The TCT has a long association with Wellington Park. In 1990 the Wellington Range Working Group was set up with representatives from all government agencies (state and local) with an interest in the management of the Wellington Range. The working group undertook an extensive public consultation process during which the TCT lobbied heavily for the creation of a Wellington Range National Park.
The results of the public consultation were released in mid-1991. The final recommendations of the working group were for ‘almost but not quite’ national park status for the Wellington Range. Legislation established a new reserve known as Wellington Park, which was to be managed independently by the ‘Management Trust’. The Wellington Park Management Trust was established through the Wellington Park Act 1993.
In November of this year, the Wellington Park Management Trust (WPMT) released an Issues Discussion Paper for public comment. The paper was part of the Trust’s review of the Wellington Park Management Plan 2005.
The discussion paper took into account opportunities, issues and concerns raised during earlier consultations undertaken with a number of groups such as park users, visitors and management agencies. The paper considered a variety of directions that could be employed in the future management of the park and which might form the basis a new management plan that will be drafted in early 2012. The most contentious of the issues in the paper included:
- allowing for consideration of commercial development in other areas of the park outside of the Springs (for example the Pinnacle)
- allowing for the consideration of a cable car
- trialing of an off -lead dog-walking area
- allowing for further opportunities for four-wheel drive access
- considering allowing commercial tour operators to run trail-bike and/or other motorised recreational vehicle tours under licence and limited to designated fire trails
- allowing for the construction of a helipad for limited commercial charter landing.
The deadline for comments on the Issues Discussion Paper was 9 December 2011.
The WPMT will then consider whether further consultation within the community is needed in order to refine details of specific management issues and actions.
A draft nanagement plan will be released in early 2012, based upon the extended negotiations, and will be formally advertised for public and stakeholder consultation.
Jennifer Rowallan, Biodiversity Campaigner