The purpose of the Joint Management Plan is to set the strategic direction for the joint management of Barmah National Park and to enable the knowledge and culture of the Yorta Yorta Nation to influence and be recognised in that management. The Joint Management Plan marks an historic step in enabling Yorta Yorta to participate in and share responsibility for the management of an important part of our Country, in partnership with the Victorian Government.

The Plan meets the preparation requirements of the Traditional Owner Land Management Agreement between Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and the Victorian Government. The Draft Joint Management Plan is available for public consideration and submissions. Following the submission period (6 Oct, 2019), all comments will be taken into account in finalising the Joint Management Plan. The final, approved Joint Management Plan will guide the joint management of the National Park for 10 years, with periodic review and updating of the plan after 5 years.

Primary partners in the joint management of Barmah National Park are Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation (YYNAC), Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA)

Key Findings:

  • The right and responsibility to undertake cultural burning is one of the most important priorities for Yorta Yorta, as an expression of cultural practice and as an obligation to keep Country healthy. The past approach to fire management by government agencies has not adequately engaged Yorta Yorta in decision-making or provided opportunities for building and applying skills in burning and general bushfire management.
  • The strategies for more sustainable visitor experiences recognise that the pattern of visitor use in the National Park needs to evolve. This is essential to ensure the park is used sustainably and with respect, to provide the environmental and cultural protections required by national park legislation, and to improve the health of Country that continues to be stressed by climate change and drought.
  • The objectives of joint management under the TOLMA are to establish an equitable partnership between the State of Victoria and Yorta Yorta that benefits the Yorta Yorta people by recognising, valuing, promoting and incorporating their culture and knowledge, skills and decision-making processes.
  • Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) recommends that hunting and use of firearms and harvesting of forest products not be permitted.
  • Average temperatures in and around Barmah National Park have risen by 1.2 to 1.4 degrees Celsius since 1950, and average annual rainfall has fallen by 100 to 200 millimetres in the same period. This warming and drying trend is projected to continue. In a national park context, climate change is best understood as an intensifier of numerous threats and changes rather than a single discrete threat in its own right.
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