New Parks Victoria Act 2018 strengthens park management
Wednesday 12 September, 2018
The new Parks Victoria Act 2018 came into effect on 12 September 2018. The new Act re-creates Parks Victoria as an independent statutory authority and strengthens Parks Victoria’s role of protecting, conserving and enhance Victoria’s parks and waterways.
The Act amends important pieces of legislation to modernise and clarify Parks Victoria’s management responsibilities and provides clear objectives, functions and land management powers integral to efficient and effective operation.
A pivotal change is that Parks Victoria will now have a broad range of direct powers. Previously, the majority of the powers needed to manage Parks Victoria land were held by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Parks Victoria will continue to report to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and a key delivery component of the new Act will be the preparation of a statewide long-term land management strategy, in consultation with the community and Traditional Owners.
The new Act will help Parks Victoria better protect, conserve and enhance Victoria’s parks and reserves on behalf of all Victorians.
What is the new Parks Victoria Act 2018?
The Parks Victoria Act 2018 replaces the former Parks Victoria Act 1998.
The new Act makes a big change to the way Parks Victoria is set up – instead of Parks Victoria acting as a service agency to the Government, the new Act re-creates Parks Victoria as an independent statutory authority. Many of our important land management powers are now granted directly to the Board of Parks Victoria instead of being delegated from the Secretary of DELWP.
The Act also contains consequential amendments to other related legislation, like the National Parks Act 1975, the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, Land Act 1958, Forests Act 1958, Conservation Forests and Land Act 1987, Water Industry Act 1994 and Wildlife Act 1975.
What does it mean?
Under the new Parks Victoria Act 2018, Parks Victoria:
* Takes direct responsibility for most of its powers under land management legislation;
* Has clear functions and objects to support the environment and community;
* Must abide by a Statement of Obligations established by the Minister; and
* Must create a Land Management Strategy by late 2020, setting out the long-term strategies and priorities for Parks Victoria land.
What are the benefits for Parks Victoria?The new Parks Victoria Act 2018 makes it clear that Parks Victoria has the primary responsibility for the protection, conservation and enhancement of Parks Victoria managed land, including its natural and cultural values, for the benefit of the environment and current and future generations.
The granting of land management powers to Parks Victoria directly increases our accountability for managing public land for the people of Victoria and makes that role clear to the community.
The new Act also provides us with a clear framework by which to achieve our goals, while strengthening our focus on engaging with the community and with Traditional Owners.
What changes will I see?For the most part, our stakeholders will not see a big change in the way they work with Parks Victoria.
Although our legal framework is changing, most of our day-to-day operations will be unaffected and we will continue to work in collaboration with our key stakeholders including our Friends and Volunteer Groups, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and other land management authorities and agencies.
You will see new initiatives over the coming years as Parks Victoria expands into its new, more independent role.
Media enquiriesMelanie McVey-Di Lazzaro
0459 818 451
Parks Victoria media centre