We have a new Advisory Group. Advertisements asking for expressions of interest went out in April, and the new members were appointed in early June for a three year term. The first meeting of the new group was held last week. There are five returning members, (Rex Beveridge, Kevin Bolwell, Margo Sietsma, Donald Carter, Gil Hopkins), and ten new members ( Bill Weatherly, Cecilia Myers, Faith Hardiman, Ray Zippel, Deb Millard, Dick Gill, Tracey Skinner, Barry Clugston, Lisa McIntyre, Malcolm Matheson). I remain convenor but will probably hand over to one of the new members well before the three years are up.
Much of that first meeting was taken up with introducing ourselves, defining the role of the AG, our terms of reference, how it relates to the Traditional Owner Reference Group currently being formed, and to the Fires Roundtable. Dave gave us a snapshot of the park and how it sits in the Parks Victoria “empire” etc. We had a good discussion of the Grampians Peaks Trail, and how it might impact on the park and decided to prepare a group response, which has now been sent. We also discussed the impact of the new camping fee structure, which the previous AG had had real concerns about and had passed those concerns on to PV management. And Dave flagged that the current management plan (dated 2003) would be coming under review, probably later this year.
The new group is quite varied, a good representation of younger folk, good male/ female balance, quite a wide range of interests, and all quite passionate about how important the Grampians Park is.