A new plan to protect and improve the Prom
Monday 22 May, 2023
Parks Victoria is inviting public input on a new management plan for Wilsons Promontory National Park and its surrounding marine areas.
To be developed with Traditional Owners, and with ideas and information from visitors, community and stakeholders, the plan will outline how this unique area of land and sea should be protected, visited and celebrated for the next 15 years.
Wilsons Promontory National Park is one of Victoria’s most special places – an Aboriginal cultural landscape and dramatic natural environment brimming with native plants and animals. It’s also hugely popular with visitors, with its mountains, forests, beaches and accommodation drawing hundreds of thousands each year.
The park is surrounded by a collection of important marine protected areas. This includes the Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park, which was the first in Australia to receive a Global Ocean Refuge award (now ‘Blue Park Award’) in recognition of its marine biodiversity protection.
Together, this landscape provides essential habitat for native plants and animals, with a geography that offers climate change refuge as temperatures increase.
It’s an Aboriginal cultural landscape and contains physical and intangible heritage. It’s a significant place for the Boonwurrung, Bunurong and Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner groups, which maintain connections to these lands, waters and places.
This major piece of work to deliver a new management plan comes at a time of rising challenges for the Prom – and indeed all of the state’s parks and reserves.
Climate change presents multiple management challenges. The increasing risk and intensity of storms, bushfires and coastal erosion will affect how the Prom’s environment, park infrastructure, cultural heritage places, and emergency responses are managed.
Similarly, increasing visitor numbers and interests requires an updated management approach. The plan will explore how to balance sustainable recreation and access to nature with conservation priorities.
Meanwhile, there are great opportunities to work with Traditional Owners to better identify and protect Aboriginal cultural places and celebrate the landscape’s cultural stories and heritage.
The first stage of community consultation to develop a draft plan will run until 16 July. Across the eight-week stage there will be online and in-person workshops where the community can hear about key management considerations and information about the Prom landscape.
Early ideas and feedback will be gathered, including through an online survey at the Engage Victoria website. Later this year, and then into 2024, these early ideas will be refined and then a draft management plan developed for public feedback.
For further information about the Prom landscape, key issues, and details on the consultation process and how to get involved, visit Engage Victoria: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/wilsons-prom/page/landscape-management-plan
Quotes attributable to Kerri Villiers, Regional Director – Parks Victoria:
“The Prom landscape is one of Victoria’s truly special places. Through this consultation we’ll be discussing how it can be protected, visited and celebrated for future generations.”
“Much loved locally and by visitors far-and-wide, we look forward to discussing the many different challenges, opportunities and views on how to manage this landscape.”
“We’re delighted to be working on this new plan in consultation with the Boonwurrung, Bunurong and Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner groups.”
Wilson's Promontory National Park. Credit: Parks Victoria