on important park values and provides directions for management. The plan of management is a legal document, and after the plan is adopted all operations and activities in the park must be in line with the plan. From time to time plans of management are amended to support changes to park management.
Why is an amendment being prepared now?
The current plan of management was adopted in 2010 and is being amended to enable further improvements on the Light to Light Walk in Ben Boyd National Park, including improved visitor facilities.
In 2018 the NSW Government announced funding to significantly enhance visitor facilities and create iconic experiences, including new walking tracks, accommodation and tourism partnerships, in a number of national parks across the State. These projects are part of the National Parks Visitor Infrastructure program and aim to increase nature-based tourism in New South Wales, boost regional economies and improve community wellbeing. This project is state government funded and is described on our walking tracks and trails in national parks pages.
The Draft Light to Light Walk Strategy was also available for public comment. The strategy outlines the nature and design of the proposed improvements to the Light to Light Walk and identifies the assessment and approvals required to ensure compliance with the park's plan of management and relevant conservation management plans. Some of the improvements proposed in the strategy require an amendment to the plan of management.
The proposed amendment and the strategy enable development of park assets, including accommodation and associated facilities for walkers and new walking track alignments, that are expected to increase the range and number of visitors to the park. The draft amendment also proposes investigation and development of a new cultural camp supporting Traditional Owner involvement in enhanced visitor experiences and on-Country activities.
When will the plan of management be finalised?
At the end of the public exhibition period, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will comprehensively review all submissions, prepare a submissions report and make any necessary changes to the draft plan of management amendment. The South Coast Regional Advisory Committee and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council will then review the plan amendment along with the submissions and report, as required by the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Once their input has been considered and any further changes made to the plan of management amendment, we provide the plan amendment to the Minister for the Environment. The plan of management amendment is finalised when the Minister formally adopts the plan amendment under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. Once a plan amendment is adopted it is published on the NPWS website.