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Latest news from Bushwalking Victoria

You are invited to comment on the draft national recovery plan for the Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community which is listed as endangered under Australia's national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).

The recovery plan has been developed with expertise and cooperation of independent experts and land managers responsible for conserving the ecological community. The plan has been developed using the most recent and emerging information on the ecological community and its threats. The plan sets out the management, research and other actions necessary to stop the decline and support the recovery of the ecological community so that the chance of its long-term persistence in nature is maximised.

Details about the public consultation, including the document referred to above, are available at: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/recovery-comment.html.

The Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) is seeking public comment on the draft plan (as required under the EPBC Act). Please note that comments on the plan are due by 3 December 2014.

Your comments are invited as an integral part of the assessment process and are very much appreciated. Please send your comments, quoting the title of the plan, to:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mail: Protected Species and Communities Branch
Wildlife, Heritage and Marine Division
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

We look forward to receiving your comments.

For a comprehensive understanding of the provisions relating to nomination and listing, you should refer directly to the:

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000

Karen Watson
Department of Environment

Editor's note: The following draft plans may also be of interest to bushwalkers and are available for comment by the deadlines indicated:

  • Draft National Recovery Plan for the Orange-bellied Parrot, Neophema chrysogaster - Deadline: 7 November 2014
  • White-bellied and Orange-bellied Frogs (Geocrinia alba and Geocrinia vitellina) Recovery Plan - Deadline: 3 December 2014

This spring, visit some remarkable private conservation properties that are not normally open to the public. As part of Trust for Nature's 'Spring into Nature' event series, the gates will be open to select properties across Victoria to demonstrate what can be achieved in the name of conservation.

Nature enthusiasts will get the chance to visit nine properties, each offering a special sanctuary to native plants and wildlife in need of protection.

Talk with landowners who have permanently protected their properties; enjoy guided walks while the wildflowers are on display and the birds are chirping and learn about practical land management experiences that help protect our precious wildlife.

Spring into Nature's first property opens for the day on Friday, 12 September in Victoria's North Central region in Kotta, with subsequent events happening across the state until Sunday, 26 October.

A list of events, dates and access to all the details can be found on the Trust for Nature website: http://www.trustfornature.org.au/our-events/

Media Contact:
Tiffany Inglis: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone (03) 8631 5888 or 0433 006 663.

About Trust for Nature

Since it was established in 1972 under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act, Trust for Nature has achieved impressive results. We now protect more than 55,000ha of Victoria in partnership with over 1,200 private landowners. The Trust is a not-for-profit conservation organisation that has developed unique ways to permanently protect remnant vegetation on private land. These include voluntary conservation covenants, land purchase, a Revolving Fund and ongoing land stewardship programs. The Trust's model is being adopted and implemented by other conservation organisations across Australia. www.trustfornature.org.au

The revised camp fee regime in Victoria applies since 1 July 2014.

Rises in camping fees at Victorian national parks could be counter-productive, the Warrnambool Bushwalkers group says. Group spokesman Lothar Satzke said some of the big increases, such as the $34 a night charge to camp at the Borough Hut campground near Halls Gap could discourage people from camping and reduce government revenue. 'At $34 a night, it's cheaper to stay at a Youth Hostels Australia (YHA) hostel where I can have a hot shower,' Mr Satzke said. While he understood the $34 a night charge could cover up to six people, it would add up for smaller groups staying more than one night. Mr Satzke said $10 a night camping fees had also been introduced at campsites along the Great South West Walk that had previously been free. '$10 a night is OK but $34 a night is a bit much,' Mr Satzke said. He said the fees hike would cause financial risks for small clubs such as the Warrnambool Bushwalkers. Some camping sites had to be booked well in advance and walk leaders might be unwilling to do so if they had to outlay substantial amounts of money, with the risk that some people might later withdraw from taking part. Mr Satzke said he realised campers had to pay money for the camping facilities but some of the fee increases were too steep. 'We will be thinking twice about the overnight walks we go on and where we stay,' Mr Satzke said.

Parks Victoria said a revised fee structure was implemented from July 1 for camping in 197 of the state's 680 campsites in national, state and other parks and reserves. 'New fees will apply at some sites, where there are already fees for camping in the park and some other areas where fees will be introduced,' Parks Victoria said. Fees vary according to the facilities provided at sites, with those for 'basic/very basic' camp grounds set at $13 a night and those for 'very high' standard facilities at $59.20 a night, covering up to eight people, during peak periods.

According to the Victorian National Parks Camping and Accommodation Fees Regulatory Impact Statement, 'at present, the total annual cost of delivering camping and accommodation facilities and services within Victoria's national and other parks is estimated to average $17.8 million over the next 10 years [2013/4-2023/4 at 2013/4 prices]. However, only $6.5 million is currently collected in revenue from user fees and charges. The estimated shortfall of $11.3 million is neither fair nor sustainable.'

Warrnambool Bushwalker, August 2014

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