House of Representatives Committees

Managing Australia's World Heritage



Australian Fossil Mammal Sites

The Riversleigh and Naracoorte Fossil Mammal Sites are managed by government agencies in their respective States (the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in South Australia and DEH in Queensland). Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements are still being discussed and developed. The Australian Fossil Mammal Sites Scientific and Management Advisory Committee, comprising scientists, representatives from the relevant Queensland and South Australian land management agencies and Commonwealth officials, has been constituted to provide specialist advice to the Queensland, South Australian and Commonwealth Governments on matters such as the development of management arrangements.

Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Australia)

CERRA properties comprise around 60 separate parcels of land and are managed by government agencies in their respective States (the New South Wales NPWS and the Queensland DEH). Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements include a coordinating Committee which has members from relevant New South Wales, Queensland and Commonwealth agencies. A New South Wales/Commonwealth Ministerial Council considers policy in relation to the New South Wales portion of the property. DEH claimed that:

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is managed by the Queensland DEH. Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements for the property are currently the subject of negotiation between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments. The current management arrangements for the Great Sandy Region, of which Fraser Island is part, include an Interim Board of Management, a Community Advisory Committee and a Scientific Advisory Committee. The Community Advisory Committee represents a wide range of interests, including recreational groups, Aboriginals, conservationists, tour operators, commercial fisherpeople, and the three Island communities. While the two advisory committees meet regularly, the Interim Board has not met for two years.[2]

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef world heritage area is managed jointly by the State and Commonwealth. The GBRMPA is a Commonwealth statutory body with overall responsibility for managing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which covers 95 per cent of the world heritage property. The Queensland DEH assists with the Marine Park's management and also manages those parts of the world heritage property outside the Marine Park. Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements include a Ministerial Council.

Consultative arrangements in place for managing the Marine Park include the following:

The GBRMPA also consults with fisheries industry councils and planning teams, land-use and catchment management groups, educational forums, local government environmental impact assessment groups and State planning teams; and broad public consultation occurs.[3]

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park is managed by ANCA under the auspices of the Kakadu Board of Management. The Board has 14 members including ten nominees of the Aboriginal traditional owners, ANCA's Chief Executive Officer, the regional ANCA executive, an ecologist, and a person with expertise in tourism.

There are a number of lease agreements between ANCA and the Kakadu Land Trust and the Djabulukgu Land Trust. The leases make specific arrangements for consultation with Aboriginal traditional owners of Kakadu National Park. In addition, the Plan of Management makes provision for ANCA to consult with local Aboriginal people and their representative organisations regarding the management and development of the Park, including hunting in the Park. The Plan also requires consultation with the tourism industry, bushwalking groups, airspace users, recreational fishing groups and neighbours. The Kakadu National Park Tourism Consultative Committee, for example, meets quarterly to discuss tourism issues relevant to Kakadu. Furthermore, the Kakadu Park Manager regularly meets with the members of the local community such as business people, representatives of local government and non-government organisations, the Northern Land Council, the Jabiru Town Council, local Aboriginal organisations and the Kakadu Visitor Organisation.[4]

Lord Howe Island Group

Lord Howe Island is managed by the Lord Howe Island Board. The Board consists of the Secretary of the New South Wales Premier's Department, the Director of the NPWS and three Island representatives who are elected every three years. The Board fulfils the role of a local government authority with day-to-day administrative matters handled by an Administrative Officer. One Ministerial Council exists for all New South Wales properties which include Lord Howe Island.

Shark Bay

Shark Bay is managed by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management. Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements are currently being re-negotiated following the change in the State Government but are expected to retain a Ministerial Council and the proposed Advisory Committees.

The Western Australian Government claimed to be committed to community consultation through the following avenues:

The Tasmanian Wilderness

The day-to-day management of the Tasmanian Wilderness is carried out by State Government agencies: the Tasmanian Department of Environment and Land Management through its Parks and Wildlife Service manages 99 per cent of the property while the Tasmanian Forestry Commission manages one per cent.

A Ministerial Council, a Standing Committee and a Consultative Committee are in place. The Ministerial Council comprises two representatives each of the State and Commonwealth Governments. The Standing Committee, which comprises representatives of relevant State and Commonwealth departments, was established to advise the Ministerial Council and oversee policies, programs, funding arrangements and the administration and preparation of management plans.

The Consultative Committee comprises seven members nominated by the State Government, seven nominated by the Commonwealth Government and a Chairperson who is a joint State/Commonwealth appointment. The members come from a range of government departments and interest groups including an archaeologist, a botanist and representatives from local government, the forest industry, conservation groups, recreational groups, the tourism industry and the Aboriginal community. The Committee meets four times a year and advises the Standing Committee and the Ministerial Council.[6]

In addition, a number of advisory committees have been set up in particular areas as required, such as for site plans for Cradle Valley and Melaleuca. Other issues tackled by special committees include horseriding, the walking track strategy, and assessing traditional practices. In most cases these committees report to the Tasmanian Minister for Parks and Wildlife.[7]

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

ANCA, in conjunction with the Park's Anangu owners, has direct responsibility for the management of the Park. Inalienable freehold title to the Park was handed back to the traditional owners on 26 October 1985 and is held by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Land Trust. The Trust has leased the Park to the Commonwealth for 99 years for its continued use as a National Park. A Board of Management was established in April 1986, to manage the Park in conjunction with ANCA's Chief Executive Officer. The Board has an Anangu majority and consists of :

Both the lease and the plan of management emphasise community consultation.

Consultation between ANCA, Anangu and the Mutitjulu Community occurs both formally and informally. Anangu input into the development of park management policy is primarily through the Board of Management. For the implementation of Board policy and day-to-day management matters, the Park Manager consults with the Mutitjulu Community Council. In addition, ANCA has established an Uluru National Park Tourism Consultative Committee which has representatives from regional tourism organisations including the Northern Territory Tourist Commission, the Central Australian Tourist Industry Association, the Ayers Rock Resort Company and other groups.[8]

Wet Tropics of Queensland

The day-to-day management of the Wet Tropics world heritage area is carried out by State Government agencies, under the auspices of a formal intergovernmental agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments. A Ministerial Council provides the platform for equal partnership in overseeing the management of the area. The Queensland Wet Tropics World Heritage Protection and Management Act 1993 and complementary Commonwealth legislation formalise the area's management scheme.

The WTMA is a Queensland statutory authority with the responsibility for managing the world heritage area. The WTMA comprises a Board of five Directors, an Executive Director and staff. The five part-time directors of the Board comprise two appointed by the Queensland Government, two appointed by the Commonwealth Government and a chairperson who is appointed by agreement between the governments. Under Queensland legislation, the WTMA is required to appoint two advisory committees - the Wet Tropics Community Consultative Committee with 16 representatives of the regional community and the Scientific Advisory Committee with eight representatives of the scientific community. The WTMA has endorsed an initiative of the Aboriginal community to establish a cooperative, Bama Wabu, to represent Aboriginal advice to the WTMA. A Tourism Liaison Group facilitates communications between the WTMA, the land managers and the tourism industry.[9]

Willandra Lakes Region

Willandra Lakes is managed by New South Wales Government agencies including the Department of Land and Water Conservation and the NPWS. The Commonwealth/State administrative arrangements include a Ministerial Council, a Community Management Council, and a Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee. Membership of these bodies consist of:


[1] Queensland Government, transcript, 15 November 1995, p 265.

[2] Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, submission (number 78), pp 3-4.

[3] Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, submission (number 59), pp 8-10.

[4] Australian Nature Conservation Agency, submission (number 37), pp 10, 16-21.

[5] Western Australian Government, submission (number 56), p 11.

[6] Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Consultative Committee, submission (number 25), p 1.

[7] Tasmanian Government, submission (number 63), p 8.

[8] Australian Nature Conservation Agency, submission (number 37), pp 6-7, 13,15.

[9] Wet Tropics Management Authority, submission (number 77), p 10-11.

[10] Willandra Landholders Protection Group, submission (number 23), pp 2-3.

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