- Conservation and Land Management Act now provides joint management of national parks
- Act has created a new single Conservation and Parks Commission
Conservation reserves including national parks can now be jointly vested with traditional owners as a result of legislative amendments passed in State Parliament last month, and due to come into effect in early 2016.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the changes to the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 helped improve management of the State's conservation lands.
Mr Jacob said for the first time, the State Government and native title holders could create jointly vested conservation reserves. The changes also provide for joint vesting of existing reserves.
"These improvements build on the partnerships we already have with many traditional owner groups through joint management agreements, particularly in the Kimberley as part of the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy," he said.
"These legislative changes further recognise traditional owners as partners with Government in both the ownership and management of conservation reserves, including the joint preparation of management plans."
The Minister said the amendments also created a single Conservation and Parks Commission to replace the two vesting authorities; the Marine Parks and Reserves Authority and the Conservation Commission of Western Australia.
"The new authority will be created early next year and will be the vesting body for conservation lands, forests and marine reserves and provide independent advice to government on conservation matters," he said.
"The commission will be able to plan the management of regional parks, where previously there was no legal basis for this, and the Department of Parks and Wildlife can formally manage these ecologically significant areas in co-operation with the landowners.
"The amendments will also reduce red tape and time by allowing minor excisions from State forests and marine parks to be conducted administratively rather than through State Parliamentary approval.
"Another benefit of the changes will be increased flexibility in marine park zoning, allowing some forms of recreational fishing within some zones while restricting others."
- Amendments provide for infringement notice provisions for parking and vessel offences in conservation and marine reserves
- The amendments will come into effect following gazettal; expected in February 2016
- The Conservation and Land Management Amendment Bill 2015 is available at http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/bills.nsf/
Minister's office - 6552 5800