National parks may shut gates, staff warn

Submitted: Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 15:41
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National parks may shut gates, staff warn
By Andrew Stevenson
April 19, 2004

The public could be shut out of some NSW national parks because of budget cuts that are expected to result in about 300 jobs being cut from the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Although the area of land managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has risen by 30 per cent in the past five years, the targeted job cuts would mean some reserves could no longer be managed safely, staff and unions have warned.

The $20 million budget cut will also curtail vital work by the NPWS to protect threatened species and maintain fire trails.

The executive director of the NSW National Parks Association, Andrew Cox, said the cuts will have a huge impact on the management of environmental reserves, which cover 7.4 per cent of the state.

"It's going to become increasingly difficult to support [Premier] Bob Carr's environmental platform," Mr Cox said.

"There's likely to be less people on the ground, it will be far more difficult to provide good advice on natural resource management and it will affect threatened species recovery efforts."

Stephen Spencer, an industrial officer with the Public Service Association, said NPWS staff are angry and worried about the organisation's future.

"We were told last week by the director-general [Lisa Corbyn] that the department expected to cut in the near future about 300 jobs, approximately a 10 per cent cut in the workforce," he said.

The total size of national parks in NSW has risen 30 per cent in the five years to June 2003, to a total of 5.9 million hectares. More parks to manage on less money was affecting staff morale, Mr Spencer said.

Ms Corbyn confirmed the search for savings would take place in every section of her department, which includes the Environment Protection Authority, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Resource NSW.

"It's really too early to say what the numbers will be," she said.

"It is going to be significant, there's no question about that, and we've certainly been working with staff and unions to try and understand what the implications will be."

A park ranger, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said archaic equipment and infrastructure already hampered work. If staff levels were cut, the battle against weeds and feral animals would have to be scaled back.

"We're getting to the point where parks may have to close," he warned. "It's a question of duty of care to the public. If we don't have the money to maintain those areas in a safe manner, then they'll have to be closed."
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 16:29

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 16:29
goodday truckster
i suppose there are 2 ways of looking at it
good point not as many fires started while burning off
bad point dont even want to think about it greenies win by default not even a wombat forest forum just a we win you (4x4ers)lose.sometimes i think the country is going into a giant crap hole

steve
AnswerID: 54981

Reply By: floyd - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 18:06

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 18:06
Went to Mallacoota over easter and noticed for the first time that Croajingalong National Park is closed to all vehicles between Cape Conran to Mallacoota. Used to be the best off roading and camping in East Gippsland.

Now it is only open to hikers. Not sure what you do if someone needs a rescue. No phones, no UHF repeater coverage and no buildings or houses for 100 kms. If bitten by a snake guess what. You Die.
AnswerID: 54993

Follow Up By: William - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:43

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:43
The reason it was closed was due to irresponsible 4WD drivers.
If you saw the damage they did there you could understand why the area was closed. Contact the local ranger (cannot remember his name) who is a 4WD friendly person and ask him to show you the photographs of the damage. Mud tyres should be banned and believe we will see that within 12 months. Only farmers will be allowed to buy certain tread patterns.
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FollowupID: 316713

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:56

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:56
" Mud tyres should be banned and believe we will see that within 12 months. Only farmers will be allowed to buy certain tread patterns"

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!! Put the crack pipe down dude...
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FollowupID: 316752

Reply By: Jimmy - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:48

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 19:48
All for preservation of our parks and wildlife, but really, whats tthe point if we can't enjoy them?
AnswerID: 55007

Follow Up By: William - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:15

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:15
Of course you can enjoy them. Use your feet you were blessed with but dont use enough, or use a mountain bike. Gawd dammit you will now have to get off your fat asssssssssss and put some physical effort in.
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FollowupID: 316718

Follow Up By: Brad - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:42

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 21:42
So my problem is my fat ass, okay fair enough but what about being able to take my 5 and 7 year old kids into a National Park. Shouldn't I be able to do that ?
Perhaps I should carry them in a backpack on my mountain bike William ?
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FollowupID: 316741

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:57

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 22:57
Brad, dont feed the troll.
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 23:26

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 23:26
Swimmers should condem runners , runners condem Bike riders , bike riders condem motorbike rides ,, motorbike riders condem race car drivers , race car drivers condem 4w drivers . Thats a crack up . If you hunt , your evil , if you like to go hard 4x4 you are evil , Man its straight to hell for me lol
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:11

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:11
Gee guys, my farm may make a profit selling tyres. Might beat the losses on selling milk.

You want to be on the order list Truckster, Eric and Brad?
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:21

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 10:21
Jimmy, I am not sure if you heard how the Department nearly wiped out Victorias bird emblem the Helmeted Honey-eater with its cool burn to reduce fuel loads.

Well for all the fuss, what would have happened had the whole forest been wiped in a hot summer burn?

You are only allowed to be a greenie if you get ot your fat ar... and walk in there William asserts. Well I used to kayak in to nice quiet places and would still love to if it would rain enough......... Then of course we may not have a hot summer burn.
Cheers,
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John

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