An important article was omitted from our recent newsletter. You willhave read our president’s article urging members to write to our politicians over the move to encourage private development in our National Parks. Friends of the Prom have written the very useful letter below to their members and we would urge you to use their arguments together with our own in writing your own letters about our Grampians park.
We hope that everyone who loves Wilsons Promontory National Park (and other Victorian National Parks) will support this campaign by writing to State Members of Parliament (post or Email) expressing opposition to this new policy.
We believe that individual letters are much more effective than “form letters” which people just sign, or petitions – so please compose your own letter in your own words – including some of the points suggested below. Short, sharp letters are best :
1. Salutation :
FOR THE PERSONAL ATTENTION OF
MEMBER FOR ………….. (Electorate name)
(Don’t forget your ‘Upper House’ – Legislative Council members)
2. This policy is wrong in principle :
– I/we are strongly/implacably/completely opposed to commercial development in National Parks.
– community property should not be sold to vested private interests.
– National Parks should be owned and managed by the state on behalf of all Australians.
– the proposed ninety nine year leases give private individuals virtual ownership of public land.
– the people of Victoria (indeed Australia) have owned Wilsons Promontory National Park for more than a century.
– National Parks were reserved to protect significant examples of our natural and cultural heritage.
– Victoria’s parks protect 300 different habitat types and tens of thousands of native species.
– we have just signed an agreement for future management with the traditional owners. Indigenous people have always regarded the land as owned by the community, not by individuals.
– for good reason, less than 1% of the 20,000 national parks world wide have any significant tourism development within them.
– this policy was not a 2010 election promise – the government has no mandate for it.
Note : we have no objection to the commercial provision of services(under Parks Victoria supervision) which do not require lengthy leases over public land.
3. This proposed development is not necessary :
– suggestions that this National Park should be “unlocked” are complete nonsense. The Prom has close to half a million visitors per year, and entry is free.
– there are almost 500 campsites in Tidal River and a wide variety of roofed accommodation.
– in addition, there is a wide variety of commercial accommodation – motels, B & B’s, cabins, outside the park.
– no Victorian National Park is so large that visitors cannot stay nearby (outside the park boundaries) and visit as they wish.
4. Request that your concerns be conveyed/passed on(this will increase the effect of your letter)
– ask that the concerns you have expressed be conveyed/passed on to the Minister for the Environment (Hon. Ryan Smith) and the Premier (Hon. Denis Napthine)
– expect a reply : if you have not received a response within a week, ring the M.Ps office and ask a) Was your letter received ? and b) When may you respect a response ?
– make sure that you include your name, postal address, email address and phone number.
Further information : Victorian National Parks Association website : www.vnpa.org.au
Victorian Parliamentary website : www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members (contact details for Sate M.Ps)