Neighbour relations policy

We aim to build and maintain good relationships with the people and groups who live on or manage land next door to national parks.

Community meeting in Quollidor focus area, Brogers CreekOur neighbours are:

  • public or private landholders (including leaseholders) who have a common boundary with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)-managed lands or whose properties are accessed through a park
  • government agencies that manage land or public service utilities in parks, whose activities may be affected by NPWS activities or may affect NPWS park management
  • communities ('neighbour communities') living close to parks, who are affected by NPWS activities and whose activities may also affect NPWS park management.

NPWS manages land to conserve nature and cultural heritage. We provide educational and recreational opportunities that foster appreciation of nature, Aboriginal heritage and historic heritage in the community.

Neighbours may manage their land with a range of objectives, such as agricultural production, maintaining exotic gardens or conserving wildlife.

NPWS recognises these diverse objectives. Where possible, we seek to involve neighbours in decision-making processes and work together on management activities that address landscape-scale issues.

Our advisory committees, which contribute to park management, are an important link with local communities.

Policy

  1. We acknowledge that NPWS is responsible for the good management and stewardship of land, and we will carry out that responsibility in active communication with neighbours.
  2. We recognise the right of neighbours to undertake their activities without undue impacts from our activities. We encourage our neighbours to do the same.
  3. We will conform to generally accepted standards of neighbourly conduct and strive for constructive relations with our neighbours.
  1. We will aim to make and maintain personal contact with neighbours.
  2. We will communicate openly and honestly with neighbours and encourage our neighbours to do the same.
  3. We will communicate with neighbours to advise them of proposed management initiatives or activities which may affect them, and we will encourage our neighbours to do the same.
  4. We will ensure that neighbours are informed of draft management plans and documents relating to key park activities, and provide access to these documents for information and comment.
  5. We will actively participate as a neighbour in joint management programs and initiatives where possible.
  6. We will invite neighbours to participate in decision-making concerning issues that may affect them, facilitating the practical resolution or management of these issues.
  7. We will endeavour to make neighbours aware of the role and function of Advisory Committees and the opportunities to nominate as representatives, and encourage communication between Advisory Committee members and our neighbours.
  8. We will extend invitations to work with neighbours 'on the ground' in land-management activities of mutual interest or concern.
  9. We will advise neighbours of any known assistance available to deal with management issues affecting them.
  10. We will encourage neighbours to be involved in relevant volunteer activities on park, where they exist.
  11. We will provide opportunities for neighbours to learn about our work and invite discussion to enhance understanding of NPWS's responsibilities.
  12. We will endeavour to provide neighbours with information that may help them manage land in ecologically sustainable ways (for instance, notifying them of opportunities to learn about remnant bushland or private land conservation agreements).
  1. When we draft and review other relevant NPWS policies we will consider how they may affect our neighbours.
  2. A number of our current policies are relevant to neighbours. They include the:
  3. We will follow and apply relevant NPWS and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment codes of conduct and complaints procedures.
  4. Any matters on which NPWS policies are silent will, in the first instance, be dealt with by the NPWS Area Manager, who will provide advice as required.

Policy adopted March 1996
Policy last updated June 2021

Scope and application

This 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 Act (unless the Board of Management for those lands has adopted the policy). However, NPWS staff can use the policy as guidance in their dealings with Boards of Management.