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The Director of National Parks

The Director of National Parks is a corporation sole established under Division 5 of Part 19 of the EPBC Act. The corporation has a single Director, the person appointed to the office named the Director of National Parks. The current office holder is Dr James Findlay.

The Director is responsible under Divisions 4 and 5 of Part 15 of the EPBC Act for the administration, management and control of Commonwealth reserves and conservation zones and regulations made for the purposes of those divisions. The functions of the Director as set out in subsection 514B(1) of the EPBC Act are to:

  • administer, manage and control Commonwealth reserves and conservation zones.
  • protect, conserve and manage biodiversity and heritage in Commonwealth reserves and conservation zones.
  • contribute to the protection, conservation and management of biodiversity and heritage in areas outside Commonwealth reserves and conservation zones.
  • cooperate with any country in matters relating to the establishment and management of national parks and nature reserves in that country.
  • provide, and assist in the provision of, training in knowledge and skills relevant to the establishment and management of national parks and nature reserves.

The jointly managed parks, Booderee, Kakadu and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa, are leased to the Director by their Traditional Owners and managed by the Director in conjunction with a Board of Management established under the EPBC Act. The majority of Board members are Indigenous persons nominated by the Traditional Owners. See Chapter 3 - Organisational Structure for details of our current Boards.

The Director of National Parks has delegated all powers and functions under the EPBC Act in relation to the Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Reserve to the Director of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), reflecting the AAD’s continuing role and responsibilities for the management and administration of HIMI as an External Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Non-statutory functions

The Minister and the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the Department) have delegated to the Director functions and powers for programs that complement the Director’s statutory functions. Under these delegations the Director manages the Australian Biological Resources Study and the development of Australian Government policy on management of Australia’s genetic resources, including regulating access to these resources in Commonwealth areas. The outputs of these non-statutory functions are reported in the Department’s annual report.