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Consultation mechanisms

Boards of Management

Booderee, Kakadu and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Parks are managed jointly by the Director and Traditional Owners in accordance with the EPBC Act. Each park has a Board of Management established under the EPBC Act, with the chair and majority of members nominated by the local Traditional Owners. The Board memberships also include the Director, Australian Government representatives and members representing stakeholder groups or individuals with particular skills relevant to managing the park. Park managers report to the Board at each meeting. See Chapter 3 for details of Board Members at 30 June 2020.

A primary function of a Commonwealth park Board of Management is to prepare management plans for the park in conjunction with the Director, and to make decisions about management of the park consistent with its management plan. A Board, in conjunction with the Director, is also responsible for monitoring management of the park and advising the Minister on the park’s future development.

Under the EPBC Act and the lease arrangements, Parks Australia employees undertake day-to-day management of the park and liaise about decisions affecting the park with Traditional Owners and key Aboriginal people as advised by local land councils or associations.

Advisory committees

Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and Pulu Keeling National Parks have non-statutory advisory or consultative bodies that include community representatives, scientific experts and representatives of the Director.

Australian Marine Park Advisory Committees support the management of the five marine park networks and the Coral Sea Marine Park. The committees are expertise-based and advise on the implementation of management plans, including the development of programs, and knowledge and needs of Traditional Owners, stakeholders and parks users. The committees meet twice a year to engage with Parks Australia staff on marine park management matters.

Other consultative mechanisms

The EPBC Act requires public consultation take place before the declaration of a Commonwealth park or garden and in the preparation of management plans.

For Commonwealth parks that are Aboriginal owned land, the EPBC Act mandates consultation with, and involvement of, representatives of the Aboriginal landowners about management of the park. The Chair of the relevant land council must be specifically invited to provide comment on the preparation of management plans for jointly managed parks. The Chair must also be consulted, and their views considered in relation to the Director’s performance of their functions and exercise of power in relation to the park.

Additional consultation with Traditional Owners of Booderee, Kakadu and Uluṟu‑Kata Tjuṯa National Parks occurs through cultural advisers, Aboriginal staff, community liaison officers, Aboriginal organisations and consultative committees.

The EPBC Act also requires the Northern Territory Government to be consulted in relation to the performance of the Director’s functions and exercise of powers in relation to Kakadu and
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Parks, and to be invited to comment on the preparation of management plans for those parks.

Tourism industry interests are considered through the tourism consultative committees of the Kakadu and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa Boards of Management and through ad hoc working groups.