Parks Chief visits Geelong and surrounds
Parks Victoria’s new Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson, this week toured the You Yangs Regional Park which is on track to re-open in mid-July.
Dr Jackson stopped in to see progress on $1.5M recovery works underway to repair damaged assets, caused by three cumulative flood events that caused the park to close in February.
His visit formed part of a tour spanning from Mt Macedon to Ocean Grove to take a closer look at the park estate of more than 4 million hectares he has been entrusted to manage.
“We have a vitally important job as environmental managers to protect the flora, fauna and cultural heritage in our parks,” said Dr Jackson.
“This is crucial given the rapid urban growth in areas such as Geelong and the outer areas of Melbourne that can place all sorts of pressures on the environment due to an increase in visitor numbers.”
“At the same time we strive to improve the park experience for visitors, and work with a range of Licensed Tour Operators who provide a range of recreational and tourism activities.”
Local rangers are also implementing recovery plans as a result of the flood and fires that significantly impacted Mount Macedon, the Brisbane Ranges and You Yangs over the past eight years, he said.
Dr Jackson visited the Memorial Cross Reserve at Mt Macedon, significant geological sites at Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge and the Brisbane Ranges, and the granite peaks of the You Yangs before taking a step back in time at Steiglitz Historic Park.
The You Yangs is a great place to head with your bikes. There will be bike tracks open soon.
At Serendip Sanctuary in Lara, he heard about Park’s Victoria’s education and threatened species programs before touring ecologically significant Ramsar sites along the Bellarine Peninsula.
“I’m keen to see as many parks as possible in my first year as Chief Executive of Parks Victoria. There’s no substitute for getting out and meeting with the staff and stakeholders that help us do our job in the community.”
Dr Jackson took up his position in January, after holding a number of senior land management and fire management positions. Prior to his new role at Parks Victoria he was the Deputy Director-General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), based in Switzerland, where he has been based for the past 14 years. For more information call 13 1963 or visit www.parks.vic.gov.au.
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