Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Victoria’s national parks suffer from funding reductions

Victoria’s national parks suffer from funding reductions
January 5, 2016

Deep budget cuts to Parks Victoria mean that Victoria's national parks are increasingly struggling to cope with feral animals, weeds, fire threats and degraded infrastructure.

The agency’s most recent annual report shows direct funding from the Victorian Government has been reduced by 37% in nominal terms over the past three years, from $122 million in 2011-12 to $76.8 million in 2014-15.

Over the same period, the organisation slashed its spending by more than 16%. Even after adding in cash from trusts and other sources, total income was still down almost 20%, leaving Parks Victoria $6.2 million in the red.

Explaining the reduced spending, the agency’s annual report states “this (reduced spending) was in line with expectations and follows a challenging financial period due to a decline in funding for Parks Victoria's core operations.”

The progressive funding cuts appear to have had a crippling impact, with insiders warning parts of the state are in danger of being overrun by weeds, feral deer, horses, foxes and cats.

According to a Fairfax media report, park managers also say they have been forced to remove badly degraded facilities in less-frequented areas because they no longer have funding for maintenance.

There has also been a cut in the information services provided to visitors, with no cash brochures and maps.

According to a Parks Victoria source quoted by Fairfax media, the organisation has been "running on the smell of an oily rag", with easy efficiency gains long since exhausted. That means budget cuts have hit such areas as road and building maintenance, with a huge backlog.

The funding cuts also appear to have had a major impact on staff morale at Parks Victoria.

A leaked confidential report by the Victorian Public Sector Commission, obtained by Fairfax Media, reveals a faltering performance by the agency, with growing numbers of staff considering their careers and increasing pessimism about the performance of management.

The report, based on a survey of 500 Parks Victoria employees from June this year, found almost six out of 10 staff believed workplace stress was an issue for their wellbeing.

Almost half suggested they had considered leaving, compared with about one-third in 2013, and just 58% said they were confident a grievance would be properly investigated, down from 67% in 2013.

Victorian National Parks Association spokesman Phil Ingamells said the Victorian Government urgently needed to reverse the drop in funding, not only to protect native plants and animals but also to recognise the economic contribution parks made to the state.

Ingamells stated “our parks already more than pay their way.

"They contribute over $1 billion each year through tourism, $330 million in water services and $180 million in avoided health costs."

The current Victorian Government came to power promising to create a "world class" system of national parks with an election platform promising a stronger park management agency answerable to the environment minister, with a bigger focus on managing the environment and protecting plants and animals.

Parks Victoria welcomed a new Chief Executive, Bradley Fauteux, late last year. Fauteux previously managed Ontario Parks and is reportedly working hard to rebuild morale within the organisation.

Lower image shows Wilsons Promontory.

13th November 2015 - PARKS VICTORIA SET TO WELCOME NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE

16th September 2015 - VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO END 99 YEAR TOURISM LEASES IN NATIONAL PARKS

2nd April 2015 - PARKS VICTORIA ENCOURAGES PLANNING FOR EASTER VISITS

12th October 2014 - NEW TOURISM ACTIVITIES IN NATIONAL PARKS THREATENS NATURAL HERITAGE

31st May 2013 - HEALTHY PARKS HEALTHY PEOPLE GRANTS ANNOUNCED


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

AIS Water

AIS Water, the trading name of Australian Innovative Systems, is a multi-award winning, Australian owned leader in the design, production and supply of commercial and residential chlorine generators…

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Technology

 
 

TouchCloud Global

Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Recreation / Safety / Tourism

 
 

Supreme Heating

Supreme Heating is a proud Australian owned company specialising in the latest energy efficient heating solutions. Since 1990, Supreme Heating has designed and installed commercial pool heating…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation

 
 

NOVOFIT

NovoFit is an exciting and dynamic new company born from two of Australia’s leading commercial fitness equipment suppliers. NovoFit combines over 45 years of industry expertise, delivering state…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 

Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

HTS Group Ltd

HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…

read more

Aquatics / Events / Sport / Technology

 
 

HYPOXI Australia Pty Ltd

HYPOXI®  is one of Europe’s most successful health and weight loss studio concepts.  It’s the first weight loss technology to incorporate exercise with advanced vacuum and…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business