Draft Accessible Parks Policy

National Parks and Wildlife Service Draft Accessible Parks Policy is available for review and comment. This is an important opportunity for the community to have a say in the development of the new policy. Comments close on 11 November 2022.

The NSW government has committed to removing barriers so that people with a disability can meaningfully participate in and enjoy an inclusive community. Helping to deliver liveable communities includes improvements in accessibility of the built environment and facilities in natural environments. 

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) aims to continue to improve accessibility to help everyone experience and connect with national parks and other NPWS managed reserves. Barriers to accessing parks and visitor experiences are most acutely experienced by people with disability. The Draft Accessible Parks Policy seeks to address these barriers.

This draft policy has been prepared in consultation with a number of key disability and accessibility stakeholders, and community input is now welcomed. The policy provides a framework for improving access to national parks, visitor facilities and experiences for people with disability.

The policy focuses on 4 areas:

  • visitor facilities
  • visitor experiences
  • information and communication
  • collaborating and consulting.

This draft policy provides a framework for how NPWS will support implementation of the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan.

How to comment

Have your say

The policy is on public exhibition from 10 October to 11 November 2022. You can provide a submission in any of the following ways:

To view a hard copy of the policy, download and print the policy document (PDF 418KB) or email the NPWS Park Policy Unit at npws.parkspolicy@environment.nsw.gov.au to arrange for a printed copy to be sent to you.

Feedback is most effective when we understand your ideas and the outcomes you want to be included in the NPWS Accessible Parks Policy.

Some suggestions to help you write your submission are:

  • Write clearly and be specific about the issues that are of concern to you.
  • Note which part or section of the policy your comments relate to.
  • Give reasons to support of your points — to make it easier for us to consider your ideas and avoid misinterpretation.
  • Tell us specifically what you agree/disagree with and why you agree/disagree.
  • Where possible suggest solutions to addressing any issues raised.

Next steps

At the end of the public exhibition period in November 2022, NPWS will review all submissions and finalise the policy.

Once the policy is approved, it will be published on the Park polices webpage.

Questions and answers

Policies are a set of principles and guidelines that inform decision making. They set out NPWS’s position and direction on an issue to ensure that staff are working towards a common outcome and it is clear to the public how and why NPWS is approaching an issue in a particular way.

Policies are non-statutory documents: they are guided by legislation, but are not legal documents in themselves. In addition to legislation such as the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and regulations, policies may also be guided by international conventions and strategies at national, state or organisational level.

Park management policies cover many issues and situations. You can see many NPWS park management policies on our Park policies webpage.

Please email the NPWS Park Policy Unit at npws.parkspolicy@environment.nsw.gov.au to get help accessing the draft policy in a format that meets your needs, or to receive a call back to provide comments over the phone.

The policy applies to all lands acquired or reserved under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act) except for lands reserved under Part 4A of the NPW Act (unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted the policy).

Online submission form

The information you provide in this form will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected. By submitting, you consent to storage, use, and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with our privacy policy. You can request access and amendment of your personal information.