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Notes from LCNP Stakeholder Meeting 16 Jul

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 17 July 2009

So, I went to a LCNP stakeholder meeting with NPWS last night. Here are a few notes that people here might be interested in...

There were maybe 35 people there. Mostly they were the from the more mature park patronage age group. The only recreational pursuits represented (by 4 people) were kayaking, MTB, trail running. There were a few officials from local councils, RTA, etc. and the rest of the group being from more conservation based groups.

The meeting was scheduled to run for 1h30 and include NPWS presentation, working groups, group presentation and wrap. It overran and ended up being more like 2h30.

We started with a presentation about the 'state of play'. LCNP is in the top 5 parks by visitation numbers and had expanded much (think mostly at the Pennant Hills Park end) since the current plan was written. The current LCNP PoM is dated August, 1998. The ranger presenting stated that PoM documents usually have 10 year life span (I have previously looked into this and have not found any specific details on this). However, they later stated that the current PoM was to be reviewed in 2003 and most plans are reviewed every 5 years. Then a statement that the current plan was audited in 2004 and that audit found a "major upgrade was required".

The Plan of Management is a legal document and it would seem that anyone acting against its recommendations can be challenged in Land and Environment Court, even NPWS itself. I find this interesting, especially given the delay in the recommended major upgrade back in 2004.

A schedule for the review process was put up (I asked for a copy and will update this when it comes) but important dates are Aug 18 when an open public meeting will be held, and some time around March 2010 when the plan is due for official release.

After this presentation we broke for group discussion (5 groups) about issues that are of concern. Then each group presented.

Given how I started above about the number of conservation based people there it was hardly surprising that the majority of concerns were about preservation of the natural habitat. Cycling is seen as detrimental to this. As is the close proximity of housing to the park. I tried to argue that both these issues could be turned into positive things to bring more 'first time' visitors into parks, and once introduced to a park in an urban setting they were more likely to visit more remote parks.

In these meetings you always get the same old 'bikes cause erosion' myths coming out and luckily I'd taken a copy of the IMBA, "Natural Resource Impacts of Mountain Biking" page:

I left this with one of our group and had what I thought was a constructive chat about it after the session had ended.

It's always hard to persuade such opponents that proper planning for riding could benefit parks immensely, but I think the message is slowly, very slowly getting through. We can but hope!

So that's about it... don't forget August 18 public meeting:

darkmuncan's picture

Thanks for representing us once again.


Flynny's picture

Love your work rob

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