Parks Victoria

Parks Victoria is a statutory body established under the Parks Victoria Act 1998 which provides services to the Victorian State Government (in Australia) and its agencies in the management of parks and reserves and other land in the control of the State.

It is chronically underfunded to do the ecological work it needs to, and chronically top-heavy, limiting funding for work in the field to pitifully small budgets.

Past attempts to address the top-heaviness through restructures have backfired, just making the problem worse.

Most staff at Parks Vic are committed to ecological outcomes, and good people.  But senior management seems to regard the parks as recreational resources first and foremost, and biodiversity assets a distant second.

Visiting the Killawarra section of the Warby-Ovens National Park I finally understood what the explorers meant by saying the forest was like an English Garden.

Did this tree really need to be felled?

On today's walk through Yarra Bend Park (Managed by Parks Victoria) I got hot under the collar.  Once again Parks Vic is busy cutting down indigenous trees in picnic areas because they might drop a branch on unwary picnickers.  Couldn't possibly direct people away from sitting under such trees...  At a number of places managers do this by creating a mulched bed under such trees instead of providing inviting mowed grass.  But it can also be done by fencing.  And... wait a minute... why do people come to the picnic areas?  Isn't it to be in nature?

They were also cutting trees in the wider park.  One I saw seemed to have been a Red Gum, 11 metres from the nearest path, otherwise in the middle of nowhere.  Nearby Elms, full of rot holes, above the car park servicing another picnic area were untouched. And to add to my indignation, they were dumping the cut branches and trunk segments in the nearest bit of bush.  Not carefully arranging them to make habitat, just piling them on the edge.  Right on top, in come cases, of planted Bursarias.

This led me to a long conversation with a Parks Vic staffer who, when I asked how much budget Parks Vic had provided for Yarra Bend Park to do ecological work told me they received zero.  ZERO!