Parks Victoria Report 2012-13

Written on the 12 December 2013

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- I am pleased to rise to speak this afternoon on the Parks Victoria annual report 2012-13.

Mr Barber interjected.

Ms CROZIER -- I do not understand Mr Barber's interjection, but at the outset, I would like to congratulate the board chairman of Parks Victoria, Mr Andrew Fairley, Parks Victoria's board members and its employees, who work throughout our state and do a terrific job. I would like to highlight a number of points in relation to this report. Mr Ryan Smith, the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, has delivered a number of very good initiatives. I would like to highlight those that have been drawn to my attention by this report.

There are a number of issues that relate to the area I represent, the Southern Metropolitan Region, which includes Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra River and a number of spectacular parks we are fortunate to have. It is interesting to note that Parks Victoria manages approximately 18 per cent of Victoria's land and 70 per cent of its coastline, so very significant areas of our coastline and land are managed by Parks Victoria. A number of elements in this report relate to areas outside my electorate.

I would like to draw attention to the Albert Park area, which is a significant park precinct. Its area is around 225 hectares, and as people would know it sits within the electorate of Albert Park and extends from the city fringes right down to St Kilda. It is a very well-utilised parkland and has many good facilities that the community uses on a regular basis. Parks Victoria is looking at creating a master plan to ensure that the community can further use the amenities of the Albert Park Lake precinct.

I would also like to highlight a very good initiative that aims to increase access to parks for people with a disability. The report speaks of Parks Victoria's disability action plan. At page 35 the report states:

"Parks Victoria continued to deliver its objectives as outlined in its disability action plan. Changes in practices, services and infrastructure are designed to improve accessibility and increase inclusiveness for people with disabilities."

This is a great initiative, because the more people who use our parks the better, especially people with a disability, who would gain so much enjoyment from experiencing the many features of our parks and the natural assets we are so fortunate to have.

As I said, we have waterways in the Southern Metropolitan Region, and in relation to the Yarra River I commend the minister, who recently released a document entitled A Cleaner Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay -- A Plan of Action. In that plan of action, the minister highlighted 12 months of achievements.

The plan highlights four main points.

The first point is about clearer, more responsive management. In relation to this point the department has released the Port Phillip Bay algal bloom response protocol and has progressed the development of a new environment management plan for Port Phillip Bay.

The second point is about preventing pollution and reducing litter. In relation to this point, the department will look at working with two bayside councils, which are obviously in the Southern Metropolitan Region.

Mrs Coote, who also represents this region, understands this issue and is working on it very closely with her council. We know how important it is for those councils to have clean waterways in their bayside areas.

The department has commenced work with two bayside councils to determine high-risk sources of pollution impacting on their most popular beaches. The third point is about providing relevant and accessible information. In relation to this point, the department has looked at testing water quality, and obviously that is particularly important over the summer months when our communities are accessing our beaches and want to know about the quality of the water; and the department has worked with the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay plan key partners to progress the delivery of a water quality website, which would provide the community with information on water quality. The fourth point is about supporting community action and looking at ways in which the community can further support parks.

I commend the minister on this initiative, and I commend Parks Victoria for the work it is undertaking throughout the state.

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