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Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This Plan provides for the management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for 2010-2020.
Administered by: Environment and Energy
Registered 08 Jan 2010
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR02-Feb-2010
Tabled Senate02-Feb-2010
Date of repeal 08 Jan 2020
Repealed by s 373 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

 



 

 

 

 

 

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

M A N A G E M E N T   P L A N   2 0 1 0 - 2 0 2 0

 

 

 

Tjukurpa Katutja Ngarantja


© Director of National Parks 2010

ISBN: 978 0 9807460 0 6

This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Director of National Parks. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to:

Director of National Parks
GPO
Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Director of National Parks Australian business number: 13051 694 963

This management plan provides the general public and park users with information about how it is proposed the park will be managed for the next 10 years.

A copy of the plan is available online at environment.gov.au/parks/publications/index.html or by contacting the Community Information Unit, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, by emailing ciu@environment.gov.au or calling 1800 803 772.

Credits

Designer – Papercut

Editor – Elizabeth Hutchings Editing

Indexer – Barry Howarth

Artworks – © Malya Teamay and © Jennifer Taylor

Photographs – Michael Nelson

Maps – Environmental Resources Information Network

Printed by Goanna Print using vegetable based inks on paper manufactured by an ISO 14001 certified mill using 55% recycled fibre (25% post consumer and 30% pre consumer) and FSC Certified pulp, which ensures that all virgin pulp is derived from well-managed forests and controlled sources.

Front Cover:

‘Tjukurpa of Uluru’ © Malya Teamay: The painting depicts the important stories of Uluru. Uluru is represented in the centre of the painting by concentric circles. The different shades of colour surrounding Uluru show the different land and vegetation, which is all Tjukurpa, crossed by these ancestral beings on their journeys to Uluru. The ancestral beings (Tjukuritja) represented in this painting are: Kuniya the Python Woman with her eggs; Liru, the poisonous snake; Kurpany, the doglike creature represented by the pawprints; and Mala the rufous hare-wallaby represented by the wallaby tracks. The footprints and spears represent the warriors of the Warmala revenge party.


Board of Management Vision

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta landscape is and will always be a significant place of knowledge and learning. All the plants, animals, rocks, and waterholes contain important information about life and living here now and for all time.

Anangu grandparents and grandchildren will always gain their knowledge from this landscape. They will live in it in the proper way. This is Tjukurpa.

The special natural and cultural features of this area, which have placed it on the World Heritage List, will be protected. Its importance as a sacred place and a national symbol will be reflected in a high standard of management.

This will be achieved through joint management of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park where Anangu and Piranpa will work together as equals, exchanging knowledge about our different cultural values and processes and their application.

Together we will apply Anangu Tjukurpa and practice and relevant Piranpa knowledge to:

·       keep Tjukurpa strong

·       look after the health of country and community

·       help Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park to become known as a place of learning, knowledge, and understanding about culture, country and custom

·       ensure a strong future for Anangu in the management of the park and ensure Anangu benefit from the existence of the park

·       protect World Heritage natural and cultural environments of the park in harmony with Australian social and economic aspirations.

We would like all visitors and people with an interest in this place to learn about this land from those who have its knowledge. We would like you to respect this knowledge, behave in a proper way, enjoy your visit, and return safely to your homes and families to share the knowledge you have gained.

Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management


Foreword

The Aboriginal traditional owners of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park (Nguraritja) have looked after, and in turn been looked after by, the land for over one thousand generations. Aboriginal use of the land over that time is reflected throughout the Uluru–Kata Tjuta landscape, which is recognised as a World Heritage area of outstanding universal value. Many places in the park are of enormous spiritual and cultural importance to Nguraritja. The park also contains features such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta which have become major symbols of Australia.

Joint management brings together cultural and scientific knowledge and experience, different governance processes, and interweaves two law systems – Piranpa law and Tjukurpa. Working together means learning from each other, respecting each other’s cultures and finding innovative ways to bring together different ways of seeing and interpreting the landscape and its people.

Nguraritja and Parks Australia share decision-making for the management of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. This plan will set out how this cultural landscape and iconic national park will be managed for the next 10 years.

It embraces the challenges, builds on lessons learnt, and above all recognises the good will of the joint management partners to continue the journey together.

Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management

 

 

Acknowledgments

The Director of National Parks and the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management are grateful to the many individuals and organisations who contributed to this management plan. In particular they acknowledge Anangu, Parks Australia staff, the Central Land Council, and the Northern Territory and Australian Government agencies that provided information and assistance or submitted comments that contributed to the development of this management plan.


Contents

Board of Management Vision                                                                            i

Foreword                                                                                                          ii

Acknowledgments                                                                                            ii

A description of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                                     1

Introduction                                                                                                        2

The values of the park                                                                                         2

Cultural values                                                                                                   2

Natural values                                                                                                  11

History of the park                                                                                           12

Establishment of the park                                                                                  14

Joint management                                                                                            14

National and international significance                                                                15

Management Plan for Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                         19

Part 1  Introduction                                                                                         20

1.  Background                                                                                               20

     1.1  Previous management plans                                                                   20

     1.2  Structure of this management plan                                                          20

     1.3  Planning process                                                                                  21

2.  Introductory provisions                                                                              22

     2.1  Short title                                                                                             22

     2.2  Commencement and termination                                                            22

     2.3  Interpretation (including acronyms)                                                          22

     2.4  Legislative context                                                                                 25

     2.5  Purpose, content and matters to be taken into account in a management plan          29

     2.6  IUCN category and zoning                                                                      30

     2.7  Lease agreement                                                                                  30

     2.8  International agreements                                                                        32


Part 2  How the park will be managed                                                             34

3. IUCN category                                                                                            34

     3.1  Assigning the park to an IUCN category                                                  34

4. Joint management                                                                                     36

     4.1  Making decisions and working together                                                   36

     4.2  Nguraritja interests                                                                                43

     4.3  Anangu employment, education and training                                            46

5.  Looking after culture and country                                                              50

     5.1  A cultural landscape                                                                              50

     5.2  Cultural heritage places and material                                                       54

     5.3  The physical landscape                                                                         58

     5.4  Climate change                                                                                     60

     5.5  Surface water and groundwater                                                               62

     5.6  Native plants and animals                                                                      65

     5.7  Weeds and introduced plants                                                                 71

     5.8  Introduced and domestic animals                                                            73

     5.9  Fire management                                                                                  77

6.  Visitor management and park use                                                              81

     6.1  Tourism directions and recreational opportunities                                     81

     6.2  Access and site management                                                                84

     6.3  Visitor activities and experiences                                                            89

     6.4  Visitor information, education and interpretation                                       93

     6.5  Promoting and marketing the park                                                          96

     6.6  Filming, photography and audio recording                                                97

     6.7  Commercial operations                                                                        101

     6.8  Visitor safety                                                                                       104

7.  Stakeholders and partnerships                                                                 106

     7.1  Mutitjulu Community                                                                            106

     7.2  Neighbours, stakeholders and partnerships                                            112

 


8.  Business management                                                                              114

     8.1  Capital works and infrastructure                                                            114

     8.2  Compliance and enforcement                                                                117

     8.3  Incident management                                                                           119

     8.4  Research, monitoring and knowledge management                                 121

     8.5  Assessment of proposals                                                                     126

     8.6  Subleases, licences and associated occupancy issues                          131

     8.7  Resource use in park operations                                                           132

     8.8  New activities not otherwise specified in this plan                                   134

     8.9  Management plan implementation and evaluation                                   135

Appendices

A   Provisions of Lease between Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust               138
     and the Director of National Parks

B   World Heritage attributes of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                           150

C   National Heritage values of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                            153

D   Commonwealth Heritage values of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                  155

E   Key result area outcomes relevant to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park              159

F   EPBC Act listed threatened species of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park region            161

G  EPBC Act listed migratory species occurring in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park  163

H   Management principle schedules in the EPBC Regulations relevant                166
     to
Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

I    Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara words used in the English text of this plan         175

Maps

1   Approximate present day extent of Western Desert language speakers              9

2   Location of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park and distances from major cities        9

3   Aboriginal communities and their proximity to the park                                    10

4   Some Anangu place names at Uluru                                                              57

5   Access to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park – regional map                               87

6   Public vehicle access within Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park                            88

Tables

1   Guide to decision-making                                                                             42

2   Impact assessment procedures                                                                   128

3   Environmental impact assessment matters and considerations                      129

Bibliography                                                                                                 177

Index                                                                                                             178

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Working Together’ painting © Jennifer Taylor: The central circle represents Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The twelve seated figures are the members of the Board of Management: four pairs of male and female Anangu (the brown) and four Piranpa (the white). They have surrounded the park with a yuu, a traditional windbreak. This is the protection that their decisions and policies provide both for the culture and the environment of the park, as well as for park visitors.

Waiting and listening to the Board’s decisions are the Anangu and Piranpa rangers. The Anangu rangers are barefoot, representing their close connection with the land and knowledge derived from thousands of years of looking after the land. The Piranpa rangers wear shoes, representing their land management training and knowledge derived from European scientific traditions.

Surrounding all are two more yuu (windbreaks) representing the protection and support of Tjukurpa (Anangu traditional law) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which are working together to guide and protect the management of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Undulating sand dunes and rich bushland circle the park.


 

 

 

 

 


A description of
Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

 


Introduction

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is part of an extensive Aboriginal cultural landscape that stretches across the Australian continent. The park represents the work of Anangu and nature during thousands of years. Its landscape has been managed using traditional Anangu methods governed by Tjukurpa, Anangu Law.

Within Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is Uluru, arguably the most distinctive landscape symbol of Australia, nationally and internationally. It conveys a powerful sense of the very long time during which the landscape of the Australian continent has evolved. Far from the coastal cities, and with its rich red tones, for some it epitomises the isolation and starkness of Australia’s desert environment. When coupled with the profound spiritual importance of many parts of Uluru to Anangu (Western Desert Aboriginal people, see Map 1), these natural qualities have resulted in the use of Uluru in Australia and elsewhere as the symbolic embodiment of the Australian landscape. As a consequence, Uluru has become the focus of visitors’ attention in the Central Australian region, while other parks offer a complementary range of experiences.

The park is owned by the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust. It covers about 1,325 square kilometres and is 335 kilometres by air and about 470 kilometres by road to the south-west of Alice Springs (see Map 2). The Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara adjoins the park’s northern boundary. Both the park and the resort are surrounded by Aboriginal freehold land held by the Petermann and Katiti Land Trusts (see Map 3).

The values of the park

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is a cultural landscape representing the combined works of Anangu and nature over millennia.

The importance of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park’s cultural landscape is reinforced by the inscription of cultural and natural values for the park on the World Heritage List and also on the Australian Government’s Commonwealth and National Heritage Lists. The listed World Heritage values for the park are described in Appendix B to this plan, National Heritage values in Appendix C and Commonwealth Heritage values in Appendix D.

Cultural values

Anangu is the term that Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal people, from the Western Desert region of Australia, use to refer to themselves. Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara are the two principal dialects spoken in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Aboriginal people and their culture have always been associated with Uluru. According to Anangu, the landscape was created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings. Anangu are the direct descendants of these beings and they are responsible for the protection and appropriate management of these lands. The knowledge necessary to fulfil these responsibilities has been passed down from generation to generation through Tjukurpa, the Law.


Tjukurpa

Ananguku Tjukurpa kunpu pulka alatjitu ngaranyi. Inma pulka ngaranyi munu Tjukurpa pulka ngaranyi ka palula tjana-languru kulini munu uti nganana kunpu mulapa kanyinma. Miil-miilpa ngaranyi munu Ananguku Tjukurpa nyanga pulka mulapa. Tjukurpa panya tjamulu, kamilu, mamalu, ngunytjulu nganananya ungu, kurunpangka munu katangka kanyintjaku.
                                                                                                               © Tony Tjamiwa

There is strong and powerful Aboriginal Law in this Place. There are important songs and stories that we hear from our elders, and we must protect and support this important Law. There are sacred things here, and this sacred Law is very important. It was given to us by our grandfathers and grandmothers, our fathers and mothers, to hold onto in our heads and in our hearts. ©

Tjukurpa unites Anangu with each other and with the landscape. It embodies the principles of religion, philosophy and human behaviour that are to be observed in order to live harmoniously with one another and with the natural landscape. Humans and every aspect of the landscape are inextricably one.

According to Tjukurpa, there was a time when ancestral beings, in the forms of humans, animals and plants, travelled widely across the land and performed remarkable feats of creation and destruction. The journeys of these beings are remembered and celebrated and the record of their activities exists today in the features of the land itself. For Anangu, this record provides an account, and the meaning, of the cosmos for the past and the present. When Anangu speak of the many natural features within Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park their interpretations and explanations are expressed in terms of the activities of particular Tjukurpa beings, rather than by reference to geological or other explanations. Primarily, Anangu have a spiritual interpretation of the park’s landscape. In traditional terms, therefore, they speak of the park’s spiritual meaning, not just of the shape its surface features take.

Tjukurpa prescribes the nature of the relationships between those responsible for the maintenance of Tjukurpa and the associated landscape, their obligations, and the obligations of those who visit that land. The central attributes of these relationships are integrity, respect, honesty, trust, sharing, learning, and working together as equals.

In all interactions with visitors to their land, Anangu stress the need for:

Tjurkulytju kulintjaku kuranyu nguru pinangku munu utira ngukunytja tjura titutjaraku witira kanyintjikitjaku kututungku kulira.
                                                                                                         
© Tony Tjamiwa

Clear listening, which starts with the ears, then moves to the mind, and ultimately settles in the heart as knowledge. ©

Tjukurpa is the foundation of Anangu life. It encompasses:

·           Anangu religion, law and moral systems

·           the past, the present and the future

·           the creation period when ancestral beings, Tjukaritja/Waparitja, created the world as it is now

·           the relationship between people, plants, animals and the physical features of the land

·           the knowledge of how these relationships came to be, what they mean, and how they must be maintained in daily life and in ceremony.


Tjukurpa is also the foundation of joint management for the park. Anangu consider that, to care properly for the park, Tjukurpa must come first. Their description of what this means in practice is:

·           passing on knowledge to young men and women

·           learning to find water and bush food

·           travelling around country

·           learning about, collecting and using bush medicines

·           visiting sacred sites

·           visiting family in other communities

·           watching country and making sure Tjukurpa is observed

·           remembering the past

·           thinking about the future

·           keeping visitors safe – keeping women away from men’s sites and keeping men away from women’s sites

·           teaching visitors how to observe and respect Tjukurpa

·           teaching park staff and other Piranpa how to observe Tjukurpa

·           bringing up children strong and caring for children

·           growing country by doing the right things, for example, hunting at the right times of the year and not at wrong times or in the wrong way

·           keeping Anangu men and women safe

·           making country alive, for example, through stories, ceremony and song

·           keeping the Mutitjulu Community private and safe

·           putting the roads and park facilities in proper places so that sacred places are safeguarded

·           cleaning and protecting rock waterholes inside and outside the park

·           collecting bush foods and seeds

·           old men teaching stories, young boys and men learning stories

·           old women teaching stories, young girls and women learning stories

·           looking after country, for example, traditional burning

·           hunting food to feed young children and old people.

Cultural landscape

Nintiringkula kamila tjamula tjanalanguru. Wirurala nintiringu munula watarkurinytja wiya. Nintiringkula tjilpi munu pampa nguraritja tjutanguru, munula rawangku tjukurpa kututungka munu katangka kanyilku. Ngura nyangakula ninti – nganana ninti.
                                                                                                       
© Barbara Tjikatu

We learnt from our grandmothers and grandfathers and their generation. We learnt well and we have not forgotten. We’ve learnt from the old people of this place, and we’ll always keep the Tjukurpa in our hearts and minds. We know this place – we are ninti, knowledgeable. ©


As a cultural landscape representing the combined works of nature and Anangu and manifesting the interaction of humankind and its natural environment, the landscape of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is in large part the outcome of millennia of management using traditional Anangu methods governed by Tjukurpa.

Anangu’s knowledge of sustainable land use derives from a detailed body of ecological knowledge which includes a classification of ecological zones. This knowledge continues to contribute significantly to ecological research and management of the park. Anangu landscape management followed a traditional regime of fire management, and temporary water resources were husbanded by cleaning and protecting soaks and rockholes; Anangu landscape management methods are now integral to management of the park.

There are numerous specific sites of significance to Anangu in the park, and most of them are at or close to Uluru and Kata Tjuta. The significance of the sites is the way they are interconnected by the iwara (tracks) of the ancestral beings. Management of the landscape today is governed by Tjukurpa established by these beings. There are many hundreds of painting sites around the base of Uluru, generally associated with rock shelters. While there are fewer art sites at Kata Tjuta, there are stone arrangements and rock engravings. There are also numbers of known past habitation sites in the park. The park thus contains significant physical evidence of one of the oldest continuous cultures in the world.

Tjukurpa as a guide to management

Tjukurpa and looking after country

Manta atunymananyi, kuka tjuta atunymananyi munu mai tjuta atunymananyi. Kaltja atunymananyi munu Tjukurpa kulu-kulu. Park atunymananyi. Kumuniti atunymananyi.
                                                                                                            
© Judy Trigger

Looking after land. Looking after animals, and bush tucker. Looking after culture and Tjukurpa. Looking after park. Looking after community. ©

The area of Tjukurpa that relates to ecological responsibility is what Anangu usually refer to as ‘looking after country’. Caring for the land is an essential part of ‘keeping the Law straight’. From this area of Tjukurpa Anangu learn their rights and responsibilities in relation to sites within country, other people who are related to the land in the same way, and the ancestral beings with whom sites and tracks are associated. This is also where Anangu learn about the formal responsibilities of caring for the land. Creations that derive from Tjukurpa are not confined to geological features such as rock faces, boulders and waterfalls. Plants and animals derive from the creative period of Tjukurpa. Much of what Piranpa would call biological or ecological knowledge about the behaviour and distribution of plants and animals is considered by Anangu to be knowledge of Tjukurpa.

Such knowledge commonly forms part of the content of the stories about the ancestral beings’ activities and is taught in association with exploitation of food resources. Thus, whilst travelling the land to gather and hunt for food, Anangu learn how such activities are related to a unified scheme of life that stretches from the beginning of all things to the present. Tjukurpa also refers to the record of all activities of ancestral beings, from the beginning to the end of their travels.


With few exceptions, Tjukurpa within the park is part of much wider travels of ancestral beings. The relationship of the park area with other areas is traceable by sites along the tracks of ancestral beings on their way to or from Uluru or Kata Tjuta, thus making the park an important focus of many converging ancestral tracks.

Around Uluru, for instance, there are many examples of ancestral sites. The Mala Tjukurpa tells of mala (the rufous hare-wallaby, Lagorchestes hirsutus) that travelled to Uluru from the north. Subsequently mala fled to the south and south-east (into South Australia) as they attempted to escape from Kurpany, an evil dog-like creature that had been specifically created and sent from Kikingkura (close to the Western Australian border). It is important that planning in the park take into account the Anangu perception that, through these links, areas in the park derive their meaning from, and contribute meaning to, places outside the park. Links with other places form an integral part of the way in which Anangu ‘map’ the park’s landscape, which in turn has implications for their decisions about areas in the park and the strong relationships they wish to maintain with the entire Western Desert area.

The location of homelands in Anangu lands bordering the park has been heavily influenced by such landscape ‘mapping’. The homelands also reinforce the social connections and ritual obligations among Nguraritja. Taken together, they mean a responsibility for looking after country. Thus the homelands are integral to the Tjukurpa of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Anangu have used landscape ‘maps’ for many management purposes during the operation of previous plans. This knowledge has assisted with the location of park developments, identifying animal and plant colonies, and interpreting landscape features for visitors to the park. The Liru and Mala Walks, in particular, were constructed on the basis of landscape ‘maps’ derived from Tjukurpa.

Tjukurpa and Anangu cultural heritage

Anangu have lived in and maintained the landscape and Tjukurpa at Uluru and Kata Tjuta for many thousands of years. The story of this occupation and land use can be reconstructed from archaeological deposits, from the rock art and engravings Anangu created to depict events from Tjukurpa and their own lives, and from the personal histories of people living in the park today. Anangu history is an important part of the park’s cultural significance and is worthy of record and preservation. Preservation of rock art is a core aspect of park management and the park has an ongoing oral history program.

Tjukurpa and social responsibility

Iriti Anangu walytja-piti tjuta ninti nyinangi, panya yaaltji-yaaltji wirura tjukaruru nyinanytjaku. Yangupala tjutanya tjilpingku munu pampangku nintipungkupai ka mamangku munu ngunytjungku wirura maingka tjitji kanyilpai. Kuwari nganana park atunymananyi munula nyanga alatji ngarantjaku mukuringanyi.
                                                                                                          
© Pulya Taylor

In the old way families knew how to behave and live well. The young were taught by the old and the parents provided for them all. Now we have the park to look after and we want it to work in this way. ©

 


Like any body of law, Tjukurpa is the source of rules of appropriate behaviour that relate people to other people and people to the land. The first area of appropriate behaviour deals with day-to-day things such as protocol, the relationship between men and women, marriage, child rearing, and the relationships between the old and the young and between various other categories of kin. From earliest times, throughout the entire Western Desert area, Anangu have been able to establish through kinship or family ties their social relationships with other people so as to be able to use kin terms comfortably. They then deal with each other as family (walytja), even if they have never before met. This is how Anangu are able to refer to themselves as ‘one people’. These structured relationships carry intricate economic, social and religious rights and responsibilities. One of the advantages of such social organisation is that it supports cooperative strategies for movement over the land and for exploitation of the land’s resources, even by people who cannot be constantly in contact with one another.

Employment arrangements for Anangu working in the park take into account social and religious obligations by allowing for considerable flexibility in work hours. Where Anangu have been required to go away for several weeks at a time for religious ceremonies or to honour other social or family responsibilities, Parks Australia has been able to adapt work requirements so as not to disadvantage Anangu and not to affect overall park management responsibilities. The park was closed for three hours in 1987 to allow the unobserved transit through the park of Anangu who were engaged in ceremonial activity. Since this time parts of the park have sometimes been closed for ceremonial reasons. These closures are effected in a way that minimises disruption to visitors.

Park staff receive instruction in aspects of social behaviour that affect Anangu work practices. This includes avoidance relationships (kin not permitted to talk to or look at each other), the appropriate type of work for men and women, and the precedence of old people over the young in decision-making. These aspects of social behaviour are taken into account in the development of work programs.

Tjukurpa: managing visitors and maintaining the Law

Wangkanytjaku iwara patu-patu wirura tjunkunytjaku minga tjutaku munu alatjinku ngura Tjukuritja tjuta wirura anga kanyintjaku munu minga tjuta safe kanyintjaku.
                                                                                                     
© Millie Okai

Talk about the proper place to put the roads for visitors and safeguard sacred areas and keep visitors safe. ©

For Anangu, an essential part of ‘keeping the Law straight’ involves ensuring that knowledge is not imparted to the wrong people and that access to significant or sacred sites is not gained by the wrong people, whether ‘wrong’ means men or women, Piranpa visitors, or certain other Anangu.

It is as much a part of Anangu religious responsibility to care for this information properly as it is for other religions to care for their sacred precincts and relics. The same holds true for sites and locations on ancestral tracks where events that are not for public knowledge took place. Neither knowledge of nor access to such sites is permissible under Anangu Law. Even inadvertent access to some sites constitutes sacrilege. Special management measures have been taken to help Anangu continue protecting Tjukurpa whilst allowing visitors to enjoy


the park. One of the main objectives of the park’s interpretive strategy is to enhance visitors’ knowledge and appreciation of what constitutes culturally appropriate behaviour as part of the experience of visiting a jointly managed national park.

Policies and regulations in relation to visitor management have been developed in such a way as to emphasise Anangu perceptions of appropriate visitor behaviour. Of particular importance are policies and guidelines developed by the Board of Management for commercial filming and photography and the fencing off of certain areas around the base of Uluru, to ensure visitors do not inadvertently contravene Tjukurpa restrictions.

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre has greatly increased opportunities for visitors to learn
about Tjukurpa,
Anangu culture and the park. Within the bounds of appropriate access, Tjukurpa provides a basis for most of the interpretation of the park to visitors. Anangu want visitors to understand how they interpret this landscape. Tjukurpa contains information about the landscape features, the ecology, the plants and animals, and appropriate use of areas of the park. Tjukurpa has been passed down through the generations and can be shared with visitors. In addition, Anangu believe that visitors’ understanding of the park can be enhanced by providing information about how Anangu use the park’s resources and the history of their use of these resources.


Map 1 – Approximate present day extent of Western Desert language speakers

 

 

Map 2 – Location of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park and distances by air from major cities

 


Map 3 – Aboriginal communities and their proximity to the park

 


Natural values

The park’s landscape is dominated by the iconic massifs of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Uluru is made from sedimentary rock called arkose sandstone. It is 9.4 kilometres in circumference and rises about 340 metres above the surrounding plain. Kata Tjuta comprises 36 rock domes of varying sizes made from a sedimentary rock called conglomerate. One of the domes, rising about 500 metres above the plain (or 1,066 metres above sea level), is the highest feature in the park. These two geological features are striking examples of geological processes and erosion occurring over time and of the age of the Australian continent. The contrast of these monoliths with the surrounding sandplains creates a landscape of exceptional natural beauty of symbolic importance to both Anangu and non-Aboriginal cultures. The Uluru and Kata Tjuta massifs, rocky slopes and foothills contribute to the park’s high biodiversity. The many other patterns and structures in the landscape reflect the region’s evolutionary history and give important clues about limitations on resource use and management (Gillen et al. 2000).

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta landscape is a representative cross-section of the Central Australian arid ecosystems. The main ecological zones in the park are:

·           puli – rock faces and vegetated hill slopes

·           puti – woodlands, particularly the mulga flats between sandhills

·           tali and pila – sand dunes and sandplains

·           karu – creek beds.

The park has a particularly rich and diverse suite of arid environment species, most of which are unique to Australia. The park supports populations of a number of relict and endemic species associated with the unique landforms and habitats of the monoliths. Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide runoff water which finds its way into moist gorges and drainage lines where isolated populations persist in an environment otherwise characterised by infertile and dry dunefields. In addition, an exceptionally high species diversity is associated with the transitional sandplain that lies between the mulga outwash zone around the monoliths and the dunefields beyond.

Across the park’s ecological zones 619 plant species have been recorded, among them seven rare or endangered species, which are generally restricted to the moist areas at the bases of Uluru and the domes of Kata Tjuta. These include five relict species – Stylidium inaequipealum, Parietaria debilis, Ophioglossum lusitanicum subsp. coriaceum, Isoetes muelleri and Triglochin calcitrapum. In addition, the main occurrence of the sandhill wattle Acacia ammobia is just east of Uluru. The park’s flora represents a large portion of plants found in Central Australia.

A total of 26 native mammal species, including several species of small marsupials and native rodents and bats, have been recorded in the park. These include the recently reintroduced mala. Reptile species are found in numbers unparalleled anywhere in the world and are well adapted to the arid environment; 74 species have been recorded to date, including a newly described species in 2006. As well, 176 native bird species, four amphibian species and many invertebrate species have been recorded. An unusually diverse fauna assemblage occurs in an area extending north from Uluru to the west of Yulara town site and west to the Sedimentaries.


The legless-lizard Delma pax is represented by an apparently relict population at Uluru. The great desert skink (Egernia kintorei) is known from the transitional sandplain in the park. The scorpion Cercophonius squama, a temperate species, occurs at Mutitjulu on the southern margin of Uluru. Several relict plants are confined to moist gorges at Uluru and Kata Tjuta: Stylidium inaequipetalum, Parietaria debilis, Ophioglossum lusitanicum coriaceum, Isoetes muelleri, and Triglochin calcitrapum. The grass Eriachne scleranthoides is confined to Kata Tjuta and one other location.

There are significant populations of the southern marsupial mole (Notoryctes typhlops), the striated grasswren (Amytornis striatus), the rufous-crowned emu-wren (Stipiturus ruficeps), the scarlet-chested parrot (Neophema splendida), the grey honeyeater (Conopophila whitei), the desert mouse (Pseudomys desertor), and a skink Ctenotus septenarius.

Bioregional significance

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is located in the Greater Sandy Desert bioregion which includes parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. This bioregion has less than five per cent of its total area within protected areas – the park is one of only five reserves and plays a significant role in contributing to long-term biodiversity conservation in the region. Within the bioregion, the park is representative of a broad landform structure that is a recurring pattern in arid Central Australia (Gillen et al. 2000).

History of the park

During the 1870s expedition parties headed by explorers Ernest Giles and William Gosse were the first Europeans to visit the area. As part of the colonisation process, Uluru was named ‘Ayers Rock’ and Kata Tjuta ‘The Olgas’ by these explorers in honour of political figures of the day. Further explorations quickly followed with the aim of establishing the area’s potential for pastoral expansion. It was soon concluded that the area was unsuitable for pastoralism. Few Europeans visited over the following decades, apart from small numbers of mineral prospectors, surveyors and scientists.

In the 1920s the Commonwealth, South Australian and Western Australian Governments declared the great central reserves, including the area that is now the park, as sanctuaries for a nomadic people who had virtually no contact with white people. Despite this initiative, small parties of prospectors continued to visit the area and from 1936 were joined by the first tourists. A number of the oldest people now living at Uluru can recall meetings and incidents associated with white visitors during this period. Some of that contact was violent and engendered a fear of white authority. From the 1940s the two main reasons for permanent and substantial European settlement in the region were Aboriginal welfare policy and the promotion of tourism at Uluru. These two endeavours, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in conflict, have determined the relationships between Europeans and Anangu.


In 1948 the first vehicular track to Uluru was constructed, responding to increasing tourism interest in the region. Tour bus services began in the early 1950s and later an airstrip, several motels and a camping ground were built at the base of Uluru. In 1958, in response to pressures to support tourism enterprises, the area that is now the park was excised from the Petermann Aboriginal Reserve to be managed by the Northern Territory Reserves Board as the Ayers Rock–Mount Olga National Park. The first ranger was the legendary Central Australian figure Bill Harney.

Post-war assimilation policies assumed that Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people had begun a rapid and irreversible transition into mainstream Australian society and would give up their nomadic lifestyle, moving to specific Aboriginal settlements developed by welfare authorities for this purpose. Further, with increasing tourism development in the area from the late 1950s, Anangu were discouraged from visiting the park. However, Anangu continued to travel widely over their homelands, pursuing ceremonial life, visiting kin, and hunting and collecting food. The semi-permanent water available at Uluru made it a particularly important stopping point on the western route of these journeys.

By the early 1970s Anangu found their traditional country unprecedentedly accessible with roads, motor cars, radio communications and an extended network of settlements. At a time of major change in government policies, new approaches to welfare policies promoting economic self-sufficiency for Aboriginal people began to conflict with the then prevailing park management policies. The Ininti Store was established in 1972 as an Aboriginal enterprise on a lease within the park offering supplies and services to tourists; this became the nucleus of a permanent Anangu community within the park.

The ad hoc development of tourism infrastructure adjacent to the base of Uluru that began in the 1950s soon produced adverse environmental impacts. It was decided in the early 1970s to remove all accommodation related tourist facilities and re-establish them outside the park. In 1975 a reservation of 104 square kilometres of land beyond the park’s northern boundary, 15 kilometres from Uluru, was approved for the development of a tourist facility and an associated airport, to be known as Yulara. The campground within the park was closed in 1983 and the motels finally closed in late 1984, coinciding with the opening of the Yulara resort.

Confusion about representation of Anangu in decision-making associated with the relocation of facilities to Yulara led to decisions being made which were adverse to Anangu interests. It was not until passage of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Land Rights Act) and the subsequent establishment of the Central Land Council that Anangu began to influence the ways in which their views were represented to government.


Establishment of the park

On 24 May 1977 the park became the first area declared under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 (NPWC Act), under the name Uluru (Ayers Rock–Mount Olga) National Park. The NPWC Act was replaced by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in 2000; the declaration of the park continues under the EPBC Act. The park was declared over an area of 132,550 hectares and included the subsoil to a depth of 1,000 metres. The declaration was amended on 21 October 1985 to include an additional area of 16 hectares. The Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission (the successor to the Northern Territory Reserves Board) continued with day-to-day management. During this period Anangu indicated their interest in the park and its management, including requesting protective fencing of sacred sites and permission for houses to be built for older people to camp at Uluru to teach young people.

In February 1979 a claim was lodged under the Land Rights Act by the Central Land Council (on behalf of the traditional owners) for an area of land that included the park. The Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Mr Justice Toohey, found there were traditional owners for the park but that the park could not be claimed as it had ceased to be unalienated Crown land upon its proclamation in 1977. The claimed land to the north-east of the park is now Aboriginal land held by the Katiti Aboriginal Land Trust.

At a major ceremony at the park on 26 October 1985, the Governor-General formally granted title to the park to the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust. The inaugural Board of Management was gazetted on 10 December 1985 and held its first meeting on 22 April 1986. In 1993, at the request of Anangu and the Board of Management, the park’s official name was changed to its present name, Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Because of continuing opposition from the then Northern Territory Government to the new management arrangements for the park, the situation whereby the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory carried out day-to-day management on behalf of the Director became untenable. During 1986 the arrangements that had been in place since 1977 were terminated, and staff of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, now Parks Australia within the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, have carried out day-to-day management since that time.

Joint management

Joint management is the term used to describe the working partnership between Nguraritja and relevant Aboriginal people and the Director of National Parks as lessee of the park. Joint management is based on Aboriginal title to the land, which is supported by a legal framework laid out in the EPBC Act.


National and international significance

How Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is significant internationally

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is inscribed on the World Heritage List under the World Heritage Convention for its outstanding natural and cultural values. The first listing was declared for the park’s natural values in 1987 and the second listing was declared in 1994 for the park’s cultural values. Uluru is one of the few sites that are listed under the World Heritage Convention for both cultural and natural values. At the time of preparing this plan, the park is one of only 25 World Heritage sites listed for both its natural and cultural heritage. Appendix B to this plan summarises the park’s listing against the World Heritage criteria.

The independent International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which assessed the cultural values of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park for the World Heritage Council, gave international recognition of:

·           Tjukurpa as a religious philosophy linking Anangu to their environment

·           Anangu culture as an integral part of the landscape

·           Anangu understanding of and interaction with the landscape.

In 1995 the Director and the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management were awarded the Picasso Gold Medal, the highest award given by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), for outstanding efforts to preserve the landscape and Anangu culture and for setting new international standards for World Heritage management.

The park is representative of one of the most significant arid land ecosystems in the world. As a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme, it joins 13 other biosphere reserves in Australia and an international network aiming to preserve the world’s major ecosystem types.

Numerous migratory species that occur in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park are protected under international agreements such as the Bonn Convention for conserving migratory species, and Australia’s migratory bird protection agreements with China (CAMBA), Japan (JAMBA) and Korea (ROKAMBA). Appendix G to this plan lists the migratory species that occur in the park.

How Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is significant nationally

Heritage status

The park is listed on the National Heritage List for its Indigenous cultural heritage and for its natural heritage. At the time of preparation of this plan, the National Heritage List values are the same as the World Heritage values.

 


Conservation

The national park status and effective conservation management of Uluru–Kata Tjuta contribute significantly towards meeting the objectives of a number of Australian national conservation strategies. These include the following:

·       National Reserve System
The National Reserve System represents the collective efforts of the states, territories, the Australian Government, non-government organisations and Indigenous landholders to achieve an Australian system of terrestrial protected areas as a major contribution to the conservation of Australia’s native biodiversity. Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park makes a significant contribution to the National Reserve System, which aims to contain samples of all regional ecosystems across Australia, their constituent biota and associated conservation values, in accordance with the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia.

The park is located in the
Great Sandy Desert bioregion and is one of five protected areas in the bioregion, which together comprise less than 5 per cent of the bioregion’s total area. The sub-region (GSD2) in which the park is located has only 5.2 per cent of its total area in protected areas.

·       National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity and the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development
Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park contributes to these strategies’ objectives of having a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of protected areas. The park contributes to the objectives of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’s Biological Diversity by conserving biological diversity in situ, integrating biological diversity conservation and natural resource management, managing threatening processes, improving knowledge of biological diversity and involving the community in biodiversity conservation.

Economic considerations

Tourism is a major export industry in Australia and is actively promoted by governments at all levels. Along with other places of natural beauty in Australia such as Kakadu National Park and the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru has become a major tourism attraction for overseas visitors.

Joint management

Nguraritja mayatja tjutangku munu park mayatja tjutangku tjungungku wangkara rule tjuta palyanu munu tjakultjunanyi yaaltji-yaaltji Piranpa ranger tjuta wirura tjungu Anangu-wanu munu kumuniti-wanu warkaringkunytjaku.
                                                                                                       
© Topsy Tjulyata

Nguraritja and park leaders talked together and made rules and they explain how the non-Anangu rangers can work well in cooperation with Anangu and through the Community. ©

The park was one of the first jointly managed parks in Australia. Protected area and land management authorities and groups of Indigenous people interested in joint management from within Australia and overseas regularly visit the park to better understand how joint management arrangements operate.


How Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is significant regionally

Cultural considerations

Park-angka unngu munu park-angka urilta Tjukurpa palunyatu ngaranyi kutjupa wiya. Ngura miil-miilpa tjuta park –angka ngaranyi – uwankara kutju ngaranyi, Tjukurpangka.
                                                                                                       
© Tony Tjamiwa

It is one Tjukurpa inside the park and outside the park, not different. There are many sacred places in the park that are part of the whole cultural landscape–one line. Everything is one Tjukurpa. ©

It is an expressed view of Nguraritja that this management plan should acknowledge the links, through Tjukurpa, between the park and adjoining lands in the region. These links have direct implications for the practice and maintenance of Tjukurpa associated with the park.

Conservation

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park includes habitats not well represented in other protected areas in Central Australia. Other parks in the Central Australian region generally cover hill, mountain range or riverine country and are managed under relevant Northern Territory and state legislation.

The park is listed on the Commonwealth Heritage List for its Indigenous cultural heritage and for its natural heritage.

Several species in the park have conservation status in the Northern Territory – there are six Northern Territory listed vulnerable animal species, one endangered mammal species and two endangered plant species.

Economic considerations

The Central Australian community supports a number of tour operators and others who derive a significant proportion of their income from visitors to the park. Tourism is central to the regional economy, particularly in terms of employment, and it is important that tourism development in the park is compatible with other plans for regional development. The standard of visitor facilities that Parks Australia develops and maintains in the park greatly influences the quality of tourists’ experience of the region.


 

‘Looking After Uluru’ © Malya Teamay: The painting depicts the main features of the management plan, clockwise from top left: the Tjukurpa of Uluru; a map of the park showing Uluru and Kata Tjuta–inside the park’s boundary sits the Board of Management with Anangu and Piranpa Board Members working together to look after the park; the interpretation of the park’s values, and education about the park; administration and law enforcement; natural and cultural resource management; the Mutitjulu Community; and park infrastructure including bores, roads and telecommunications; the different coloured background shows that Tjukurpa is everywhere, both inside and outside the park.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management Plan for

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

 


Part 1 – Introduction

1.         Background

Part 1 of the plan sets out the context in which this 5th Plan was prepared. It describes previous plans and the network of legislative requirements, lease agreements and international agreements which underpin the content of the plan.

1.1       Previous management plans

This is the 5th Management Plan for Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. The 4th Plan came into operation on 13 September 2000 and ceased to have effect on 28 June 2007.

1.2       Structure of this management plan

The structure of this plan reflects the Parks Australia Strategic Planning and Performance Assessment Framework, a set of priorities based on Australian Government policy and legislative requirements for the protected area estate that is the responsibility of the Director of National Parks.

The outcomes in the plan are developed against the following Key Result Areas (KRAs) reflected in the Strategic Planning and Performance Assessment Framework:

KRA 1: Natural heritage management (see Section 5 of the plan)

KRA 2: Cultural heritage management (see Section 5)

KRA 3: Joint management (see Section 4)

KRA 4: Visitor management and park use (see Section 6)

KRA 5: Stakeholders and partnerships (see Section 7)

KRA 6: Business management (see Section 8).

Appendix E details outcomes for the KRAs, which are also used to structure the State of the Parks report in the Director of National Parks’ Annual Report to the Australian Parliament.


1.3       Planning process

Section 366 of the EPBC Act requires that the Director of National Parks and the Board of Management (if any) for a Commonwealth reserve prepare management plans for the reserve. In addition to seeking comments from members of the public, the relevant land council and the relevant state or territory government, the Director and the Board are required to take into account the interests of the traditional owners of land in the reserve and of any other Indigenous persons interested in the reserve.

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management resolved that consultations be undertaken with Anangu to seek comments on issues related to the management of the park. These meetings covered a range of park management issues including decision-making procedures; natural and cultural resource management; visitor management and park use and Anangu employment. A number of Board meetings were also conducted to enable the Board to consider the draft management plan and submissions received from members of the public.

Other stakeholder groups and individuals that were consulted during the preparation of this management plan include:

·       tourism industry representatives, scientists, photography interest groups, representatives from Australian Government and Northern Territory Government agencies, and local community organisations

·       the Central Land Council

·       Parks Australia staff.

 


2.     Introductory provisions

2.1       Short title

This management plan may be cited as the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Management Plan or the Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park Management Plan.

2.2       Commencement and termination

This management plan will come into operation following approval by the Minister under s.370 of the EPBC Act, on a date specified by the Minister or the date it is registered under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, and will cease to have effect 10 years after commencement, unless revoked sooner or replaced with a new plan.

2.3       Interpretation (including acronyms)

In this management plan:

Aboriginal means a person who is a member of the Aboriginal race of Australia

Aboriginal land means

(a)   land held by an Aboriginal Land Trust for an estate in fee simple under the Land Rights Act; or

(b)   land that is the subject of a deed of grant held in escrow by an Aboriginal Land Council under the Land Rights Act.

Aboriginal tradition means the body of traditions, observances, customs and beliefs of Aboriginals generally or of a particular group of Aboriginals and includes those traditions, observances, customs and beliefs as applied in relation to particular persons, sites, areas of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park, things and relationships

Anangu means an Aboriginal person or people generally (and more specifically those Aboriginal people with traditional affiliations with this region)

Australian Government means the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia

BFC means the Bushfires Council established by the Bushfires Act (NT)

Board of Management or Board means the Board of Management for Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park established under the NPWC Act and continued under the EPBC Act by the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999

CAMBA means the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Protection of Migratory Birds and their Environment, informally known as the China–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement

CLC or Land Council means the Central Land Council established under the Land Rights Act

Commonwealth reserve means a reserve established under Division 4 of Part 15 of the EPBC Act

Community means the Mutitjulu Community

CSMS means the Cultural Site Management System


Director means the Director of National Parks under s.514A of the EPBC Act, and includes Parks Australia and any person to whom the Director has delegated powers and functions under the EPBC Act in relation to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

Domestic animal means an animal that is non-native to the local region, including a dog which is part dingo (Canis lupus dingo), which is owned by and/or has a dependent relationship with a person or persons

EPBC Act means the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, including Regulations under the Act, and includes reference to any Act amending, repealing or replacing the EPBC Act

EPBC Regulations means the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 and includes reference to any Regulations amending, repealing or replacing the EPBC Regulations

Feral animal means a member of a domesticated species that has escaped the ownership, management and control of people and is living and reproducing in the wild

Gazette means the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette

GIS means geographic information system

ICIP means Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property

ICOMOS means the International Council on Monuments and Sites

Introduced species or animal means a species that is non-native to the local region which has been introduced to the park either by human or natural means. For the purposes of this plan, species that were once native to the region and have been reintroduced are excluded

IUCN means the International Union for Conservation of Nature

JAMBA means the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Japan for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment, informally known as the Japan–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement

Land Rights Act means the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976

Land Trust means the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust established under the Land Rights Act

Lease or Park Lease means the lease agreement between the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust and the Director in respect of the park, shown as Attachment A to this plan

Management plan or plan means this management plan for the park, unless otherwise stated

Management principles means the Australian IUCN reserve management principles set out in Schedule 8 of the EPBC Regulations (see Section 3 and Appendix H of this plan)

MCAC means the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation

Minister means the Minister administering the EPBC Act

Nguraritja means the traditional Aboriginal owners of the park


NPWC Act means the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 and the Regulations under that Act

NT means the Northern Territory of Australia

NTFRS means the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service

OHS means occupational health and safety

Park means Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

Parks Australia means the Director of National Parks and the agency that assists the Director in performing the Director’s functions under the EPBC Act. At the time of preparing the plan, the agency assisting the Director is the Parks Australia Division of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Pest means any animal, plant or organism having, or with the potential to have, an adverse economic, environmental or social impact

Piranpa means non-Aboriginal people (literally white)

Ramsar Convention means the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat

Relevant Aboriginals means the traditional Aboriginal owners of the park, Aboriginal people entitled to use or occupy the park and Aboriginal people permitted by the traditional Aboriginal owners (Nguraritja) to reside in the park

Relevant Aboriginal Association means the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation or any other incorporated Aboriginal association or group whose members live in or are relevant Aboriginals in relation to the park which is the successor to the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation and which is approved as such in writing by the Central Land Council

ROKAMBA means the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Korea on the Protection Of Migratory Birds, informally known as the Republic of Korea–Australia Migratory Bird Agreement

Traditional owners means the traditional Aboriginal owners as defined in the Land Rights Act (see also Nguraritja)

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park means the area declared as a national park by that name under the NPWC Act and continued under the EPBC Act by the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999

UHF means ultra-high frequency

UNESCO means the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

World Heritage Convention means the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

 


2.4       Legislative context

Land Rights Act and the Park Lease

All of the park is Aboriginal land under the Land Rights Act with title held by the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust. The Land Trust has leased its land to the Director in accordance with the Land Rights Act for the purpose of being managed as a Commonwealth reserve.

EPBC Act

Objects of the Act

The objects of the EPBC Act as set out in Part 1 of the Act are:

(a)   to provide for the protection of the environment, especially those aspects of the environment that are matters of national environmental significance; and

(b)   to promote ecologically sustainable development through the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources; and

(c)   to promote the conservation of biodiversity; and

(ca)   to provide for the protection and conservation of heritage; and

(d)   to promote a co-operative approach to the protection and management of the environment involving governments, the community, land-holders and Indigenous peoples; and

(e)   to assist in the co-operative implementation of Australia’s international environmental responsibilities; and

(f)    to recognise the role of Indigenous people in the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of Australia’s biodiversity; and

(g)   to promote the use of Indigenous people’s knowledge of biodiversity with the involvement of, and in cooperation with, the owners of the knowledge.

Establishment of the park

The park was declared under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 (NPWC Act) which was replaced by the EPBC Act in July 2000. The park continues as a Commonwealth reserve under the EPBC Act pursuant to the Environmental Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 1999, which deems the park to have been declared for the following purposes:

·           the preservation of the area in its natural condition

·           the encouragement and regulation of the appropriate use, appreciation and enjoyment of the area by the public.

Director of National Parks

The Director is a corporation under the EPBC Act (s.514A) and a Commonwealth authority for the purposes of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. The corporation is controlled by the person appointed by the Governor-General to the office that is also called the Director of National Parks (s.514F of the EPBC Act).

 


The functions of the Director (s.514B) include the administration, management and control of the park. The Director generally has power to do all things necessary or convenient for performing the Director’s functions (s.514C). The Director has a number of specified powers under the EPBC Act and EPBC Regulations, including to prohibit or control some activities, and to issue permits for activities that are otherwise prohibited. The Director performs functions and exercises powers in accordance with this plan and relevant decisions of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management.

Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management was established under the NPWC Act in 1985 and continues under the EPBC Act. A majority of Board members must be Indigenous persons nominated by the traditional Aboriginal owners of land in the park. The functions of the Board under s.376 of the EPBC Act are:

·       to make decisions relating to the management of the park that are consistent with the management plan in operation for the park; and

·       in conjunction with the Director, to:

-           prepare management plans for the park; and

-           monitor the management of the park; and

-           advise the Minister on all aspects of the future development of the park.

Management plans

The EPBC Act requires the Board, in conjunction with the Director, to prepare management plans for the park. When prepared, a plan is given to the Minister for approval. A management plan is a ‘legislative instrument’ for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 and must be registered under that Act. Following registration the plan is tabled in each House of the Commonwealth Parliament and may be disallowed by either House on a motion moved within 15 sitting days of the House after tabling.

A management plan for a Commonwealth reserve has effect for 10 years, subject to being revoked or amended earlier by another management plan for the reserve.

See Section 2.5 in relation to EPBC Act requirements for a management plan.

Control of actions in Commonwealth reserves

The EPBC Act (ss.354 and 354A) prohibits certain actions being taken in Commonwealth reserves except in accordance with a management plan. These actions are:

·       kill, injure, take, trade, keep or move a member of a native species; or

·       damage heritage; or

·       carry on an excavation; or

·       erect a building or other structure; or

·       carry out works; or

·       take an action for commercial purposes.

These prohibitions, and other provisions of the EPBC Act and Regulations dealing with activities in Commonwealth reserves, do not prevent Aboriginal people from continuing their traditional


use of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park for hunting or gathering (except for purposes of sale) or for ceremonial and religious purposes (s.359A).

The EPBC Act also does not affect the operation of s.211 of the Native Title Act 1993, which provides that holders of native title rights covering certain activities do not need authorisation required by other laws to engage in those activities (s.8 EPBC Act).

Mining operations are prohibited in Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park by the EPBC Act (ss.355 and 355A) except when authorised under a management plan.

The EPBC Regulations control, or allow the Director to control, a range of activities in Commonwealth reserves, such as camping, use of vehicles, littering, commercial activities, and research. The Director applies the Regulations subject to and in accordance with the EPBC Act and management plans. The Regulations do not apply to the Director or to wardens or rangers appointed under the EPBC Act. Activities that are prohibited or restricted by the EPBC Regulations may be carried on if they are authorised by a permit issued by the Director and/or they are carried on in accordance with a management plan or if another exception prescribed by r.12.06(1) of the Regulations applies.

Access to biological resources in Commonwealth areas is regulated under Part 8A of the EPBC Regulations. Access to biological resources is also covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act if the resources are members of a native species and/or if access is for commercial purposes. Access is covered by r.12.10 of the EPBC Regulations if it is in the course of scientific research; in that case access must be in accordance with a management plan.

Environmental impact assessment

Actions that are likely to have a significant impact on ‘matters of national environmental significance’ are subject to the referral, assessment and approval provisions of Chapters 2 to 4 of the EPBC Act (irrespective of where the action is taken).

At the time of preparing this plan, the matters of national environmental significance identified in the EPBC Act relevant to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park are:

·       World Heritage properties

·       National Heritage places

·       nationally listed threatened species and ecological communities

·       listed migratory species.

In the case of World Heritage and National Heritage places, the matter of national environmental significance protected under the EPBC Act is the listed World Heritage and the listed National Heritage values of the properties and places.

The referral, assessment and approval provisions also apply to actions on Commonwealth land that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment and to actions taken outside Commonwealth land that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment on Commonwealth land. The park is Commonwealth land for the purposes of the EPBC Act. Places on the Commonwealth Heritage List are defined as forming part of the environment for the purposes of the EPBC Act. In this case, the listed Commonwealth Heritage List values are the matter protected.


Responsibility for compliance with the assessment and approvals provisions of the EPBC Act lies with persons taking relevant ‘controlled’ actions. A person proposing to take an action that the person thinks may be or is a controlled action should refer the proposal to the Minister for the Minister’s decision whether or not the action is a controlled action. The Director of National Parks may also refer proposed actions to the Minister.

Wildlife protection

The EPBC Act also contains provisions (Part 13) that prohibit or regulate actions in relation to listed threatened species and ecological communities, listed migratory species, cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and listed marine species. Appendix F to this plan identifies species in the park that are listed as threatened under the EPBC Act and Northern Territory legislation, and Appendix G identifies migratory species that are listed under the EPBC Act and under international conventions, treaties and agreements at the time of preparing this plan.

Heritage protection

As noted above, the listed World Heritage, National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage values of the park are protected under the EPBC Act.

Sections 313 to 324 of the EPBC Act provide for the protection of World Heritage properties, including the protection of values and the requirements for management, including the preparation of management plans. As required by the Act, Australia’s obligations in relation to the park under the World Heritage Convention have been taken into account in preparation of this management plan for the park.

In addition to the protection provided to the park by the EPBC Act as a World Heritage property, the park is listed on both the National Heritage List and the Commonwealth Heritage List under the EPBC Act.

In terms of National and Commonwealth Heritage listed places, the EPBC Act heritage protection provisions (ss.324A to 324ZC and ss.341A to 341ZH) relevantly provide:

·       for the establishment and maintenance of a National Heritage List and a Commonwealth Heritage List, criteria and values for inclusion of places in either list and management principles for places that are included in the two lists

·       that Commonwealth agencies must not take an action that is likely to have an adverse impact on the heritage values of a place included in either list unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative to taking the action, and all measures that can reasonably be taken to mitigate the impact of the action on those values are taken

·       that Commonwealth agencies that own or control places must:

i.    make a written plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth Heritage values of each of its Commonwealth Heritage places;

ii.   prepare a written heritage strategy for managing those places to protect and conserve their Commonwealth Heritage values, addressing any matters required by the EPBC Regulations, and consistent with the Commonwealth Heritage management principles; and

iii.  identify Commonwealth Heritage values for each place, and produce a register that sets out the Commonwealth Heritage values (if any) for each place (and do so within the time frame set out in their heritage statements).


The prescriptions within this management plan are consistent with World Heritage, National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage management principles and other relevant obligations under the EPBC Act for protecting and conserving the heritage values for which the park has been listed.

Penalties

Civil and criminal penalties may be imposed for breaches of the EPBC Act.

2.5     Purpose, content and matters to be taken into account in a
management plan

The purpose of this management plan is to describe the philosophy and direction of management for the park for the next 10 years in accordance with the EPBC Act. The plan enables management to proceed in an orderly way; it helps reconcile competing interests and identifies priorities for the allocation of available resources.

Under s.367(1) of the EPBC Act, a management plan for a Commonwealth reserve (in this case, the park) must provide for the protection and conservation of the reserve. In particular, a management plan must:

(a)   assign the reserve to an IUCN protected area category (whether or not a Proclamation has assigned the reserve or a zone of the reserve to that IUCN category); and

(b)   state how the reserve, or each zone of the reserve, is to be managed; and

(c)   state how the natural features of the reserve, or of each zone of the reserve, are to be protected and conserved; and

(d)   if the Director holds land or seabed included in the reserve under lease—be consistent with the Director’s obligations under the lease; and

(e)   specify any limitation or prohibition on the exercise of a power, or performance of a function, under the EPBC Act in or in relation to the reserve; and

(f)    specify any mining operation, major excavation or other work that may be carried on in the reserve, and the conditions under which it may be carried on; and

(g)   specify any other operation or activity that may be carried on in the reserve; and

(h)   indicate generally the activities that are to be prohibited or regulated in the reserve, and the means of prohibiting or regulating them; and

(i)    indicate how the plan takes account of Australia’s obligations under each agreement with one or more other countries that is relevant to the reserve (including the World Heritage Convention and the Ramsar Convention, if appropriate); and

(j)    if the reserve includes a National Heritage place:

(i)  not be inconsistent with the National Heritage management principles; and

(ii) address the matters prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of paragraph 324S(4)(a); and

(k)   if the reserve includes a Commonwealth Heritage place:

(i)  not be inconsistent with the Commonwealth Heritage management principles; and

(i)  address the matters prescribed by regulations made for the purposes of paragraph 341S(4)(a).


In preparing a management plan the EPBC Act (s.368) also requires account to be taken of various matters. In respect to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park these matters include:

·       the regulation of the use of the park for the purpose for which it was declared

·       the interests of:

-        the traditional owners of the park

-        any other Indigenous persons interested in the park

-        any person who has a usage right relating to land, sea or seabed in the park that existed (or is derived from a usage right that existed) immediately before the park was declared

·       the protection of the special features of the park, including objects and sites of biological, historical, palaeontological, archaeological, geological and geographical interest

·       the protection, conservation and management of biodiversity and heritage within the park

·       the protection of the park against damage

·       Australia’s obligations under agreements between Australia and one or more other countries relevant to the protection and conservation of biodiversity and heritage.

2.6       IUCN category and zoning

In addition to assigning a Commonwealth reserve to an IUCN protected area category, a management plan may divide a Commonwealth reserve into zones and assign each zone to an IUCN category. The category to which a zone is assigned may differ from the category to which the reserve is assigned (s.367(2)).

The provisions of a management plan must not be inconsistent with the management principles for the IUCN category to which the reserve or a zone of the reserve is assigned (s.367(3)). See Section 3 for information on Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park’s IUCN category.

2.7       Lease agreement

The park is owned by the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust (representing Ngurarita) and leased to the Director of National Parks as a national park. The Lease expires on 25 October 2084. With the exception of the term, the provisions of the Lease may be reviewed by the Land Trust, the Central Land Council and the Director every five years, or at any agreed time. Five years before the Lease expires the Land Trust and the Director will negotiate for its renewal or extension. The Land Trust and the Director may agree in writing to terminate the Lease at any time.

If any legislation enacted in connection with the park is inconsistent with the Lease and substantially detrimental to the Land Trust or to ‘relevant Aboriginals’ in terms of the park’s administration, management or control, the Lease is deemed to be breached. Such action may lead to termination of the Lease on 18 months’ notice being given by the Land Trust, subject to an obligation to negotiate bona fide with a view to a new lease being granted.

Under the Lease the following rights of ‘relevant Aboriginals’ are reserved, subject to the directions or decisions of the Board and any such reasonable constraints mentioned within the management plan:


·       the right to enter, use and occupy the park in accordance with Aboriginal tradition

·       the right to continue to use the park for hunting and food gathering and for ceremonial and religious purposes

·       the right to reside in the park in the vicinity of the present Mutitjulu Community or at other locations as may be specified in the management plan.

The Director’s responsibilities under the Lease include:

·       at the request of the Land Trust, sub-letting any reasonable part of the park to the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) or other relevant Aboriginal association that replaces the corporation provided the sublease is in accordance with the EPBC Act, the Land Rights Act and the management plan

·       paying rent to the Central Land Council on behalf of the Land Trust. (At the time of preparing this plan the rent is $150,000 per year, indexed from May 1990, plus an amount equal to 25 per cent of park revenue)

·       complying with the EPBC Act and Regulations, other laws and the plan and managing the park in accordance with world best practice

·       promoting and protecting the interests of ‘relevant Aboriginals’ and their Aboriginal traditions and areas of significance and promoting Aboriginal administration, management and control of the park

·       promoting the employment and training of ‘relevant Aboriginals’

·       promoting understanding of and respect for Aboriginal traditions, languages, cultures, customs and skills

·       consulting the Central Land Council and the relevant Aboriginal association (currently MCAC) about management of the park

·       encouraging Aboriginal business and commercial enterprises

·       providing funding to MCAC to employ a community liaison officer

·       providing maintenance of roads and other facilities

·       implementing a licensing scheme for tour operators

·       properly collecting and auditing entrance fees and other charges

·       funding the administration of the Board of Management

·       maintaining specified staffing arrangements

·       restricting public access to areas of the park for the purpose of Aboriginal use of these areas

·       assisting the Central Land Council in identifying and recording sacred sites in the park

·       exchanging research information with the Central Land Council.

The full provisions of the Lease at the time of preparing this plan are at Appendix A.


2.8       International agreements

This management plan must take account of Australia’s obligations under relevant international agreements. The following agreements are relevant to the park and are taken into account in this management plan.

World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention is an international agreement which encourages countries to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage which has outstanding universal value. The convention aims to define and conserve the world’s most outstanding heritage places by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding universal value should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through cooperation among nations. Parties to the Convention undertake to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit to future generations the World Heritage sites on their territory.

Australia was one of the first countries in the world to ratify the convention, which came into force in 1975. At the time of preparing this plan, the park is one of only 25 World Heritage sites listed for both its natural and cultural heritage.

The listing of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape provides international recognition of Tjukurpa as a major religious philosophy which links Anangu to their environment. Appendix B summarises the park’s World Heritage criteria and attributes.

In 1995 the Director and the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Board of Management were awarded the Picasso Gold Medal, UNESCO’s highest award, for outstanding efforts to preserve the landscape and Anangu culture and for setting new international standards for World Heritage management.

CAMBA

CAMBA provides for China and Australia to cooperate in the protection of migratory birds listed in the annex to the agreement and their environment, and requires each country to take appropriate measures to preserve and enhance the environment of migratory birds. Thirteen species listed under this agreement occur in the park.

JAMBA

JAMBA provides for Japan and Australia to cooperate in taking measures for the management and protection of migratory birds, birds in danger of extinction, and the management and protection of their environments, and requires each country to take appropriate measures to preserve and enhance the environment of birds protected under the provisions of the agreement. Fourteen species listed under this agreement occur in the park.

ROKAMBA

ROKAMBA provides for the Republic of Korea and Australia to cooperate in taking measures for the management and protection of migratory birds and their habitat by providing a forum for the exchange of information, support for training activities and collaboration on migratory bird research and monitoring activities. Twelve species listed under this agreement occur in the park.


Bonn Convention

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. Parties to this convention work together to conserve migratory species and their habitats. Eleven species listed under this convention occur in the park.

Species that are listed under the above migratory agreements and conventions are listed species under Part 13 of the EPBC Act. Appendix G to this management plan describes listed migratory species found in the park.

UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme

In January 1977 Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park was accepted as a biosphere reserve under the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme, an international network of biosphere reserves that aims to protect and preserve examples of the world’s major ecosystem types.

 


Part 2 – How the park will be managed

3.         IUCN category

3.1       Assigning the park to an IUCN category

Our aim

The park is managed in accordance with a designated IUCN protected area category and relevant management principles.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Degree of compliance of management with the relevant Australian IUCN reserve management principles.

Background

Nganana National park tjukarurungku atunymankupai.
                                                                                                       
© Tony Tjamiwa
We are protecting this national park according to our Law. ©

As noted in Section 2.6, the EPBC Act requires this management plan to assign the park to an IUCN category. The EPBC Regulations prescribe the management principles for each IUCN category. The category to which the park is assigned is guided by the purposes for which the park was declared (see Section 2.4, Legislative context). The purposes for which Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park was declared are consistent with the characteristics for IUCN protected area category II ‘national park’.

What we are going to do

Policy

3.1.1     The park is assigned to IUCN protected area category II ‘national park’ and will be managed in accordance with the management principles set down in Schedule 8 of the EPBC Regulations and listed in Appendix H:

-        Natural and scenic areas of national and international significance should be protected for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational or tourist purposes.

-        Representative examples of physiographic regions, biotic communities, genetic resources, and native species should be perpetuated in as natural a state as possible to provide ecological stability and diversity.

-        Visitor use should be managed for inspirational, educational, cultural and recreational purposes at a level that will maintain the reserve or zone in a natural or near natural state.

-        Management should seek to ensure that exploitation or occupation inconsistent with these principles does not occur.


-        Respect should be maintained for the ecological, geomorphologic, sacred and aesthetic attributes for which the reserve or zone was assigned to this category.

-        The needs of Indigenous people should be taken into account, including subsistence resource use, to the extent that they do not conflict with these principles.

-        The aspirations of traditional owners of land within the reserve or zone, their continuing land management practices, the protection and maintenance of cultural heritage and the benefit the traditional owners derive from enterprises established in the reserve or zone, consistent with these principles, should be recognised and taken into account.


4.         Joint management

Joint management is Nguraritja and Parks Australia working together, consulting and sharing decision-making to manage the park. Joint management is based on mutual trust and respect, working together as equals, and sharing knowledge. At the heart of joint management for Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is the commitment to look after country and culture by keeping Tjukurpa strong and meeting obligations under Piranpa law. Joint management also aims to ensure visitors have the best opportunity to enjoy, share in and appreciate the park and Anangu culture.

4.1       Making decisions and working together

Our aim

The park is managed to the highest standards for protection of natural and cultural values and provision of quality visitor experiences and for Nguraritja to meet their obligations to country and satisfy their aspirations for benefits from land ownership. Parks Australia and Nguraritja will work together to make shared and informed, consistent, transparent and accountable decisions.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which natural and cultural values are conserved by maintaining abundance and distribution of significant species and ongoing protection of cultural values.

·       Percentage of visitors who give positive feedback about their experience.

·       Level of increase in the number of Anangu who are employed directly or indirectly within the park.

·       Extent to which the Board feels that obligations to country are being met.

·       Extent of opportunities provided for intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills related to maintaining the cultural landscape.

·       Level of Board satisfaction that the Director and Nguraritja are working together to make shared and informed, consistent, transparent and accountable decisions.

Background

Law Kutjaraku ngaranyi tjunguringkunytjaku munu pula ara tjutangka wirura ngaranytjaku. Law kutjara watalpi tjunguringu munulta kuwari ngaranyi kunpuntjaku kutju. Mara Kutjara tjunguringkula pulkara kunpungku witini.
                                                                                               
© Tony Tjamiwa

There are two laws to be joined and both sets of law need to be properly respected. The two laws have been brought together already and now only the bond needs to be strengthened - like two interlocking hands really strongly held together. ©

The Director of National Parks and Nguraritja have entered into an agreement to jointly manage the park. Joint management is based on Aboriginal title to the land through the Land Rights Act and on the Lease between the Director and the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust, which


contains conditions about matters that should be addressed in the management of the park. Joint management is supported by a legal framework laid out in the EPBC Act, which requires the establishment of a Board of Management with a Nguraritja representative majority and the development of a management plan.

Successful joint management is based on a partnership of trust and commitment. At Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park joint management involves bringing together cultural and scientific knowledge and experience, working with different governance processes, and interweaving two law systems – Tjukurpa and Piranpa law. Making this work requires Nguraritja and Piranpa to learn together, learn from each other, respect each other’s culture and bring together the different approaches.

At the core of shared decision-making is the shared commitment to looking after country and culture by keeping Tjukurpa strong and meeting obligations under the EPBC Act and other Piranpa laws.

To manage the park, decisions must be made about a wide range of matters at many levels. The Director and Nguraritja share decision-making and consult relevant stakeholders, in accordance with the prescriptions (policies and actions) in this plan.

Joint management involves a range of partnerships – the Board of Management, Joint Management Partnership Team, Parks Australia and Anangu working together in day-to-day management, and Consultative Committees to advise the Board.

Board of Management

The Board of Management makes high level policy and strategic decisions about park management, and a majority of Board members must be nominated by Nguraritja. The functions of the Board under s.376 of the EPBC Act are:

·       to make decisions relating to the management of the park that are consistent with the management plan in operation for the park

·       in conjunction with the Director, to:

-        prepare management plans for the park

-        monitor the management of the park

-        advise the Minister on all aspects of the future development of the park.

Director of National Parks

Under the EBPC Act the Director is responsible for the administration, management and control of the park, as well as the protection of biodiversity and heritage. The EPBC Act and Regulations provide the Director with specific powers to undertake these functions, including the power to determine park entry and use charges, control certain activities and issue permits. The Director must carry out these functions and use these powers in accordance with this plan and consistent with decisions of the Board that give effect to the plan.

The Director also has obligations under the Lease agreement to protect the interests and culture of Nguraritja. Together with the EPBC Act, the Lease is a key document for guiding decision-making, and the EPBC Act requires this plan to be consistent with the Director’s Lease obligations. The full provisions of the Lease at the time of making this plan are at Appendix A.


The Park Manager makes day-to-day management decisions and exercises powers on behalf of the Director in accordance with this plan, Board decisions, the EPBC Act and other legislation.

Central Land Council and Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust

The Central Land Council is established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. As the representative of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust, the Central Land Council plays an important role in the joint management of the park by assisting and representing the interests of Nguraritja, both within the park and in surrounding communities. The Central Land Council also helps ensure that the provisions of the Lease are upheld. Its functions under the Land Rights Act for the Central Land Council region include:

·       ascertaining and expressing the wishes and opinions of Aboriginal people in the region about the management of their land and legislation about their land

·       protecting the interests of traditional Aboriginal owners and other Aboriginal people interested in Aboriginal land

·       assisting Aboriginal people to protect sacred sites

·       consulting with traditional Aboriginal owners of, and other Aboriginal people interested in Aboriginal land in the region, about proposals for the use of that land

·       assisting Aboriginal people to carry out commercial activities

·       supervise and assist Land Trusts that hold title to Aboriginal land in the region.

Under the Lease, the Central Land Council represents the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust and has specific functions–for example; negotiating lease conditions, receiving and distributing rent and other payments, being consulted in relation to the administration, management and control of the park; and providing a mechanism whereby the Director can consult with relevant Aboriginals and work in conjunction with Nguraritja in keeping with the requirements of the Park Lease and the management plan.

Under the EPBC Act and the Lease the Director is required to consult the Central Land Council about park management generally and in relation to preparation of management plans in particular.

The Central Land Council contributes to the development, implementation and monitoring of management plans in specific ways, including:

·       providing a staff member with suitable expertise to observe and advise at all Board of Management meetings

·       providing a staff member as a participant in planning forums in the park

·       providing staff and resources to facilitate Anangu participation in park affairs

·       ascertaining the views of Nguraritja and reporting regularly on consultations with ‘relevant Aboriginals’ regarding looking after country and culture, park employment, interpretation , developments, permit applications and other park use proposals

·       monitoring the implementation of the management plan.

 


Community Liaison Officer

In accordance with the Lease conditions, the Director provides funding for the position of Community Liaison Officer, whose role is to liaise between the Mutitjulu Community and Parks Australia about management activities and present Mutitjulu Community views to the Board.

Joint Management Partnership Team

The Joint Management Partnership Team was established to help progress successful joint management of the park and discuss relevant Mutitjulu Community issues. At the time of preparing this plan, it comprises the Central Land Council Joint Management Officer, Community Liaison Officer, Board Secretary and Park Manager.

In addition to formal processes to assist joint management, park staff consult and make shared decisions with Nguraritja on a range of day-to-day management issues under guidelines developed by the Board in collaboration with the Central Land Council.

Board Consultative Committees

There are three Consultative Committees to assist the Board in making decisions: Tourism; Film and Photography; and Cultural Heritage and Scientific. These committees are created and operate under terms of reference determined by the Board and provide:

·       regional representation and expertise to enhance understanding and cooperation between organisations with regional interests

·       sounding boards for proposals, developments and problems related to the park

·       a means of ensuring that the opinions of interested parties and experts are considered by the Board and Parks Australia, so that decision-making is well informed

·       arrangements for exchanging views and maintaining good working relationships between stakeholders and the joint management partners.

The committees comprise Nguraritja representatives, Parks Australia staff, Central Land Council representative, and experts in relevant fields.

Issues

·       It is important that everyone understands the roles and responsibilities of all the joint management partners.

·       Consultation and decision-making processes need to be clear and consistently followed. Proper consultation and engagement of Nguraritja is the core of maintenance of Tjukurpa for the park.

·       The ongoing management challenge, and opportunity, is managing the park in accordance with the EPBC Act, Lease agreement and Tjukurpa.

·       There is an opportunity to help others learn about joint management.

·       To help facilitate joint management, management activities need to be undertaken in culturally appropriate ways; there is a requirement for all to be sensitive to and have understanding of social complexities, and to accommodate these in day-to-day management.

·       The Lease requires that there is effective liaison with all relevant Aboriginals, not only residents of Mutitjulu.


What we are going to do

Policies

4.1.1     The following principles will guide joint management of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park:

-        trust and mutual respect

-        Anangu and Piranpa working together as equals and sharing knowledge

-        respecting Tjukurpa

-        everyone having a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of all joint management partners

-        speaking honestly, openly and with compassion to one another.

4.1.2     The Board and the Director acknowledge the importance of maintaining Tjukurpa through:

-        appropriately consulting with Nguraritja in decision-making processes (see Table 1), giving high priority to Nguraritja responsibility for looking after country and maintaining the cultural landscape

-        continuing to engage senior Nguraritja as traditional consultants to set work directions and facilitate the intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills to maintain the cultural landscape

-        providing opportunities for involvement of younger Nguraritja in park management activities

-        ensuring that presentation of the park aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of relevant management directions in maintaining Tjukurpa.

4.1.3     The Board and Director will continue to work through the park’s joint management partnerships to increase the effectiveness of the management arrangements.

4.1.4                 Decision-making will be consistent with:

-        the EPBC Act and other relevant legislation

-        IUCN protected area category II ‘national park’, and applicable management principles for that category, as prescribed by Section 3 of this plan

-        the Director’s obligations under the Lease

-        the decision-making and consultation processes shown in Table 1.

4.1.5     Consultation with Nguraritja will be in accordance with consultation protocols determined by the Board and agreed with the Central Land Council.

4.1.6     The Director will provide the Board with the resources reasonably necessary for it to carry out its functions under the EPBC Act, and all members of the Board will continue to receive training in their legal and policy roles and responsibilities.

4.1.7     Joint management activities will be undertaken in ways that assist Anangu participation, for example, holding meetings at appropriate locations and providing interpreters where required.

4.1.8     Within operational constraints, staff participation in appropriate activities, such as cultural activities, will be facilitated to further support joint management.

4.1.9                 Where stakeholders’ interests will be affected they will, as far as practicable:

-        be consulted in a timely and structured way


-        have their views taken into account

-        be provided with the reasons for decisions.

4.1.10    The following Consultative Committees, established by and operating under terms of reference determined by the Board, will continue with their roles until otherwise determined by the Board:

(a)    Tourism Consultative Committee, established to consult with the tourism industry and to provide advice to the Board on:

Ø         tourism and visitor services

Ø         appropriate planning and infrastructure for tourism

Ø         tourism development proposals

Ø         appropriate marketing of the park

Ø         planning and coordination of tourism-related research and data collection

Ø         management of commercial tourism activities in the park.

(b)    Cultural Heritage and Scientific Consultative Committee, established to provide advice to the Board on:

Ø         engaging relevant senior Anangu in making key decisions relevant to science and cultural heritage management

Ø         programs of work for cultural and natural heritage management

Ø         monitoring and evaluation of cultural and natural heritage work

Ø         links between cultural heritage matters inside and outside the park.

(c)    Film and Photography Consultative Committee, established to provide advice to the Board on:

Ø         film and photography issues relating to the park

Ø         recommendations relating to permit applications

Ø         improved communication between Anangu, park staff, film makers, photographers and the tourism industry

Ø         identifying issues of concern such as breaches of the EPBC Act.

4.1.11    The Employment, Education and Training Committee will continue. The Committee will comprise two Board representatives and will provide support and guidance on Anangu employment and training in park management.

Actions

4.1.12      In conjunction with the Central Land Council, finalise the park’s consultation policy to ensure that Nguraritja are appropriately consulted on a range of park management matters and that decisions are properly recorded.

4.1.13    Deliver training as appropriate including:

-        cross-cultural awareness training at appropriate levels for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff

-        governance training (legal and policy) for Board of Management members

-        training to promote the understanding of joint management principles and to develop support for these principles through staff leadership and example.


Table 1 – Guide to decision-making

Category

Example

Decision-making process and consultation requirements

Routine actions

 

 

Actions that have no impact, or no more than a negligible impact, on the park’s environment and natural and cultural values; on the interests of Nguraritja, community members and/or stakeholders; and/or on visitor use or changes to existing facilities and services in the park

·      Minor capital works e.g. maintenance, replacement, repair or improvement of existing infrastructure in its present form

·      Regular/routine ongoing operations to implement prescriptions in this plan e.g. patrols, weed control, fire management

·      Minor new operations to implement prescriptions in this plan

·      Issuing permits for regular activities in accordance with this plan e.g. commercial activities and research

·      Process accords with management plan policies, actions and procedures and the park’s Manual of Procedures

·      Nguraritja, community members and/or stakeholders are consulted where necessary and in accordance with Board/CLC consultation guidelines

·      Decision is made by appropriate officer

Non-routine actions

 

 

Actions that have more than a negligible impact, or have a significant impact, on the park’s environment and natural and cultural values; on the interests of Nguraritja, community members and/or stakeholders; and/or on visitor use or changes to existing facilities and services in the park

 

·      Moderate or major capital works e.g. new infrastructure or expansion/upgrade of existing infrastructure such as realignment of roads

·      Rehabilitation of heavily eroded sites

·      Major new operations or developments to implement prescriptions in this plan e.g. the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku project

·      Developments for approved existing tourism activities that require major works

·      Major/long-term changes to existing visitor access arrangements

·      Tour operator accreditation system

·      New types of commercial activities

·      Issuing of leases/licences

·      Process accords with management plan policies, actions and procedures

·      Nguraritja, community members and stakeholders are consulted where necessary and in accordance with Board/CLC consultation guidelines

·      Consultative Committees are consulted as necessary

·      Relevant stakeholders are consulted/informed

·      Decision is made by Board of Management

CLC = Central Land Council


4.2       Nguraritja interests

Our aim

Through shared obligations, Nguraritja achieve their aspirations for continued cultural maintenance and secure futures for younger Nguraritja.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which current management programs conserve and maintain cultural values.

·       Level of Board satisfaction with ongoing cultural maintenance and opportunities for younger Nguraritja in the park.

Background

Nguraritja nyinanyi panya manta mantjintja, manta tjana mantjinu, munu nganana manta mantjira ka nganana ngurangka titutjara nyinanyi manta nganampa Ananguku alatjitu, atunymankunytjaku, warka mantjintjaku, kunpungku kanyintjikitjangku ngura nyara palunya nganana wiyaringkunyangka malatja tjutangku kunpungku kanyintjaku.
                                                                                                     
© Elsie Wanatjura

Nguraritja have land rights, they got the land back. Having got the land back we continue living on our land, it truly is Aboriginal land, to protect it, to do work, and to strongly care for that country so that when we pass away, our children, our descendants are able to keep on looking after it strongly. ©

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is an Aboriginal landscape. While the park has been established to conserve its natural and cultural values, and to provide for appropriate visitor use, it is also a management objective that recognition be given to the rights of the traditional Aboriginal owners (Nguraritja). It is particularly important to Nguraritja that their children and future generations enjoy their rights, responsibilities and cultural understanding.

The interests of Nguraritja in the park stem principally from an individual’s or a group’s relationship to the land, as defined by Tjukurpa. The term Nguraritja is used by Anangu to describe all Aboriginal people who possess a traditional association with the land of the region. However, in this plan the term Nguraritja is used to describe the park’s traditional Aboriginal owners.

The term ‘traditional Aboriginal owners’ is defined in the Land Rights Act. In relation to the land, the term means a local descent group of Aboriginal people who:

(a)   have common spiritual affiliations to a site on the land being affiliations that place the group under a primary spiritual responsibility for that site and for the land

(b)   are entitled by Aboriginal tradition to forage as of right over that land.

The Lease refers to ‘relevant Aboriginals’ which includes all the traditional Aboriginal owners, plus Aboriginal people entitled to use or occupy the park and Aboriginal people permitted by them to reside in the park.

Under the Lease, the Director is required to encourage the maintenance of culture. In this way, the Lease agreement supports the wishes of Nguraritja to apply their knowledge and skills, to learn new skills by participating in programs that incorporate Anangu and Piranpa ways of


looking after country, and to pass this knowledge on to younger generations. Exercising cultural obligations includes recognition of both men’s and women’s responsibilities for traditions and looking after country.

Nguraritja continue to express a strong desire that at the heart of joint management considerations, is the opportunity for younger Nguraritja to learn about and participate in park management activities, and to learn about and exercise cultural obligations for maintaining Tjukurpa.

Section 359A of the EPBC Act states that the provisions of the Act and Regulations dealing with activities in Commonwealth reserves do not prevent traditional use of land by an Aboriginal person for non-commercial hunting or gathering, provided it is done in accordance with other applicable laws.

More generally, s.8 of the EPBC Act provides that the Act does not affect the operation of s.211 of the Native Title Act 1993 and s.71 of the Land Rights Act which provide for traditional use of land, including non-commercial hunting, fishing and gathering, by Aboriginal people.

The land has always provided for the economic well-being of Nguraritja. Traditionally, harvesting and using the park’s resources have provided the basis for their economy. Nguraritja want to continue their tradition of harvesting and using resources but they also want to benefit from their land in other, new ways.

Nguraritja expect to benefit from their land being managed as a national park through direct employment in the park and through contract services being provided by Anangu enterprises or jointly owned ventures. They seek greater benefit from the use of their land for tourism including the potential for some activities to be delivered solely by Anangu enterprises. This, of course, would not prevent partnerships between Piranpa and Anangu in developing tourism ventures. Anangu expect to be able to explore and develop new opportunities where these activities do not detract from park values. The Director has obligations through the Lease to assist Nguraritja in meeting these aspirations. The Park Lease conditions also state that Aboriginal business and commercial initiatives and enterprises in the park will be encouraged. There are external organisations that can assist Anangu to negotiate, establish and manage business ventures.

Within the region of the park, other Australian and Northern Territory Government agencies and regional Aboriginal associations are responsible for matters such as health, housing, education and employment. Recognising how important these issues are and supporting community development programs greatly assists in making joint management of the park strong and sustainable. It is also important to Nguraritja that they are partners in park management, and that the wider Australian community appreciates and respects their community and cultural values and priorities.

The success of the Land Rights Act in acquiring large amounts of land for Aboriginal people led to a significant movement of traditional landowners back onto their traditional land. Homelands, or outstations, are small communities usually consisting of one or two family groups built on land of particular traditional significance to that family. Some homelands are occupied full time, while others are occupied on an occasional or temporary basis. Homeland development is a high priority for Nguraritja.


Factors influencing the extent of development and occupancy of homelands include location (including distance from existing communities and facilities), access (including existence and condition of roads, availability of vehicles), and the availability of water and shelter. There are several homelands located outside the park on the Petermann and Katiti Aboriginal Land Trusts. Some of these have potential for small-scale tourism enterprise development.

Under the Closing the Gap initiative, the Australian Government and state and territory governments through the Council of Australian Governments have set ambitious targets for closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage with respect to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational attainment and employment outcomes. The Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government are providing funding to drive fundamental reforms in remote housing, health, early childhood development, jobs and improvements in remote service delivery in the region.

The Director and the Board of Management are working together with the service delivery agencies to assist in the implementation of these reforms towards achieving the Closing the Gap goals and to benefit Nguraritja and other Indigenous Australians in the region.

Issues

·       Nguraritja have obligations to maintain Tjukurpa and want to ensure that these obligations and cultural traditions continue to be recognised.

·       It is important to Nguraritja, especially those asked to represent the park, that they are familiar with park management activities.

·       Nguraritja would like to see as many opportunities as possible for younger generations to learn about park management, and undertake activities on country to help maintain Tjukurpa and the future management of the park.

·       Nguraritja would like to benefit more from the economic activity associated with the park.

·       Confusion and uncertainty can exist about responsibilities for assisting Nguraritja in meeting their aspirations.

What we are going to do

Policies

4.2.1     In accordance with the Land Rights Act, Nguraritja will continue to exercise their traditional rights, including hunting and use of other resources in the park.

4.2.2     In accordance with the Land Rights Act and the Park Lease, the Board recognises that all Nguraritja have rights and opportunities in the park, in accordance with cultural traditions, including the right to seek employment opportunities. Other Anangu may also seek opportunities in the park, but only if approved by Nguraritja and, if appropriate, the Board.

4.2.3     The Director and Board recognise that Nguraritja have obligations to protect land and to maintain culture.

4.2.4     The Director will work with Nguraritja and relevant stakeholders to develop partnerships and other ways of increasing benefits for Nguraritja related to implementation of this plan. This may involve linking Nguraritja with people and organisations who can provide relevant skills development, advice and support, and appropriate development opportunities.


Action

4.2.5     Liaise with the Central Land Council and Nguraritja to create opportunities such as workshops, training and employment in the park for Nguraritja to learn about park management work. Creating opportunities for younger Nguraritja in particular should be considered a priority.

4.3       Anangu employment, education and training

Our aim

Anangu assume more responsibilities related to the administration, management and control of the park.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of increase in the number of Anangu employed directly and indirectly in administration, control and management of the park.

·       Extent of opportunities provided for Anangu to assume more responsibility for administration, control and management of the park.

Background

Anangu yangupala tjuta warkaku mukuringanyi panya tjukurpa wiru nintiringkunytjaku uwankara. Munu warka wiru putitja, Tjukurpa, paluru tjananya uwankara. Tjutangku yangupala nintiringkula kungka kulu-kulu park wiru palyantjaku. Nyaa Putitja tjuta nintintjaku putjikata tjuta tjina wanara nyakunytjaku, paluru tjanampa ka palulangnuru tjana nintiringanyi computerku – ngapartji ngapartji nintiringkunytjaku.
                                                                                                      
© Andrew Taylor

Many young Anangu want to work and to learn about the proper way to do everything; good land management, provide information, all the different aspects of park work. The young men and as well as young women are learning to maintain the park well. In land management, they are show them, for example, how to track feral cats and then they are learning to use computers–to learn in turn.©

Ara nyangatja, ara panya yangupala malatja tjutakutu ara Tjukurpatjara tjakultjunkunytjaku. Tjukarurungku warkaku nintiringkunytjaku munu manta warkaringkula atunymankunytjaku Uluru–Kata Tjuta park-angka nguraritja tjutawanungku- warka tjukaruru munu Anangu tjukarurungku warka palyantjaku.
                                                                                                 
© Imantura Richards

This is about the importance of passing on proper stories to new generations. To learn properly about the work and to do the land management to look after Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park guided by the traditional owners- to do the right work and work straight according to traditional law.©

Central to Tjukurpa is the concept that Nguraritja are responsible for looking after country. This responsibility entails obligations to current and future generations. These obligations are shared by Nguraritja and Parks Australia, and a prime objective of joint management is to make sure that traditional skills and knowledge and a ‘scientific’ approach complement each other in looking after the country of the park. Nguraritja have expressed their wish for Parks


Australia, as a joint management partner, to contribute current best-practice knowledge about park management to augment their traditional management practices. Looking after country together is one of the most successful expressions of joint management in the park.

The Lease includes obligations to protect and promote the interests of Nguraritja. These obligations involve providing training and employment opportunities to promote Aboriginal administration, management and control of the park; engaging as many ‘relevant Aboriginals’ as is practicable to provide services in and in relation to the park; taking reasonable steps to provide flexible working arrangements to meet the needs and culture of Nguraritja employed in the park; and utilising traditional skills and knowledge in the management of the park.

The park plays a significant role in the development of the broader community, and as such Parks Australia is a significant regional player. As there is a link between the uptake of employment opportunities and opportunities to stay on country, development of skills to enable this to occur and provision of park-based educational and employment opportunities is a significant investment towards helping Nguraritja achieve their aims.

The key drivers for park-based employment, education and training programs are:

·       a shared interest in looking after country

·       investing in future managers and leaders of the park and the respective communities in which they are located, in accordance with the Director’s obligations

·       helping Nguraritja to determine and secure a future on country

·       acknowledging and developing strong links between Indigenous young people establishing futures on country and skills learned during the school years to support ‘both way’ (traditional and mainstream) learning

·       establishing a continuous and positive learning approach to provide Nguraritja with options for their futures

·       assisting Nguraritja in transferring cultural knowledge to future generations

·       supporting ‘two way’ learning to foster cross-cultural understanding and development of cultural competencies amongst non-Indigenous people.

During the 4th Plan, an average of 20 per cent of the Australian Public Service positions in the park were held by Indigenous people, some on a part-time basis at the request of Anangu. Considerably more Anangu were engaged in park employment on a casual basis, or in services supporting the park such as commercial tours and the broader tourism industry including work at the Yulara resort. The park also supported a number of traineeships for Anangu entering the park and Australian Public Service employment through a structured on-the-job learning program in conservation and land management, and provided additional learning and development opportunities to Anangu workers through the staff training program.

The Junior Ranger program provides opportunities for Nguraritja to transfer traditional skills and knowledge to future generations, with both the Mutitjulu Primary School and Nyangatjatjara College participating in regular activities.

A number of agencies have responsibilities for providing training and education including job-readiness, literacy and numeracy, providing opportunities for Indigenous training and employment programs and for creating opportunities for Indigenous enterprise.


Issues

·       Nguraritja would like to see a greater emphasis in particular on building careers for young people, not just providing jobs.

·       Nguraritja want to develop the skills they need to work in a range of positions related to the administration, control and management of the park.

·       Nguraritja want to ensure that Anangu land management skills are utilised and maintained.

·       While the Board acknowledges that more positions in the park should be held by Anangu, it is also acknowledged that opportunities in the park are not always taken up or retained by Anangu and that obstacles to Anangu taking up or retaining positions need to be identified and addressed.

·       Nguraritja want to see their young people learn ‘both ways’, that is, traditional skills as well as skills taught in school.

·       Incorporating a commitment to ‘two way’ learning (non-Anangu learning about and valuing traditional skills and keeping culture strong, and Anangu learning mainstream ways of work, business and employment) is a recognised element of successful joint management.

·       Long-term learning programs from school to tertiary education are recognised as providing the best opportunity for Nguraritja to assume more decision-making jobs in the park.

·       Establishing links with relevant training providers, and identifying potential employment initiatives that support park-based programs, will be necessary. It will be important for the roles of education providers and Parks Australia to be clearly established and agreed.

·       Anangu have identified as a concern the lack of maintenance and support from other agencies for a training and education facility for the area and the Mutitjulu Community.

·       Work readiness and literacy levels are low and cause difficulties for Anangu in being engaged in park work as public servants.

·       The lack of contractual employment opportunities for Anangu (with standard employment conditions) is an issue of significant concern to Anangu.

·       It is important to maintain an appropriate gender balance in the employment of Anangu.

What we are going to do

Policies

4.3.1     Parks Australia will work together with the Joint Management Partnership Team and senior Nguraritja to facilitate the employment and training of Anangu in park management through culturally responsive and flexible work and training arrangements.

4.3.2     Anangu will have access to education, training and employment opportunities provided by the Director.

4.3.3     A range of employment opportunities will continue to be provided including full-time, casual and consultancy work, as well as the engagement of Nguraritja for their traditional knowledge and skills.

4.3.4     The Director will provide opportunities for Anangu to develop skills relevant to park management and the Australian Public Service. This will be done through, but not limited to:


-        consulting Nguraritja on employment, education and training issues affecting Anangu staff and the Mutitjulu Community

-        tailoring training activities to the learning needs of Anangu, addressing in particular literacy and numeracy levels and work readiness capacity

-        developing a career pathway for Anangu which provides opportunities for Anangu to engage in park activities from primary school age to senior years

-        supporting Anangu employment by providing cross-cultural training for all non-Anangu staff

-        forming an alliance with relevant schools to provide an ongoing work experience program that supports structured workplace learning, industry orientation and school-based apprenticeships

-        supporting Nguraritja to ensure that traditional skills are documented and taught to future generations, while also learning about non-Anangu ways of park management, business and work including activities such as Junior Rangers.

4.3.5     The Director recognises the need for employment of Anangu (both men and women) for continued maintenance and protection of cultural values.

4.3.6     The position of Anangu Training Officer will be maintained unless otherwise determined by the Board.

Actions

4.3.7     Continue to support the Education, Training and Employment Committee.

4.3.8     As a high priority develop an intergenerational employment and training strategy that supports Anangu in developing skills for employment in park management. This strategy will include developing career pathways into the Australian Public Service and providing flexible employment opportunities.

4.3.9     Liaise with key stakeholders and government agencies to support the Mutitjulu Community in understanding the role of workers and their responsibilities, as well
as developing work readiness capacity.

4.3.10   Establish partnerships with relevant training organisations to provide opportunities for training and employment, including developing a partnership with relevant local schools (those with large numbers of Anangu students) for the delivery of work experience and structured workplace learning.

4.3.11   Provide opportunities for Anangu to engage in the park Staff Training Program and on-the-job training activities to ensure essential safety and park management skills are developed, in accordance with the Director’s obligations.

4.3.12   Implement the park mentoring program in which Indigenous staff work with more senior staff for a specified period to acquire new technical, scientific or management skills.

4.3.13   Facilitate and support a traditional knowledge program in which Anangu are engaged for their traditional knowledge and skills (including as contractors).

4.3.14   Support the establishment of working on country initiatives that provide opportunities for Anangu employment and training in the park and on surrounding Indigenous Protected Areas.


5.         Looking after culture and country

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is a living cultural landscape. Management and use of the land by past and present generations of Anangu in accordance with Tjukurpa has helped to shape the country we see today. The park is representative of arid environments in Central Australia, with a wide range of species including many that are endangered or have limited distribution. Maintaining healthy landscapes will help to maintain the park’s World Heritage values.

Anangu will be involved in all aspects of natural and cultural heritage management. Anangu and Parks Australia will work together and share knowledge, to look after country. Anangu right to use country for customary purposes will be respected.

Opportunities for younger generations of Anangu to learn and participate in caring for country will be a priority in all these activities.

5.1       A cultural landscape

Our aim

The park’s cultural landscape values are maintained through the ongoing use and appropriate protection of Anangu cultural knowledge.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of progress with ongoing recording of Nguraritja oral history.

·       Extent to which Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) is protected.

·       Level of increase in the number of younger Anangu participating in cultural heritage management programs.

·       Extent to which the Cultural Site Management System is used to store knowledge about cultural sites and oral history recordings.

·       Extent of support for on-country cultural activities occurring in the park.

·       Extent to which visitors are aware of the cultural significance of the park, the concept of Tjukurpa and the cultural landscape.

Background

Tjilpingku munu pampangku ara tjuta kanyini katangka; tjana mukuringanyi yangupala tjutangku ara tjutaku nintiringkunytjaku. Yaaltji-yaaltji warkaringkunytjaku munu nintintjaku Tjukurpa?
                                                                                                     
© Mary Kaiu Kaiu

Old people have all the cultural knowledge in their heads; they want young people to learn the stories and history. What work should be done to hold onto the knowledge and teach Tjukurpa? ©


Nguraritja tjuta tjana mantu ,tjana ma pamparinganyi tjilpiringanyi ka tjana mukuringanyi tjitji malatja tjutangku runamilentjaku ngulaku munu tjanampa tjitji ku.
                                                                                                         
© Nyinku Jingo

Naturally the traditional owners, the senior women and men are growing older, and  they want their children to be able to run the park in the future, and their children in turn. ©

Aboriginal people have always been associated with Uluru. According to Anangu, the landscape was created by ancestral beings. Anangu are their direct descendants and are responsible for protecting and managing country. The knowledge to fulfil these responsibilities has been passed down from generation to generation through Tjukurpa.

It is this ongoing relationship with the land that led to the park being included on the World Heritage List for its cultural landscape values in 1994, the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004 and the National Heritage List in 2007.

Looking after country in accordance with Tjukurpa is a prime responsibility shared by Parks Australia and Anangu within the framework of joint management.

Anangu maintain a detailed body of knowledge about the park, and preserving this knowledge through recording Anangu oral history and traditional knowledge is vital to the success of land management in the park and the region, both now and into the future.

A Cultural Heritage Action Plan was prepared during the 4th Management Plan. This plan provides guidance on the conservation of a range of cultural sites and material which are of great cultural, contemporary and archaeological significance.

Maintenance of cultural landscape values is also facilitated through:

·       appropriate employment arrangements for Anangu (see Section 4.3, Anangu employment, education and training)

·       Anangu involvement in decision-making for natural and cultural heritage programs
(see Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together)

·       facilitating knowledge transfer between generations.

Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property

Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (or ICIP) is a term used to describe Indigenous cultural material. To Anangu it is important to protect their ICIP, which includes:

·       immovable cultural property – places that form a part of Anangu culture, including sacred sites

·       cultural objects – sacred objects and other objects of cultural significance

·       traditional art – such as rock art

·       contemporary art – paintings and other works done by individual Anangu

·       human remains – the remains of Anangu ancestors

·       traditional knowledge – including scientific, environmental, local historical and spiritual knowledge


·       stories – including Tjukurpa stories, stories about Anangu history and stories about how Anangu society operates today and operated in the past, all of which were traditionally passed on orally

·       language – including words from the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra languages

·       inma (singing and dancing performances and ceremonies) – including recordings of inma

·       knowledge of cultural environment resources – including plants, minerals and animals found on cultural lands

·       images – photographs or films and artworks of the landscape or people.

Tjukurpa provides rules that traditionally protected ICIP from inappropriate access and use by Anangu and other Aboriginal people. However ICIP has been and is now accessed and used by non-Anangu for a range of purposes, including in management of the park; by the tourism and advertising industries; by filmmakers, photographers and creative artists; by academics; and by scientific researchers (including those involved in bioprospecting).

Anangu have said that they have two main concerns about ICIP. First, being able to control and manage use of ICIP through:

·       being able to say ‘no’ to inappropriate use of cultural material and images

·       protecting sacred secret material

·       protecting important ceremonies

·       protecting the cultural integrity of important stories and knowledge

·       transferring information in accordance with customary beliefs.

The second thing that Anangu want is to have appropriate control over how ICIP is used,
including: recognising Anangu as the owners; Anangu sharing in the benefits (monetary and
non-monetary) from use of ICIP; and to have the capacity to monitor use.

Some aspects of ICIP can be protected under the EPBC Act and EPBC Regulations, such as image capture (see Section 6.6, Filming, photography and audio recording); access to sacred sites and other significant sites (see Section 6.2, Access and site management); and bioprospecting (see Section 8.4, Research, monitoring and knowledge management). Anangu may be able to make use of other laws and legal rules to protect aspects of ICIP,for example the Copyright Act 1968 (including performer’s rights and moral rights), Trade Marks Act 1995, Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (NT), breach of confidence and contracts. However at the time of preparing this plan there are no laws that protect all aspects of ICIP.

During the life of the 4th Plan the Board commissioned a report on management of ICIP. The Board considered this report and some actions have been implemented as a result. For example, the guidelines for conducting commercial filming and photography have been revised to improve protection of things that are important to Anangu while making it easier to work in the park (see Section 6.6). Other actions to address key recommendations are included in this plan.


Issues

·       Conservation of oral history and tradition is an essential contribution to meeting future responsibilities for maintenance of cultural landscape values.

·       Maintenance of the park’s cultural landscape values also includes using cultural information in appropriate ways.

·       As future landscape management will be the responsibility of younger Anangu, senior Anangu stress the importance of having opportunities to pass knowledge/culture on to younger generations.

·       Management of ICIP continues to be an issue of significant concern for Anangu.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.1.1     Park management activities will support and respect Tjukurpa to maintain cultural landscape values. In doing so it is acknowledged that the links to neighbouring lands have direct implications for the practice and maintenance of Tjukurpa associated with the cultural landscape values of the park.

5.1.2     Maintaining Anangu cultural knowledge and skills will be recognised as important park work by:

-        observing Anangu priorities for cultural heritage management

-        applying Anangu knowledge and skills in park management programs

-        facilitating the intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills

-        providing opportunities for younger Anangu to be involved in the above.

5.1.3     Parks Australia will work in close liaison with the Central Land Council to seek to ensure that the ICIP rights of Nguraritja are protected in relation to access to and use of stories, language, images, inma, traditional knowledge, cultural objects and other aspects of ICIP. This may include developing suitable permit conditions, consent forms and agreements, in consultation with key stakeholders such as the tourism industry.

5.1.4     Parks Australia will use written consents and agreements that include clear, understood terms and conditions and, where appropriate, provide reasonable benefits to Anangu (which may include payment of fees and royalties) for engagement of Anangu artists and performers by Parks Australia, or use of other Anangu ICIP for park business, as outlined in Policy 5.1.3. Records of all such agreements will be maintained.

5.1.5     Applicants for permits will be required to provide evidence of agreements with Anangu or their representatives where the permit applicant wishes to use Anangu artists and performers in permitted activities, or where Anangu will be asked to give the permit holder access to their ICIP.

5.1.6     The Director will consider ICIP in discussions with the Central Land Council in any review of the Lease, with a view to including appropriate clauses.

5.1.7     The Board will develop a policy to better guide the management of ICIP in the park.


Actions

5.1.8     Support senior Anangu in teaching younger Anangu and park staff traditional knowledge and skills associated with management of the park.

5.1.9     Work with Anangu to record oral histories; identify priorities for recordings; and establish procedures for cataloguing, storing and using the material.

5.1.10    Work with other agencies in the ongoing development and maintenance of programs to help maintain traditional knowledge and language.

5.1.11    Develop with the Central Land Council standard agreements and consents for Parks Australia to engage artists and performers, and for the use of other ICIP material.

5.2       Cultural heritage places and material

Our aim

Effective and culturally appropriate management of the tangible aspects of cultural heritage contributes to maintaining the park’s cultural landscape values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number of cultural patrols performed and recorded.

·       Percentage of rock art sites that have been assessed and/or conserved.

·       Number of compliance incidents involving sacred sites.

·       Extent to which keeping places are provided and used to store cultural materials.

·       Extent to which relevant cultural materials are stored within the Cultural Site Management System and Ara Irititja.

·       Number of rock art sites damaged and percentage repaired.

Background

Tjukurpa tjuta ngaranyi, tjukuritja tjuta atunymankunytjaku; ngura miil-miilpa watiku minymaku ngaranyi, walka tjukurpa tjuta tjana kulpingka tjunu nyakunytjaku Ananguku nyakula kulintjaku, tjiwa tjuta ngaranyi kapingka itingka tjana mai rungkalpai. Tjunguringkula warkaripai ranger tjutangku munu Anangu kumunitingku ngura atunymankunytjaku.
                                                                                                    
© Rupert Goodwin

There is a lot of Tjukurpa, many important things associated with Anangu law and life to look after; there are men’s and women’s sacred places, many paintings in the rock shelters that they put there for Anangu to see and understand the stories, grindstones near water where they ground bush foods. Rangers and Anangu from the community work together to protect the place. ©

The tangible aspects of cultural heritage, such as individual sites, rock art and archaeological material, are all part of the park’s cultural landscape.

An essential component of keeping Tjukurpa strong is the maintenance of traditional ceremonial activities. While such matters are very much the responsibility of Anangu, the park can assist by ensuring that significant sites are accessible to Anangu whilst being protected from unauthorised or inappropriate use or access.


The Land Rights Act and the EPBC Act and Regulations provide for formal legal protection of sacred sites and other sites in the park of significance to Anangu. The Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (NT) and the Heritage Conservation Act (NT) are also relevant to the protection of sacred sites and certain objects.

However, access to many parts of the park has been negotiated and agreed with Nguraritja. In these areas, park visitors have opportunities to learn about Anangu and the park’s cultural values.

Key work undertaken to protect significant sites during the 4th Plan included conservation work on rock art sites; erosion control to protect sites; realignment of the walking track away from the male sacred site, Warayuki; and extensive weed removal from the female sacred site, Pulari. Map 4 shows some Anangu place names at Uluru.

During the previous plan the Uluru ring road was realigned to enable water flows to the south-western habitats around the base of Uluru and to reduce access to Pulari. The Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area was opened in October 2009, providing a major new visitor facility at a culturally appropriate site.

Archaeological materials and rock art are also essential components of the cultural landscape. Anangu history can be reconstructed in part from archaeological materials and rock art as well as from the personal histories of people living in the park today. In addition, archaeological sites document the park’s history of Aboriginal use in Central Australia and how this may have changed through time.

Two databases are used in the park to facilitate appropriate storage of and access to cultural material. The Cultural Site Management System was developed in the park and stores digital images and sound recordings. Ara Irititja is a regionally used database that the park contributes to in partnership with the South Australian Museum and other Western Desert communities. Keeping places are provided for physical materials.

Increasingly, material associated with the cultural history and traditions of the park, stored in other areas, is coming to light. Repatriation of this cultural material is important to Anangu. The Director has responsibilities to assist Anangu in protecting cultural areas within the park and protecting material of cultural significance. There are also government agencies and other bodies that have particular expertise and responsibilities more generally for these matters. As Nguraritja are culturally part of a much larger region, the repatriation of cultural material, especially moveable objects, may have implications at the broader regional level.

During the 4th Plan, a Cultural Heritage and Scientific Consultative Committee was established to advise the Board on a range of matters. It comprises Anangu, scientists, a representative from the Central Land Council, cultural heritage specialists and park staff (see also Policy 4.1.1).

Issues

·       Appropriate management of cultural sites and material, including art and sacred sites, is fundamental to maintenance of Tjukurpa.

·       Assistance from people and organisations with appropriate expertise in collating, maintaining and providing access to cultural material is important.

·       Any developments in the park must take account of impacts on tangible and intangible cultural heritage.


·       Cultural material relevant to the park but held and stored in other places is increasingly being discovered. This material needs to be managed in culturally appropriate ways that take account of men’s and women’s responsibilities, and of sensitivities about who has the authority to access certain materials.

·       There remains an ongoing need to ensure visitors recognise the importance of protecting significant sites and cultural values.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.2.1     The principles for cultural heritage management in the park are that it:

-        is a joint management initiative controlled by senior Anangu men and women

-        includes training in, and application of, western scientific conservation skills as well as traditional skills

-        requires the development and use of Anangu skills in planning, administration, budgeting, policy development and implementation

-        needs the involvement of Parks Australia and Community rangers

-        extends beyond the park’s boundaries

-        is subject to management guidelines approved by the Board, where Parks Australia’s resources are used.

5.2.2     Access to sites of significance may be restricted at the request of Nguraritja, and the Director may restrict or prohibit access in accordance with EPBC Regulations (see Section 6.2, Access and site management).

5.2.3     Environmental impact assessments for development proposals in the park will include consideration of potential impacts on archaeological and other cultural sites and intangible cultural heritage.

Actions

5.2.4     On advice from the Cultural Heritage and Scientific Consultative Committee, review and amend as required, and implement, the Cultural Heritage Action Plan.

5.2.5     Liaise with Nguraritja, through the Central Land Council and other relevant agencies if required, to identify protocols for the repatriation of cultural materials and, where agreed, return materials to more appropriate owners and keeping places. Any solution must take account of culturally appropriate ways of storing, accessing, and presenting cultural material.

5.2.6     Continue the rock art maintenance program in consultation with Nguraritja. This will include rock art maintenance training and recording of routine site assessments in the Cultural Site Management System.

5.2.7     Arrange for expert conservation assessment of rock art sites.

5.2.8     Liaise with Nguraritja to agree on priorities for archaeological assessments across the park.

5.2.9     Maintain the Cultural Site Management System and Ara Irititja as appropriate.

 


4.2      Map 4 – Some Anangu place names at Uluru

 


5.3       The physical landscape

Our aim

Threats to the park’s landscape are minimised as far as practicable.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Degree to which the integrity of the park’s heritage listed geomorphological and geological features is retained.

·       Reduction in areas affected by erosion.

·       Degree to which the current diversity of fauna and flora is maintained.

Background

Kapi ngangkalingka pitjapai ngalya puyilpai tjaru wanipai ka kapi pulka ngaripai kuka kutjupa tjuta tjikintjikitja punu kulu-kulu. Kutjupara kapi rawa walatjura ukalingkula ma karuringkula karuringkupailta ma wiyaringkupai.
                                                                                                      
© Rupert Goodwin

When the rain clouds come and it rains, water flows down and there are sheets of water on the ground for the animals as well as the plants to drink .Sometimes when it rains continuously the water cascades down Uluru and gradually forms deep creek lines. Water runs out along these. ©

The major features of the landscape are Uluru and Kata Tjuta, and the Sedimentaries to the north of the park. According to western science, all were formed by the folding and upthrust of rock strata during earth movements, and subsequent erosion of this strata leaving behind the above ground monoliths.

Uluru is a red sandstone rock formation 9.4 kilometres in circumference rising to a height of over 340 metres above the plain. Kata Tjuta is comprised of 36 steep-sided conglomerate domes of basaltic and granite gravel, cemented by sand and mud. The domes cover an area of 35 square kilometres, with the highest point over 500 metres above the surrounding plain. Anangu explanations of the formation of Uluru and Kata Tjuta derive from Tjukurpa.

Surrounding these exposed rock features the landscape is dominated by sand dunes, sandplains and alluvium deposited by water flows from Uluru, Kata Tjuta, the Sedimentaries and, to a lesser extent, from the Britten Jones Creek and the creeks that flow from Kata Tjuta.

Allan (1984) grouped these features into three broad land systems:

·       The Gillen land system consists of the two large outcrops of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, their narrow gorges, gullies and creeklines, and associated gently sloping fans and alluvium of coarse-textured soils.

·       The Karee land system consists of the gently sloping plains fringing the fans and alluvium of the Gillen land system.

·       The Simpson land system consists of sandplains and dunefields and is the most extensive land system in the park.

The landscape features of the park and their ongoing geological processes are recognised in the park’s World Heritage inscription.


Anangu adopt a broad categorisation of habitats in the park by reference to characteristics such as landform, soil, vegetation, fire state, and animal inhabitants:

·       tali – sand dunes or sand dune systems and accompanying vegetation

·       pila – flat to undulating sandy plains between dunes, generally dominated by spinifex species and occasionally trees and shrubs. Pila is the most common habitat in the park

·       puti – flat areas of usually heavier soils characterised by the presence of woodlands, scrubby bush, or dense stands of mulga. Puti occurs in a ring around Uluru and Kata Tjuta before the sand dunes begin and where the ground is hard and sometimes stony

·       puli – the rocky areas, gorges and stony slopes of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Only plants that can live in shallow, barren soils are found here

·       karu – creek lines and run-off plains. These areas flow from the rocky areas at Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Although creeks are often dry, waterholes can remain for months after good rain

·       nyaru – burnt or regenerating areas. Pila and tali become nyaru after they have been burnt.

Erosion is a particular concern in some of these areas. Vehicle use by early visitors around the base of Uluru resulted in severe gully erosion. In addition, the Uluru Ring Road was built above the natural ground level in places, which has significantly altered the sheet flow and caused significant erosion (see section 5.5, Surface water and groundwater).

A further threat to the park’s landscape values is souveniring by visitors. The park regularly receives pieces of Uluru being returned by visitors. Nguraritja are becoming increasingly concerned and would like to improve visitor education to reduce the problem.

Sections 355 and 355A of the EPBC Act provide that no mining operations be carried out in the park unless authorised in accordance with a management plan. The Board has determined that mining is not compatible with the park’s World Heritage listing. Mining has not been permitted since the park’s establishment, with the exception of minor sand and gravel extraction for park management purposes.

Sections 354 and 354A of the EPBC Act provide that an excavation must not be carried out unless in accordance with a management plan, and Regulation 12.16 of the EPBC Regulations prohibits fossicking, and introduction, disturbance or removal of minerals, clay, sand, stone or other earth materials, unless undertaken in accordance with a management plan. (For access to gravel and other materials outside the park see Section 8.7, Resource use in park operations).

Issues

·       Management of the park at the landscape level provides the best opportunity to take account of all factors influencing landscape dynamics.

·       The park receives frequent requests to take away or bring back earth and rocks from or to the park. These include returning pieces of Uluru to the park.

·       Soil susceptibility to erosion is a major risk and must be carefully considered in planning, designing and maintaining park infrastructure.

·       Soils of the Gillen land system are the most susceptible to erosion in the park. This land system is based around Uluru and Kata Tjuta where tourism pressures are greatest.


What we are going to do

Policies

5.3.1     The park’s natural resource management programs will be run in accordance with priorities determined for the various ecological communities across the park (see also Section 5.9, Fire management).

5.3.2     No mining operations will be carried out in the park, other than minor extraction of sand and gravel for park management operations in accordance with strict controls over visual, environmental and cultural impacts (see also Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals).

5.3.3     Park management activities within the park, particularly in the Gillen land system, will take account of these systems’ susceptibility to erosion.

5.3.4     The Director will only issue a permit for taking rocks, soil or gravel into or out of the park in exceptional circumstances, where the proposal demonstrates clear benefits to the park.

5.3.5     Bringing gravel in for road or site construction or road maintenance will not require a permit and will be managed in accordance with the park’s environmental impact assessment procedures (see Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals).

Actions

5.3.6     Educate visitors about the park’s cultural landscape values and the importance of not taking rocks and soil away.

5.3.7     Monitor and maintain existing erosion measures and monitor any new roadworks or other infrastructure for erosion and treat promptly.

5.4       Climate change

Our aim

Park management programs adapt to take account of new information about climate change.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of progress in identifying, qualifying and where practicable quantifying the impacts of climate change.

·       Extent to which management regimes are adapted to respond to information about impacts of climate change and to improved technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Background

Kuka-nya tjana panya ngura iriti ngayulu nyangu ilunyangka piltiringkunyangka ukiri wiyangka kapi wiyangka. Nganana kuwari kulini nyakukatinytjikitjangku, nyakula kulilpai, munta wiyaringu mulapa kapi wiyangka, ukiri wiyangka, inuntji wiyangka. Mai ngalkula pukulpa nyinapai animal tjuta.
                                                                                                 
© Imantura Richards

Long ago I saw that the animals died as things dried out and there was no green grass or water available for them. Now we are thinking about monitoring to see and understand what is happening to the fauna, or they could really disappear at times when there is no rain, no green grasses or fresh growth. With food to eat animals are happy. ©


The park’s values are potentially exposed to a number of impacts associated with climate change. The park is likely to be most vulnerable to increased annual average temperatures (with up to +5.1°C projected by 2070) and increased potential evaporation (with up to +17% projected by 2070). An increase in the number of days over 35°C (+36 by 2030 and +102 by 2070) is also projected. Rainfall total is not predicted to vary much from the present, but may result from more intense rainfall events. With increased evaporation, the overall result is likely to be a net loss of surface water (Hyder 2008).

While climate change projections are uncertain, reducing existing threats to particularly vulnerable species can help to optimise their resilience to changing climatic conditions. Some species dependent on refuges with ephemeral water supplies may be particularly susceptible. Changing conditions could lead to altered vegetation structure and therefore altered fire regimes.

In the life of the 4th Plan a range of landscape and biodiversity monitoring/research programs were conducted including landscape change studies. These and other similar programs provide valuable baseline data to detect landscape and biodiversity changes in the park and will help to monitor climate change impacts in the future (see also Section 8.4, Research, monitoring and knowledge management).

Changing climatic conditions also have implications for visitor comfort and safety and consequently management of visitor services and facilities (see Section 6.3, Visitor activities and experiences for further discussion).

In 2006 the Director commissioned a study of the potential implications of climate change for management of Commonwealth reserves, including Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park (Hyder 2008). The results of this investigation will contribute to an improved understanding of and preparedness for changing conditions at in the park (see also Section 8.7, Resource use in park operations).

Issues

·       Up-to-date expert information is needed to assess impacts and the risks of climate change, to identify environmental monitoring indicators and to identify adaptive management measures to mitigate climate change impacts where possible.

·       Climate change is likely to affect all aspects of the park. Some of the potential management implications are:

-        biodiversity – changes in the abundance and distribution of some animal and plant species and an increased risk in the spread of exotic plant and animal species.

-        extreme weather – increased frequency of extreme heat days and rainfall events

-        fire – altered fire regimes

-        Anangu use of the park – possible changes in access to certain food sources

-        human health – increase in heat related illness and in injuries from extreme weather events (see Section 6.8, Visitor safety).

·       There is a need to keep Nguraritja and stakeholders informed as knowledge of the potential impacts of climate change develops.

·       Management of the park needs to be able to adapt in response to new information on potential impacts.


What we are going to do

Policy

5.4.1     If parts of the landscape are changing in ways that are of concern the Director and the Board, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, will jointly decide on further monitoring requirements, and whether protective, rehabilitation or adaptation measures are feasible. If cost effective, appropriate responses and actions will be implemented.

Actions

5.4.2     Identify priorities for and support further research into the impacts of climate change. Use this information to refine decisions about acceptable change (see Section 8.4, Research, monitoring and knowledge management).

5.4.3     Develop and implement a climate change strategy for the park.

5.4.4     Modify park management programs as required in response to improved understanding of climate change impacts (See Section 8.6.6).

5.5       Surface water and groundwater

Our aim

·       Water supplies are maintained at acceptable levels and to acceptable standards.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Health of significant waterholes and the extent to which they are adversely impacted by threatening processes.

·       Volume of water removed from aquifers remains sustainable.

·       Abundance and distribution levels of important fauna communities associated with the significant sand plain area known as the Borefields are maintained.

·       Level of Board satisfaction that culturally significant waterholes are healthy and not adversely impacted by threatening processes.

Background

Palya palatja atunymankunytjaku, tjitji malatja tjutaku nyakunytjaku, bore wiya kapi tjunu irititja tjukurpa paluru tjanampa nintiringkunytjaku.

                                                                                                             © Colin Nipper

That’s good to look after the original water sources, for our children to see the soakages of long ago when there were no bores, and to learn the important knowledge associated with them. ©

Rainfall in the arid zone is low, highly unpredictable and highly variable both in amount and where it falls. The average annual rainfall for the region is 200–300 millimetres but this varies greatly. Major rainfalls are rare and very important, hydrologically and ecologically, in recharging groundwater systems and driving the boom and bust cycles of the desert ecosystems. Disruption to flows can have adverse effects on soils and vegetation.

Water sources in the park are important places in Tjukurpa. Knowledge of the location and temporal availability of water sources is an essential component of Anangu ability to


survive when travelling through country. The science of hydrology broadly divides the park’s waters into two categories: surface and subsurface.

Surface water

The Mutitjulu waterhole at the base of Uluru is the only perennial water body in the park. After heavy rains surface water may be present for varying periods in the waterholes and drainage lines associated with the gorges of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and the claypans and depressions associated with mulga communities in the park.

These relatively moist environments in the vicinity of Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide habitat for rare, relict and unusual species, and have been identified as extremely significant refugia in the arid lands (Morton et al. 1995).

Groundwater

Groundwater is the only reliable water supply in the region. There are two main aquifer systems in the park: the Dune Plains Aquifer, from which Yulara draws its water supply via a bore under licence from the Northern Territory Controller of Water; and the Southern Aquifer, on which the Mutitjulu Community, Park Headquarters and the Cultural Centre depend.

The Dune Plains Aquifer is related to an ancient buried palaeodrainage line or palaeoriver that at its maximum was about 60 metres deep, emanated from the south of the Kata Tjuta complex, flowed eastwards towards present-day Yulara, then swung to the north along the eastern edge of the Sedimentaries to Lake Amadeus. Recharge of the Dune Plains Aquifer is associated with runoff from the Sedimentaries in response to rare major rainfall events such as those occurring in 1989 and 1999–2000. Much of the park’s mulga habitat is associated with this area – mulga supports many of the park’s threatened species and is particularly significant for many bird species.

The Southern Aquifer is quite distinct from the Dune Plains Aquifer and is not hydrologically connected. Groundwater levels are directly influenced by runoff from Uluru. Following the removal of tourist accommodation from the park, water extraction from the Southern Aquifer dropped dramatically and there was an associated rise in the groundwater level.

The capacity and levels of use of both aquifers have been reviewed (AGT 2003). Water use within the park was considered to be sustainable based on projected growth of the Mutitjulu Community and on historical rainfall annual averages. Long-term water use at Yulara, based on historical use and rainfall averages, was less certain and further investigation was recommended.

The aquifer review also found that while there was not conclusive evidence to suggest that the region’s flora and fauna were directly dependent on groundwater, there was insufficient understanding of the issue to rule out any linkages (AGT 2003).

These investigations were undertaken prior to the release of the recent predictions on climate change and its potential impacts on Central Australia. Latest climate change predictions suggest that overall rainfall in Central Australia is unlikely to increase and may reduce, though there may be an increase in extreme weather events. The impact of climate change predictions on the future of water supply in the Northern Territory has been identified as a major area requiring further investigation (Hennessy et al. 2004).


Late in the life of the 4th Plan, the Northern Territory Government was considering establishing a Water Control District covering the park and adjacent Katiti Land Trust lands (see also Section 8.6, Resource use in park operations).

Waterholes

Anangu recognise four main kinds of water sources (Layton 1986). The most reliable water sources are large waterholes or springs, which are considered to be the home of wanampi (water snakes), Tjukurpa creatures. Wanampi are the guardians of the water source they reside in and they control use and access to the water.

Soaks (tjunu) arise from an underground supply. The supply is a superficial and purely local water table in the sand of a dry creek bed or in the soil on the margin of a rock dome. Soaks are fairly reliable because the water is protected from evaporation by the sandy surface.

Waterholes (tjukula) occur on exposed platforms in the gullies of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and are not protected by sand or soil. The least reliable source of water is the claypan (tjintjira), which is particularly susceptible to evaporation.

Anangu cons ider that all these water sources are caused by, and have continuing associations with, Tjukurpa, so their maintenance is of prime importance to Anangu.

Issues

·       Anangu would like waterholes around Uluru to be safe enough to drink from.

·       For water quality reasons, it is not ideal for waterholes to be used for swimming by Mutitjulu residents; however at present there is no alternative in the Community.

·       The presence of tourists on Uluru above the waterholes is having an impact on the waterholes through faecal contamination and urination.

·       The quality of waterholes can also be significantly affected by camels (see Section 5.8, Introduced and domestic animals).

·       Considerable concern remains about the long-term sustainability of the Dune Plains Aquifer supplying Yulara.

·       There is insufficient information to determine the extent to which the state of the Dune Plains Aquifer and the biological richness of the Borefields is linked.

·       There is little understanding of potential sources of groundwater contamination.

·       Sheetflow runoff from mulga shrubland near the northern boundary of the park has been identified as being highly significant. This sheetflow supplies water and nutrients to the significant transitional sandplain habitat in the park.

·       Decisions about the siting of park infrastructure such as roads and tracks must have due regard to natural surface flows to perennial vegetation.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.5.1     Construction and other activities in the park will be undertaken in such a way as not to interrupt the natural flow of water and will avoid disrupting natural drainage lines.

5.5.2     Swimming by visitors will not be permitted in the park’s waterholes.


Actions

5.5.3     Monitor the waterholes for human health and the health of the ecosystem generally.

5.5.4     Ensure public awareness of the importance of waterholes and why it is essential not to foul waterholes.

5.5.5     Liaise with relevant bodies to consider water management issues affecting the park and Yulara including:

-        improving understanding of the aquifer systems, the Dune Plains Aquifer in particular, and establish sustainable extraction levels

-        improving understanding of the link between the Dune Plains Aquifer and biological richness on the Borefields

-        commissioning an aquifer vulnerability study to assess the risk of potential groundwater contamination.

5.5.6     Adjust management programs and activities in the light of new information.

5.5.7     Noting Chapter 7.1 Mutitjulu Community, promote efficient use of water by park residents to help conserve groundwater and encourage other users of the aquifers to do the same.

5.6       Native plants and animals

Our aim

·       Ecological processes are maintained to ensure the viability of populations of native plants and animals occurring in the park.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which populations of EPBC Act listed and other significant species are regularly monitored and their distribution and abundance levels remain within acceptable limits.

·       Extent to which species diversity is maintained at or above current levels.

·       Extent to which the functioning of regional ecosystems is understood.

·       Adequacy of monitoring undertaken to enable appropriate adaptive management.

·       Extent to which whole of ecosystem health is maintained.

Background

Nganana warkaripai wirura tjungu Ranger panya tjungu munu pampa tjilpi ankula antjaki ngaripai ini tjuta wangkapai ukiri kuwaritjangka munu mitura tjina ankunyangka. Tjakura ankupai, tinka ankupai murtja ankupai liru Tjuta alatji-la wangkapai. Tjukurpa irititja nganana wangkapai tjinala nyakula nintiringkupai malatja malatja tjitji tjukarurungku Park-angka atunymankunytjaku panya alatji alatji. Tjungungku warka wiru atunymankunytjaku kuka tjuta drum pitingka tjunkula wanara tjarpapai katira ini walkatjura walatjunkupai munu ankupai ngurakutu.
                                                                                         
© Imantura Richards

We work well together. The senior Anangu women and men go out and camp together with the Rangers and identify all the plants present and the animals by picking up the tracks made by them as they have moved around. We talk about the Great Desert Skink activity, the sand goanna activity, the mulgara activity and all the snakes based on this tracking. We talk about the traditional knowledge


associated with the animals and we continue to  learn about the tracks  so that our children and future generations are able to look after the park properly, doing work like this.. We do good work together to look after the animals including fauna surveys where lines of drums are placed in the ground and the animals that go into them are taken and recorded. They are then released and go home. ©

The park ecosystems contain a particularly rich assemblage of birds, reptiles, and insects adapted to Central Australia’s arid landscapes.

In the context of Tjukurpa the actions of ancestral animals such as mala (rufous hare-wallaby, Lagorchestes hirsutus), panpanpalala (crested bellbird, Oreoica gutturalis), kuniya (Woma python, Aspidites ramsayi), lungkata (centralian blue-tongue lizard, Tiliqua multifasciata) and itjaritjari (marsupial mole, Notoryctes typhlops) have important roles in the evolution of the form and features of Uluru.

The spatial variation of Rainfall in Central Australia has resulted in two different responses in animal populations. The small sedentary species have developed life history strategies which, for some, produce major and obvious population fluctuations. The more mobile species, notably many birds and some mammal species, migrate to find better conditions. These movements can occur at a large scale involving long distances or be small movements between local habitat areas (McAlpin 2006).

Historically, 46 native mammal species are known to have been living in the region covered by the park. A number of these are now extinct, and some have become extinct in the wild in the Northern Territory. Regular surveys have found that there are currently 21 native mammal species living in the park, a number of which are listed as endangered or vulnerable under the EPBC Act (see Appendix F). The brush-tailed mulgara or murtja (Dasycercus blythi), listed as vulnerable, is mostly restricted to a habitat in a narrow band of country that stretches from the vicinity of Uluru to the northern boundary of the park and into Yulara township, in the transitional sand plain area. The brush-tailed mulgara’s population in the park is particularly sensitive to fire frequency and intensity, and much of its habitat has been affected in the recent past by large wildfires.

The park’s bird life is rich by Central–Western Desert standards. Three EPBC Act listed bird species are found within the park and many others have restricted or sparse distributions.

The park has a very rich reptile fauna of high conservation significance. Reid et al. (1993) consider there is no comparably sized area in the Australian semi-arid zone that is known to have a fauna as rich in reptiles. The great desert skink or tjakura (Egernia kintorei) is listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act and is mostly restricted to the transitional sand plain system. Regular monitoring of tjakura during the life of the 4th Plan revealed an increase in the size of the population within the park.

Four frog species have been recorded in the park. Frogs may be seen in abundance after rain.

Invertebrates have been surveyed in a range of habitats throughout the park and 344 invertebrate morphospecies collected.

Surveys have highlighted the significance of the transitional sand plain area between the northern part of the park and Yulara, known as the Borefields. This area provides habitat for a range of animals of conservation significance. Surveys have also highlighted the ecological


importance of Uluru and Kata Tjuta, with numerous species restricted to these areas including the fat-tailed antechinus (Pseudantechinus macdonnellensis), euro (Macropus robustus), dusky grasswren (Amytornis purnelli), western bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata) and chestnut-breasted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castaneothorax). The environments in and around the monoliths are more stable than the spinifex grasslands and provide important drought refugia (Reid et al. 1993).

There has been a general decline in the distribution and abundance of a number of species across the region – some formerly occurring in the park have now become extinct from the Northern Territory and others are extinct on the Australian mainland (see Appendix F for threatened species occurring in the park). Regular surveys have also shown that populations of other species may have declined within the park, including the weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), Australian bustard (Ardeotis australis) and the euro (Macropus robustus).

To Anangu a decrease in the number of species has implications for the condition and health of the landscape, and for the ongoing maintenance of Tjukurpa. In 1999 a cross-cultural workshop was held to consider the possible reintroduction of native fauna. The knowledge of elder Anangu about locations of some species that have now disappeared was recorded. Senior Anangu strongly expressed the importance of this knowledge being transferred, particularly to younger Anangu, to maintain Tjukurpa and a healthy landscape. The workshop proceedings identify priority species and set out key principles for the reintroduction of fauna (Gillen et al. 2000).

As a result of the workshop a number of endangered rufous hare-wallabies or mala were reintroduced into an enclosure in the park with the long-term objective of re-establishing a permanent population. Anangu support moves to reintroduce other locally extinct animals including mitika (burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur), wayuta (common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula), ninu (bilby, Macrotis lagotis), and waru (black-footed rock wallaby, Petrogale lateralis).

Anangu continue to hunt and gather animal species in remote areas of the park and on Anangu land elsewhere. Hunting is largely confined to red kangaroos (Macropus rufus), Australian bustards (Ardeotis australis), emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), and lizards such as the sand goanna (Varanus gouldii) and perentie (V. giganteus).

Plants are an important part of Tjukurpa, and there are ceremonies for each of the major plant foods. Collecting plant foods remains a culturally important activity, reinforcing traditional links with country and maintaining links with Tjukurpa. Anangu use plants for a wide range of purposes: as sources of food; for fire, medicines and tobacco; as raw materials for implements, weapons and artefacts; for cementing and adhesive substances; as fuel for cooking and warmth; for ornaments and decoration used in ritual ceremonies; and as sources of water and edible invertebrates.

In restricted habitats such as waterholes and soaks a number of rare species with restricted distribution are found, including Adder’s tongue fern (Ophioglossum lusitanicum coriaceum), quillwort (Isoetes muelleri) and spurred arrowgrass (Triglochin calcitrapum var. isingianum) in the narrow valleys of Kata Tjuta, and Parietaria debilis at Uluru.

Sandhill mulga (Acacia ammobia) is a notable species because it is restricted to the area between Mount Connor and Docker River. At the time of writing this plan, no plant species in the park are


listed as threatened under the EPBC Act, and only the desert quandong (Santalum acuminatum) is listed as vulnerable in the Northern Territory (see Appendix F). There are other species which, although found elsewhere in Central Australia, could become endangered in the park and will require monitoring during the life of the plan. These species include pink early nancy (Wurmbea centralis), Juncus continuus, white cypress (Callitris sp.) and the shrubs found on the rock hillsides around Kata Tjuta, Gossypium sturtianum, Rulingia magniflora, Hibbertia glaberrima, Baeckea polystemonea and Plectranthus intraterraneus.

A number of key threatening processes listed under the EPBC Act are present in the park, including rabbits, foxes and feral cats. These species are subject to threat abatement plans. Camels are also a significant threat. The Director is required to manage the park in a manner consistent with the requirements of national recovery and threat abatement plans.

The Uluru–Kata Tjuta landscape is a representative cross-section of the Central Australian arid ecosystems. There is a need to identify and examine species at an ecosystem level within the various ecological zones in the park, towards identifing the key pressures, vulnerabilities and potential flow-on effects to other species and habitats. Appropriate and regular monitoring of such processes will better inform adaptive management for the park and potentially within the region.

Under ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act, a person may not kill, injure, take, trade, keep or move a member of a native species except in accordance with a management plan. The EPBC Regulations also prohibit taking animals and plants into the park, and cultivating plants in the park, except with the approval of the Director.

Actions taken in accordance with a management plan in relation to members of species listed under Part 13 of the Act are exempt from prohibitions that would otherwise apply under Part 13.

Issues

·       It is important that knowledge and information about native plants and animals in the park are maintained and updated to best guide management actions.

·       The unpredictable nature of rainfall means that animals and their habitats need to be monitored over a long period to provide an appropriate understanding of the dynamics of their abundance and distribution.

·       The status of some listed or otherwise significant species in the park is uncertain.

·       There is considerable scope to improve current scientific understanding of native plants and animals with increased opportunities for Anangu involvement in such programs as surveying, tracking and monitoring.

·       Reintroduction of some previously existing species is of significant cultural importance to strengthen Tjukurpa, to ensure younger Anangu learn about these culturally significant species, and for the health of country.

·       Considerably less is known about invertebrates than other faunal groups in the park.

·       As the environments around Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide significant refuges for native animals, impacts of visitor and other activities need to be carefully managed.

·       A number of species in the park are likely to come under increasing pressure as a result of changing climatic conditions.


·       A number of species are particularly susceptible to predation by foxes and cats.

·       Regional approaches to management of native plants, animals and ecological communities, as well as threatening processes, may be required.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.6.1     Understanding about flora and fauna distribution and abundance in the park will continue to be improved using both Piranpa science and Anangu knowledge and skills.

5.6.2     Consistent with Policy 5.1.2, maintaining Anangu flora and fauna knowledge and skills will be recognised as important park work by:

-        applying Anangu knowledge and skills in natural resource management programs

-        facilitating the intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills

-        providing structured opportunities for younger Anangu to be involved in the above.

5.6.3     In consultation with Anangu, traditional ecological information will continue to be recorded and, if appropriate, disseminated in accordance with  Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) protocols.

5.6.4     Reintroductions of native species will be provided for in accordance with the following:

-        Parks Australia will work with Anangu, the Cultural Heritage and Scientific Consultative Committee and other experts as required in developing reintroduction programs.

-        Species considered for reintroduction will be previously occurring native species of particular cultural significance.

-        Long-term objectives for the future of reintroduced species will be established.

-        Threats to reintroduced species will be effectively controlled as needed to enable populations to establish and survive.

-        Priority will be given to species which are likely to survive in the wild in the long term, critically endangered species, and species of cultural importance.

5.6.5     Data on EPBC Act and Northern Territory listed plant and animal species and others of conservation or cultural significance will be maintained, and management programs and activities will ensure that they are protected from inappropriate disturbance.

5.6.6     Native plants and animals and plant and animal material may be brought into and taken from the park in accordance with a permit issued by the Director and where consistent with policies and actions in this plan.

5.6.7     Plants may be brought into residential areas in the park subject to the Director’s approval.

5.6.8     The Director may take actions concerning native species, including species listed under Part 13 of the EPBC Act, that are otherwise prohibited by the EPBC Act where they are necessary to implement this plan, or where they are otherwise necessary for preserving or protecting the park, protecting or conserving biodiversity, or protecting persons or property in the park.


5.6.9    Parks Australia will work closely with Anangu and the Central Land Council to ensure that the Anangu right to engage in traditional hunting and gathering (see Section 2.4, Legislative context) does not pose a threat to listed or declining species, habitats and ecological processes in the park. The Board may recommend conservation measures to and in consultation with Anangu to ensure the viability of target species in the park.

5.6.10   Parks Australia will continue to liaise and work closely with Anangu, the Central Land Council and the managers of the Yulara resort in relation to the management of native species and communities. Of particular importance is the management of the transitional sand plain habitat.

5.6.11    Research and monitoring will be managed in accordance with Section 8.4, Research, monitoring and knowledge management.

5.6.12    Taking of native plants and animals that involves access to biological resources will be managed in accordance with Section 8.4 of this plan.

Actions

5.6.13    Continue fauna and flora surveys and adjust existing programs and activities, or develop new ones, based on the analyses of results. Consider new approaches to address knowledge gaps, particularly about species identified as a management priority.

5.6.14    Prepare guidelines for the reintroduction of species in accordance with Policy 5.6.3.

5.6.15    Review the methodology for including invertebrates in fauna surveys and implement surveys as appropriate.

5.6.16    Maintain efforts to increase the mala population in a fenced enclosure and consider release only when threats are considered to have been effectively managed.

5.6.17    Update animal and plant lists to identify significant species that may require particular management attention, for example species that are locally restricted, declining or culturally significant.

5.6.18    Map plant species of particular management importance, such as those that are rare, at the edge of their range, under pressure from pest animals and weeds, culturally significant or fire sensitive.

5.6.19    Identify which species or communities are likely to be most at risk from impacts of climate change and identify options to improve their resilience.

5.6.20    Incorporate relevant actions from species threat abatement and recovery plans into park management programs.

5.6.21   Identify methods to monitor the health of ecosystems on a landscape scale including identifying keystone and indicator species. Develop monitoring programs for these species/ groups and use results to ensure a whole of ecosystem approach to management.


5.7      Weeds and introduced plants

Our aim

Park values are protected by managing existing weeds, preventing invasion by new weed species, and increasing understanding of management issues relating to weeds and introduced plants among park residents, neighbours and visitors.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which buffel grass abundance and distribution is contained.

·       No new weed species become established within the park.

·       Level of success of park guidelines in effectively managing the threat of introduced plants brought in by park residents.

Background

Buffel grass ukiri kutjupa malikitja, mununa kulilpai malikitja nyanga pakanu kura-kura ka nganana Ulurula putula katalpai wiyalpai putu pulkatu pakalpai. Warka wirula palyaningi Pularila itingka ukiri kura-kura pakannyangka mai iluntankunyangka mai iluntanu uwankara wangunu wakati munu mai iluntanu kaltu-kaltu munu mai kulu kunakanti nyara paluru tjulpungku kulu tjungungku ngalkupai ngaltutjara.
                                                                                                     
© Barbara Tjikatu

Buffel grass is a different sort of grass that does not belong here and  I think this introduced grass is pretty poor. At Uluru we have tried in vain to cut it out and finish it off. So much has grown. We were doing some good work near Pulari where the buffel grass had grown killing all the plant foods. It killed off all the native grasses like naked woollybutt, inland pigweed, native millet grasses and others used to make seed cakes. They are grasses with seeds that many birds eat as well, poor things. ©

Many introduced (exotic) plant species have been recorded in the park. Several factors or activities, past and present, have provided opportunities for weeds to be introduced and to spread. The soils in the park that are most susceptible to disturbance and subsequent weed establishment have been identified as those associated with the water – and nutrient-rich alluviums of the Gillen land system.

The most threatening weed in the park is the perennial buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris). Buffel is one of a number of pasture grasses introduced from Africa and now established across northern Australia and was used in the past to control soil erosion. Buffel grass is recognised as being capable of affecting ecosystem-level function. It out-competes native plant species and as a result removes suitable habitat for many native animals. Buffel grass also alters natural surface hydrology and chokes drainage lines, exacerbating erosion. Landscapes dominated by buffel grass can also burn more frequently and at higher intensity than uninvaded vegetation (Friedel et al. 2006).

The grass has spread considerably through the park, particularly around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Park staff, Anangu, and Conservation Volunteers Australia have invested considerable effort in removing it from particularly sensitive areas around the base of Uluru. Despite these efforts, overall distribution increased in the park during the life of the 4th Plan.


Red Natal grass (Melinis repens) has become of increasing concern in recent years and programs have been established to control it in key areas. Other weed species that occur in the park are generally not considered to have a major impact on the park’s ecosystems. Most weeds only become evident after rain and are treated as needed at priority locations such as waterholes and key visitor areas. However, it is recognised that new weed species have the potential to be introduced through a range of vectors, including vehicles, animals and camels in particular, and winds. For example, Mexican poppy seed was brought in accidentally via contaminated gravel; the resulting infestation was controlled, but there is the potential for this and similar weeds to invade creek lines.

Over the years since the park was established, plants have been brought into residential areas within the park, and also to Yulara just outside the park. Some of these introduced plant species have the potential to become established in the wild.

Cultivating plants from local seed stock and other appropriate sources for amenity plantings and rehabilitation work can assist with reducing these risks.

The EPBC Regulations prohibit bringing plants into the park, or cultivating plants in the park, except in accordance with a management plan. The Weeds Management Act 2001 (NT) applies to the park in so far as it is not inconsistent with the EBPC Act, a management plan or the EPBC Regulations.

Issues

·       Priority areas for treatment of buffel grass need to be identified to effectively allocate resources.

·       Control of buffel grass in the park is labour intensive. Control by large machinery, chemicals and fire needs to be investigated, but they may not be viable options in some areas around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

·       The park remains at some risk of introduction of new weed species, particularly via vehicles and contaminated soil.

·       Plants brought into the park by residents have the potential to become established in the park and introduce new invasive species, especially invertebrates.

·       Working closely with neighbours and relevant government agencies is necessary to keep abreast of infestations, declared noxious weeds, and effective approaches to control.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.7.1     In conjunction with Nguraritja and the Central Land Council, buffel grass will be controlled to the greatest extent possible, with particular priority given to:

-        keeping buffel grass out of cultural sites

-        eradicating new infestations

-        protecting significant plant communities and habitat for rare animal species from buffel invasion

-        maintaining buffel free or reduced areas to achieve fire management objectives

-        controlling infestations along roadsides, walking tracks and drainage lines.

5.7.2     Parts of the park may be closed temporarily to allow for effective broadscale treatment of weeds.


 

5.7.3     Priority areas such as waterholes will be identified and targeted for control of weed species.

5.7.4     Introduced plants will not be permitted to be brought into the park, unless approved by the Director.

5.7.5     The Director will observe the Weeds Management Act 2001 (NT) where appropriate and where it is not inconsistent with this plan.

5.7.6     Cooperative research programs with relevant research institutions and neighbours will be supported to undertake research into weed ecology, dispersal and control options (see Section 8.4, Research, monitoring and knowledge management).

Actions

5.7.7     In conjunction with Nguraritja and the Central Land Council, continue weed control programs in accordance with the Policies 5.7.1 to 5.7.6.

5.7.8     Finalise and implement a buffel grass management program in accordance with Policies 5.7.1 to 5.7.6. Finish mapping buffel grass distribution throughout the park and regularly evaluate and revise the management program.

5.7.9     Develop and implement a weed control strategy which:

-        identifies a rapid response approach in the event a new weed is found in the park so the weed can be identified, appropriately dealt with and the risk of establishment assessed

-        identifies where the greatest potential is for weeds being inadvertently brought into the park (for example, by certain types of vehicles) and actions to reduce the threat.

5.7.10    Train park staff in weed identification.

5.7.11    Maintain the nursery to provide amenity plantings for park residents from local seed stock or other appropriate sources, and for rehabilitation plantings.

5.7.12    Work with neighbours and relevant authorities to develop and implement a regional approach to weed control.

5.8       Introduced and domestic animals

Our aim

Through programs developed and implemented in consultation with Anangu, the adverse effects of introduced feral and domestic animals on the natural and cultural values of the park are minimised.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent of regular monitoring of significant feral species.

·       Extent to which levels of feral species abundance and distribution are contained.

·       Amount of ongoing consultation with Anangu regarding the management of feral species.

·       Extent to which populations of EPBC Act listed and other significant species are regularly monitored and their distribution and abundance levels remain within acceptable limits.

·       Extent to which culturally significant waterholes, plants and rock art sites are adversely impacted by camels.


Background

Nganana putjikata tjuta tjina nyakula tjunkupai trap, tjina nyakula kutju, tjina wiyangka putjikata tjuta wiya ngarapai ka putjikata tjuta kutjupara nyinanyi rapitaku pitingka itingka ka nyara palula trap tjunkupai ka paluru tjana rapitaku pitjala trap tjarpara witilpai.

Kamula tjutaringu nyangatja ka kamula tjuta mai tjuta wiyani wanari wiyani kapi uwankara tjikira wiyani. Kutjupara tjukula tjarpanyi munu-ya tjukula tjarpara paluru tjana kapi kurani, kapi wiru ka camela tjutangku.
                                                                                                         
© Andrew Taylor

On seeing cat tracks we set up traps, only when seeing tracks, if no tracks no cats there. Sometimes cats are living close to rabbit burrows, and traps are placed there. When they come for the rabbits they enter the traps and are caught.

Camels have increased greatly here. Camels are finishing off many plants, consuming all the mulga and drinking all the water in the rockholes. Sometimes camels go into the waterholes and they spoil the water, good water. ©

Introduced predators are recognised as a major factor in the extinction of approximately 40 per cent of the native species of Central Australia. Of the 27 mammal species found in the park, six are introduced: the rabbit, the camel, the fox, the house mouse, the cat, and the dog. These introduced species are distributed throughout the park, although their densities are greatest in the run-off areas of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

Feral animal issues extend well beyond the boundaries of the park. Effective control in the park will, to a large extent, depend on effective programs outside the park. Cooperation with neighbours and regional bodies is therefore recognised as being essential in reducing impacts.

In the park camels have been implicated in the reduction in plant species, particularly more succulent species such as the desert quandong (Santalum acuminatum). They also have a significant impact on the condition of waterholes and water quality and can pose some danger to humans and traffic. Surveys estimate an increase in population of around 10 per cent per year. Amongst Anangu, opinions regarding management of camels, including culling, are divided.

Large numbers of rabbits, particularly in the runoff areas around Uluru and Kata Tjuta, led to the introduction of a rabbit control program in 1989. The result has been a great reduction in the rabbit population, a noticeable improvement in vegetation recovery, and an associated reduction in predator numbers. Ongoing control is required to maintain low rabbit numbers.

The house mouse is a successful invader of disturbed environments and habitats that have lost native rodents. Fauna surveys undertaken during the 4th Plan suggest the house mouse’s distribution has spread in the park. Numbers are high during good seasons but drop quickly as conditions dry out. When mice are abundant, so are native rodents. During dry conditions, native rodents hold out longer than mice. No mouse control program was established during the 4th Plan except around houses.

No studies have been undertaken in the park on the impact of cats. However, a number of threatened species within the park are of typical prey size for cats, in particular the great desert skink (tjakura) and mulgara (murtja). Feral cats were also a major factor in the failure of the


mala reintroduction program in the Tanami Desert. This is a major consideration in current reintroduction programs within the park.

Within the park, foxes have been seen along the ring road adjacent to Uluru and at other locations, and tracks have been recorded at all track monitoring sites. Fox densities are expected to be similar across the region on adjacent lands which is a particular challenge for managing impacts in the park.

Transects to determine predator densities in the park are being established and both traditional tracking techniques and western scientific techniques are used. Anangu knowledge and tracking skills are invaluable assets in the management of these introduced animals.

The park is required to be managed in a manner consistent with threat abatement plans for threatening processes in the park, which include introduced species. At the time of writing this plan, threat abatement plans under the EPBC Act are in place for rabbits, foxes and cats.

Regulation 12.19 of the EPBC Regulations prohibits bringing in or keeping animals in the park, except in accordance with a management plan. This prohibition does not apply to guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, and other assistance animals for people with disabilities.

A number of domestic animals live in the park’s residential areas. Anangu have historically kept domestic dogs, most of which are of mixed breed including dingo (Canis lupus dingo) cross breeds.

Issues

·       Control of cats to date has been largely opportunistic and little is understood about cat distribution and abundance.

·       Presence of feral animals is preventing re-establishment of wild populations of small mammals that are of particular significance to Anangu.

·       Further work is required to negotiate a solution with Anangu for controlling camels in the regional context. Broadscale culling of camels is regarded as the only effective control method, combined with localised measures such as fencing waterholes, selective or opportunistic harvesting, and live capture. At present, the market for camel meat and live export is extremely limited.

·       Ongoing work is required to maintain low numbers of rabbits at priority sites, including around Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

·       Uncontrolled domestic pets can present an unacceptable risk to the park’s natural values and to park visitors.

·       The long-term success of feral animal control programs in the park depends on a coordinated regional approach.


What we are going to do

Policies

5.8.1     Management of existing feral species will be in accordance with the following:

-             Foxes and cats will be controlled to the fullest possible extent, including introducing a baiting program.

-             Rabbits will be controlled at priority sites including around Uluru and Kata Tjuta and in reintroduction enclosures, and in other areas as agreed where they are having a significant impact on park values.

-             Camels will be managed to ensure park values are not impacted. Priority sites for protection from camels include key visitor sites, waterholes, cultural sites, significant plant communities, the Mutitjulu Community and park infrastructure.

-             In the longer term, options for controlling camel numbers will be identified in conjunction with adjacent landowners and other regional partners, and will include consideration of economic opportunities for Anangu.

-             Broadscale baiting programs for feral predators will be undertaken only in accordance with clearly established conservation objectives and clearly defined outcomes.

5.8.2     Protocols for ensuring that appropriate animal welfare standards are met will be complied with.

5.8.3     The entry of dogs to the park will be restricted to guide dogs for the vision and hearing impaired, or assistance animals used by persons with a disability. Permits to bring dogs in for other purposes will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

5.8.4     Park staff and residents may keep up to two dogs per residence without a permit from the Director, provided that the person in charge of a dog complies with conditions set by the Director for the protection of human health and safety and the conservation of park values.

5.8.5     Other domestic animals may only be kept at Mutitjulu in accordance with a permit. The Director will not issue a permit unless satisfied that there is minimal risk of adverse impacts on native species or ecosystems, or human health and safety.

5.8.6     The Director may give approval to keep local, native animals that cannot be rehabilitated to the wild.

5.8.7     Other animals may only be brought into or taken through the park in accordance with a permit issued by the Director and where consistent with policies and actions in this plan.

5.8.8     Park staff will work with neighbours, the Central Land Council, Anangu, and Northern Territory authorities and other relevant agencies to develop regional approaches to feral animal management.

Actions

5.8.9     In conjunction with Nguraritja, finalise the strategy for the control of feral animals and implement feral animal control programs in accordance with Policies 5.8.1 to 5.8.8 and the strategy.

5.8.10    Identify and implement programs under the strategy to more effectively manage feral animals with the involvement of Anangu. Implement additional tracking programs to improve understanding of feral predator distribution and abundance, and to measure the effectiveness of control programs.


 

5.8.11    Liaise with Anangu, Nguraritja of the adjacent Aboriginal Land Trusts, the Central Land Council, the Northern Territory Government agency responsible for Parks and Wildlife, adjacent landowners and other regional bodies to identify regional solutions to controlling wild camel populations. Implement any such control program approved by the Board.

5.8.12    Develop and implement a rapid response plan for new pest animal invasions including invertebrates which:

-        identifies a proposed response in the event a new species is found in the park so it can be identified, appropriately dealt with and the risk of establishment assessed

-        identifies where the greatest potential is for new pest species being inadvertently brought into the park and actions to reduce the threat.

5.9       Fire management

Our aim

Through the active management and use of fire, the park’s natural and cultural landscape values are maintained, Tjukurpa obligations are met, and life and property are protected.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of plant and animal diversity in the park remains stable.

·       Extent to which populations of EPBC listed and other significant species and their distribution and abundance levels remain within acceptable limits.

·       Exent to which risk of fire impacting on property or life is minimised.

·       Extent to which risk of fire damaging cultural sites or Tjukurpa lines is minimised.

·       Extent of fire management activities that facilitate intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills.

Background

Tjilpi tjutangku waru tilintjaku ngurkantara tjunkupai ngura uwankaraku atunymankupai wirura pukulpa ngaranytjaku munu wati yangupala tjuta nintilpai ka tjana nyakula mula-mularingkula nintiringkupai. Tjilpingku kutju tjukurpa palunya miil-miilpa tilintjaku tawara tjukarurungku atunymara wati yangupala tjukarurulpai ka kuwari nganana palumpa waru tilintjikitja mukuringanyi ukiri wiru pakantjaku mai tjuta kampurarpa tjuta kutjupa kutjupa winki.
                                                                                                                
© Jim Nukiti

The senior men select the areas for burning, look after all the places and teach the young men. They watch and really learn about the proper way to do things well. The senior men are the ones that ensure sacred places are not burnt and look after the young men so burning is done correctly according to traditional law. Presently we want to use it, fire, to get good green regrowth in grasses and regenerate bush foods like the desert raisins and the various other plants. ©

Fire is an essential element of the park’s landscape and is integral to Tjukurpa and to maintaining World Heritage values. Anangu have traditionally used fire to maintain a vegetation mosaic in order to enhance resources and protect them from large wildfires. This long-standing relationship is acknowledged in the park’s World Heritage listing. Fire is an inherent part of this landscape,


and the region’s plants and animals have evolved under its influence. There are also significant cultural sites in the park which need to be protected from fire.

Fire is the key management tool used to deliver landscape scale ecosystem management in the park. Such landscape scale management can only be achieved cooperatively with the park neighbours through a regional approach to fire management.

Native animal populations in the park have a direct relationship with frequency and intensity of fires. The loss of habitat diversity associated with the reduction in traditional burning practices after European settlement is believed to be one of a variety of factors contributing to the loss of over 40 per cent of mammal species from the Central Australian region.

Flora and fauna surveys in the park have helped identify species which require particular management attention, and for which particular requirements need to be considered in fire management programs.

The park’s fire history has been well mapped. Since the 1940s, the large wildfires that have had an impact on the park have all started beyond the park boundary. Large fires generally occur in early summer and particularly following periods of good rains. Prescribed burning helps to contain such wildfires and reduce their impacts.

Suppression of wildfire is also often necessary to protect life and assets, and where fire is considered to have a negative ecological impact on areas of the park.

The implications of climate change on fire regimes are unclear. Projected increases in temperature and evaporation rates and changes in rainfall patterns may affect the fuel level and fire risk across the park.

Fire management in the park is subject to the Northern Territory Bushfires Act in so far as it is not inconsistent with the EBPC Act. The fundamental principle established by the Bushfires Act is that the responsibility for bushfire management rests with the landholder. The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service based in Yulara has provided assistance in fire management within the park from time to time.

The EPBC Act (ss.354 and 354A) prohibits certain actions being taken in Commonwealth reserves except in accordance with a management plan including actions that impact upon members of a native species, damaging heritage and carrying out works or an excavation.

Issues

·       Fire management is integral to Tjukurpa and there are expectations that skills and knowledge will be passed through generations of Anangu and practised in day-to-day management.

·       A number of plant and animal communities and species in the park are particularly susceptible to inappropriate fire regimes.

·       Large wildfires that have the potential to have a serious impact on the park’s ecosystems usually start outside park boundaries.

·       An important part of effective fire management is that all park staff and Anangu are aware of agreed approaches to fire management.


·       Fire management zones need to be utilised to help direct and prioritise fire management efforts in the park.

·       Climate change is expected to have implications for fire management in the park.

What we are going to do

Policies

5.9.1     The guiding principles for fire management in the park are:

-        Anangu and park staff will work together in fire management activities.

-        Traditional Anangu knowledge of the use and control of fire in the landscape will be integrated with scientific knowledge to inform management decisions.

-        Through improved collaboration with neighbours, fire will be managed using a regional approach to acknowledge the links between Tjukurpa, Anangu, Nguraritja, and fire history.

-        A continuous improvement approach to fire management will be adopted.

5.9.2     Fire will be managed to ensure the maintenance of the park’s biodiversity by:

-        improving knowledge about the impacts of fire regimes on flora and fauna through monitoring and research activities

-        protecting fire sensitive species from inappropriate fire regimes

-        suppressing wildfires likely to have a negative ecological impact

-        controlling buffel grass to reduce fire intensity.

5.9.3     Fire will be managed to help protect life and assets by:

-        reducing the fire risk in identified asset protection zones to acceptable levels

-        suppressing wildfires adjacent to assets

-        maintaining an emergency response plan to protect human life in the event of a wildfire.

5.9.4     Fire management programs will assist in maintaining Tjukurpa by:

-        protecting sensitive sites that should not be burnt

-        burning to regenerate bush foods

-        burning to create fresh growth for animals and hunting

-        protecting plants that should not be burnt

-        recognising that fire and smoke continues to be an effective and culturally appropriate method of communication

-        supporting intergenerational transfer of Anangu knowledge and skills in fire management so that fire work can continue to be done in the culturally appropriate way.

5.9.5     Suppression of wildfire will be consistent with Policies 5.9.1 to 5.9.4.

5.9.6     A fire and vegetation management strategy for the park will guide fire management in accordance with the above policies.


5.9.7    Fire management will be carried out in a manner consistent with the relevant Northern Territory fire laws so far as is practicable. Permits may be applied for if required under the Bushfires Act (NT) to carry out fire management works.

5.9.8    The Director may request the Northern Territory Government agency responsible for fire management activities to assist in fire control within the park under the guidance of Parks Australia.

5.9.9    In the case of an urgent and immediate threat to human life or property due to fire, the Northern Territory Government agency responsible for fire management activities may operate within the park, under the guidance of Parks Australia where appropriate. Where practicable, emergency fire management activities will take into account minimising disturbance to listed plant and animal species and areas of conservation or cultural significance.

Actions

5.9.10   Implement appropriate management programs according to the park’s fire and vegetation management strategy. Monitor program results and review strategies as necessary to ensure desired objectives are met.

5.9.11   Identify requirements for listed and restricted species, species of particular cultural significance, and other species of significance. Incorporate these requirements into management approaches for each fire management zone (see also Section 5.3, The physical landscape).

5.9.12    Ensure park staff are appropriately trained in the use of relevant equipment, incendiaries, use of geographic information systems, database management, monitoring techniques and occupational health and safety requirements relevant to fire.

5.9.13    Continue to monitor the effects of fire and its impact on species distribution and abundance, and continue to regularly review and improve management programs.

5.9.14    Work with agencies and businesses located in Yulara that have a fire management role or responsibility including the Central Land Council, Anangu, other neighbours and the Northern Territory Government to coordinate fire management activities at the regional level.


6.         Visitor management and park use

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is a living cultural landscape. World Heritage listed for cultural and natural values, the park’s spectacular desert landscapes and extraordinary plants and animals draw people from all over the world. Anangu want to share the park with visitors, while safeguarding their culture, lifestyle and privacy, and maintaining Tjukurpa.

6.1       Tourism directions and recreational opportunities

Our aim

The tourism directions for the park:

·           offer visitors memorable and diverse experiences and insights into the park’s natural and living cultural landscapes

·           build strong and successful partnerships between Anangu, government and the tourism industry to achieve sustainable tourism

·           provide meaningful and realistic opportunities for Anangu to engage in, and benefit from, tourism.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·           Overall visitor satisfaction with the park is 80 per cent or higher.

·           Extent to which the Board feels the aims of the tourism directions are being met.

Background

Anangu nguraritja pukularinyi nyura ngalyapitjala ngura nganampa para-nyakunytjaku. Ananguku ngura nyangatja, Ananguku Tjukurpa.
                                                                                                            
© Tony Tjamiwa

We custodians of this place are really happy for you to come and look around our country. This is an Anangu place, with Anangu Law. ©

Nganana tourist tjuta para-ngarapai pakaltjingani tjitji tjuta nintini wati tjuta yangupala tjuta warkaku paluru tjana. Ka nganana nintini palunya wirura ka paluru tjanala kulini ‘munta uwa wiya palya’- palya paluru tjana kulini wiru wangkapai. Nganana tourist tjuta para-ngarala ankupai, ngura kutjupanguru welcomamilapai nganana munu pukularipai.
                                                                                                              
© Reggie Uluru

We are creating guided tours for tourists, and teaching Anangu children and young men so they can do this work. We are showing how to do it properly and they are listening to us – ‘0h yes, all right’– they say as they get a good understanding of how to present the tours and talks. On the tours, we welcome the visitors who have come from other places and we make them happy. ©


Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is part of the Red Centre National Landscape under the National Landscapes Program, a joint Parks Australia and Tourism Australia initiative. The Red Centre is the physical and spiritual heart of Australia’s outback. It is recognised as one of the world’s most spectacular and readily accessible desert landscapes, extending over some 200,000 square kilometres of stunning ancient mountain ranges. The Red Centre, which also includes the ancient MacDonnell Ranges, Watarrka and Finke River, is home to one of the world’s oldest continuing Indigenous living cultures.

The park offers unique opportunities within this setting to provide visitors with memorable and rewarding experiences that complement, but are different from, those elsewhere in the Red Centre National Landscape.

The park’s strengths are that it has established access and facilities to help visitors experience the desert landscape and Indigenous living culture.

Tourism also has the potential to significantly contribute to the well-being of Anangu. It is recognised that considerable opportunities exist for Anangu to more fully participate in and benefit from tourism enterprises.

During the 4th Plan, annual park visitor numbers averaged around 350,000 per year, of whom more than half were overseas visitors. The desert climate strongly influences visitation and activities within the park. Temperatures in the warmer months can reach above 40°C for several days at a time.

It is important to Anangu and the Board of Management that Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park becomes known as a place of sharing knowledge and learning about country and culture; that visitors have the maximum opportunity to enjoy, share in and appreciate Anangu culture; and that Anangu benefit in more ways from tourism. It is also important that visitor management and park use are undertaken in a culturally appropriate way that ensures the health of both country and its community.

The Board and the tourism industry have recognised that this plan presents a critical opportunity to reposition the park by offering a broader range of appropriate experiences.

Issues

·       The key challenge is to provide sustainable world-class experiences to visitors keen to immerse themselves in the park’s natural and living cultural environment whilst protecting park values and helping to secure long-term futures for Anangu. This involves encouraging visitors to engage in a variety of experiences. The park is in a remote location with limited water and other resources which may necessarily influence the scope and location of visitor experiences. Visitor infrastructure in this environment is costly to construct and maintain.

·       The range of visitor experiences should be offered within the context of the greater Red Centre National Landscape to provide unique but complementary experiences within a regional setting.


·       There is an increasing expectation by visitors that they will have the opportunity to meet Anangu as part of their visit. The challenge is to create and support activities for Anangu whilst also setting realistic expectations for visitors.

·       The future development and management of the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara is closely linked to future tourism in the park.

What we are going to do

Policies

6.1.1     Tourism will be managed in accordance with the following principles:

(a)    Respect for Tjukurpa will underpin all park management tourism decisions.

(b)    Nguraritja will guide the nature and pace of tourism developments in the park.

(c)    Tourism developments will be in keeping with the protection and presentation of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth listed heritage values.

(d)    The visitor experience should emphasise learning about the park’s physical and living cultural landscape.

(e)    The primary focus will be providing world-class experiences to visitors keen to discover the park’s natural and living cultural environment.

(f)     Tourism development in the park will aim to provide facilities and services needed to deliver these experiences.

(g)    The provision of facilities and services will be planned so as to provide as far as possible a range of Anangu employment and business opportunities.

(h)    Visitor information, facilities and services will be provided in a way that complements and supports the tourism management objectives for the greater Red Centre National Landscape.

(i)     The long-term sustainability of water and other resources will be a determining consideration in future tourism directions.

Action

6.1.2     In conjunction with Nguraritja, develop a tourism positioning statement with Tourism NT and Tourism Australia, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, reflecting the park’s role in the Red Centre National Landscape.

 


6.2       Access and site management

Our aim

Visitor access to and within the park is provided for in ways that are environmentally and culturally appropriate, and that enhance the range and quality of the visitor experience.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of reduction in the number of compliance incidents involving walking tracks and sacred sites in the park.

·       Degree of compliance with the Fly Neighbourly Agreement.

·       Extent to which tracks and walks are maintained to acceptable standards.

Background

Miil-miilpa tjuta ngaranyi ka Anangungku wangkapai ‘nyarangka wiya , nyanganguru tjukaruru’ tjukaruru nganana ma-katinma munu ma-wangkama tjukurpa nyanga tjananya tjukurpa tjinguru mala wangkanyi tjinguru liru walkangka , tjanala tjutaku tjukarurungku katira wangkanytjaku.
                                                                                                      
© Rupert Goodwin

There are many sacred places to respect and Anangu have always said ‘ not over there, here is the right way to go’. We take (tourists) to appropriate places and tell them appropriate stories, for example talking about Mala stories or maybe go on the Liru Walk to talk with them about our traditional law and stories in a proper way. ©

Providing access for visitor activities whilst ensuring visitor safety and maintenance of the park’s natural and cultural values is a major focus of management.

Road access to the park by the public is limited to the Lasseter Highway from Yulara and the Docker River Road from Western Australia (with a permit from the Central Land Council where appropriate). See Maps 5 and 6.

The section of the Lasseter Highway within the park is maintained by Parks Australia. This sealed road is used by park visitors and by through traffic coming from and travelling to Western Australia. Increased traffic volume and heavy vehicle loading can significantly increase road maintenance requirements. Sections of the unsealed Docker River Road become corrugated by vehicle use and are graded periodically by Parks Australia. Heavy traffic loads such as the repetitive transport of mining material and equipment through the park would not be sustainable, would potentially increase risks to visitor safety and would impact upon park values.

All roads and tracks in the park are subject to the EPBC Act and Regulations. The EPBC Regulations (rr.12.41 and 12.44) enable the Director to control use of tracks and roads in the park and to restrict parking or stopping of vehicles in specified areas of the park. The EPBC Regulations (r.12.43) also provide penalties for vehicles which exceed the posted speed limit or go against the direction of a one-way traffic carriageway. Northern Territory laws also apply to the extent those laws can operate concurrently with the EPBC Act and Regulations.

The use of aircraft in and over the park requires adequate controls so that visitors and park residents remain safe, the Mutitjulu Community retains its privacy, and cultural values are


protected. Air access to the park is usually via Connellan Airport, which is outside the park to the north of Yulara.

A Fly Neighbourly Agreement was implemented in early 1997, following agreement between Parks Australia, the Mutitjulu Community, the Ayers Rock Resort Company, Connellan Airport management and local scenic flight operators. The agreement is detailed under Special Procedures (not associated with an aerodrome) in the En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA) issued periodically by Airservices Australia. The Special Procedure describes recommended routes, altitudes and sensitive areas for flights over the park.

Commercial flights over the park below 3,000 metres (other than flights on approved flight paths to or from an airport) require approval from park management.

The EPBC Regulations (r.12.58) prohibit landing and take-off of aircraft in the park except in areas that the Director determines may be used for that purpose (or in an emergency). The definition of ‘aircraft’ in the EPBC Act includes any apparatus that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air, such as gliders, hang-gliders, paragliders, parachutes, hot air balloons and similar equipment.

The EPBC Regulations (r.12.23) enable the Director to restrict entry to areas in the park on a temporary or permanent basis. The Director’s Lease obligations require the Director to give effect to reasonable requests from Nguraritja, through the Central Land Council, to restrict access to areas of the park for the purpose of Indigenous use. There are sites where visitors are generally not allowed to go which include the domes of Kata Tjuta, sacred sites around Uluru and the Mutitjulu Community.

In addition, the Director may implement temporary or long-term closures of visitor areas if an activity has the potential to impact on park values, or poses a risk to public safety. Under certain circumstances, the Director may require parts of the park to be closed at very short notice for cultural reasons, visitor incidents, floods, fire, or for other operational reasons. Under these circumstances, every effort is made to advise park visitors and tour operators as soon as possible.

Issues

·       From time to time roads, tracks and sites may need to be temporarily closed to facilitate park management operations or for cultural reasons.

·       Roads and tracks require ongoing maintenance.

·       With the exception of issues that are of an urgent nature, it is important that the tourism industry is consulted about proposed changes to access and that decisions are made and implemented within appropriate timeframes.

·       There are challenges in controlling air traffic to protect cultural values, visitor experience and the rights and amenity of Mutitjulu residents.

·       Heavy vehicles transiting the park, and the contents they transport, may have implications for visitor safety and protection of park values.

 


What we are going to do

Policies

6.2.1     To help manage access within the park and to particular areas, either temporarily or permanently, measures such as closures under the EPBC Regulations, permits and booking systems may be used.

6.2.2     The Director may approve the temporary closure of the park or certain areas within it if necessary for cultural reasons, in accordance with the Lease and advice received from the Board.

6.2.3     Decisions regarding short- and long-term access will be made in accordance with Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together, and procedures approved by the Board.

6.2.4     In the event that the park or part of the park is closed at very short notice for operational or cultural reasons, every effort will be made to notify the tourism industry and park visitors as soon as possible.

6.2.5     Vehicles, including bicycles, will be restricted to approved roads and tracks, unless approved by the Director. The Director may determine, in accordance with the EPBC Regulations, roads and tracks that will not be available for public use (permanently or temporarily). The Director may restrict use to particular groups and may determine restrictions on vehicle use of roads and tracks.

6.2.6     Roads and tracks that are generally open to the public may be closed for public safety, environmental protection, cultural and management purposes.

6.2.7     Permits will not be issued authorising the landing and take-off of gliders, hang-gliders, paragliders, parachutes, hot air balloons and similar equipment.

6.2.8     The helipads adjacent to Park Headquarters and along the Valley of the Winds walking track will be maintained. Helicopter landings in the park will be allowed only in cases of emergency, for park management purposes, or for other exceptional purposes approved by the Director.

6.2.9     New roads and tracks may be constructed in the park in accordance with Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals.

6.2.10      As provided by Section 4.1, as far as practicable the views of the tourism industry and other relevant stakeholders will be taken into account in access decisions and they will be provided with advance notification before decisions are implemented.

6.2.11    Restrictions may need to be placed on certain types of vehicles and their loads in accordance with rr.12.41 and 12.42 if required to ensure visitor safety and protection of park values.

Actions

6.2.12    In conjunction with Air Services Australia and local flight operators, promote the Fly Neighbourly Agreement among providers of air transport services and review regularly as required.

6.2.13    Liaise with the tourism industry to consider alternative ways of moving people through the park to reduce impacts on the environment and visitor infrastructure. Should feasible options be identified, implement as agreed by the Board.


Map 5 – Access to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park – regional map

 


Map 6 – Public vehicle access within Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park

 


6.3       Visitor activities and experiences

Our aim

A range of activities are provided that optimise the park’s diversity and the quality of visitor experiences, in a manner that continues to protect and promote Anangu interests and the park’s cultural and natural values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       More than 80 per cent of visitors are satisfied with the range of activities available in the park.

·       Significant new visitor activities are monitored and there is minimal impact on natural or cultural values.

Background

Ananguku ngura nyangatja ka pukulpa pitjama. Nyakula munu nintiringkula Anangu kulintjikitjangku munu kulinma Ananguku ara kunpu munu pulka mulapa ngaranyi. Nganana malikitja tjutaku mukuringanyi nganampa ngura nintiringkunytjikitja munu Anangu kulintjikitja. Kuwari malikitja tjuta tjintu tjarpantjala nyakula kutju munu puli tatilpai. Puli nyangatja miil-miilpa alatjitu.Uti nyura tatintja wiya! Tatintjala ara mulapa wiya.
          
                                                                                          © Tony Tjamiwa

This is Anangu land and we welcome you. Look around and learn so that you can know something about Anangu and understand that Anangu culture is strong and really important. We want our visitors to learn about our place and listen to us Anangu. Now a lot of visitors are only looking at sunset and climbing Uluru. That rock is really important and sacred. You shouldn’t climb it! Climbing is not a proper tradition for this place. ©

The most popular activities in the park are sunrise and sunset viewing of Uluru in particular and of Kata Tjuta, and the walking trails associated with the viewing areas. Specific locations have been established to cater for large numbers of visitors. Bicycle riding from Yulara and through the park is increasing in popularity.

Under the EPBC Regulations, walking off a road or a track open to the public or a designated walking track is prohibited. The EPBC Regulations (r.12.28) prohibit camping in any area of the park other than camping areas determined by the Director, unless authorised in accordance with a management plan.

EPBC Regulations (r.12.30) prohibit the lighting of fires except in a portable barbecue or stove, a fireplace provided by the Director, or a place approved by the Director.

EPBC Regulations (r.12.26) prohibit activities such as climbing, abseiling and jumping from cliffs and rock faces, unless the Director has designated areas where the activity may be carried on. Regulation 12.31 prohibits public gatherings of more than 15 persons.


The Uluru climb

That’s a really important sacred thing that you are climbing… You shouldn’t climb. It’s not the real thing about this place. The real thing is listening to everything. And maybe that makes you a bit sad. But anyway that’s what we have to say. We are obliged by Tjukurpa to say. And all the tourists will brighten up and say, ‘Oh I see. This is the right way. This is the thing that’s right. This is the proper way: no climbing.
                                                                                       
© Kunmanara, Nguraritja

The ‘climb’ is the traditional route taken by the ancestral Mala (hare-wallaby men) on their arrival at Uluru, and as such is of great spiritual significance. Tjukurpa requires that Nguraritja take responsibility for looking after visitors to their country and each time a visitor is seriously or fatally injured at Uluru, Nguraritja share in the grieving process. It is this ‘duty of care’ under Tjukurpa that is the basis of Nguraritja’s stress and grieving for those injured. Although climbing Uluru is an attraction for some visitors, it is the view of Nguraritja that visitors should not climb as it does not respect the spiritual and safety aspects of Tjukurpa.

It was not until the area was handed back to Anangu in 1985 that recognition of the cultural significance of Uluru and Kata Tjuta began to directly influence the management of the park. Similarly the Tjukurpa of Uluru, and as a result Anangu opinion about the climb itself, began to publicly emerge (Hueneke 2006).

Whilst understanding of the cultural impact of climbing has emerged as a major issue since joint management, the safety aspects of the climb have been a constant challenge since visitors first started coming to Uluru.

In the past, many people have been injured and more than 30 people have died attempting to climb the very steep Uluru path. Current management measures to address visitor health and safety risks associated with the climb include provision of safety information in park visitor guides; safety signs at the base of the climb; presentations at the Cultural Centre and on the Mala Walk; closure of the climb under the EPBC Regulations during defined environmental conditions; and coordination of visitor rescues from Uluru when required. A health and safety review of the climb has been undertaken (DNP 2007). The review found that, despite these measures, visitor incidents continue to occur albeit at a reduced frequency and level of seriousness – there were no fatalities on the climb in the years 2002–2008.

Considerable resources are dedicated to managing the climb and to related health and safety issues. Maintenance of the park’s vertical rescue capability requires that the numerous staff involved undertake intensive external training and regular in-house training. Each time an incident occurs several staff and emergency personnel are involved and helicopters are often utilised. Search and rescue operations in the park often require those involved to undertake some level of personal risk.

Research was undertaken over a three-year period to assess visitors’ motivation for climbing Uluru, or choosing not to climb. The results showed that just over one-third of all visitors to the park chose to climb, a high percentage of these being children. The review found that overall not being able to climb would not affect the decision to visit the park for the vast majority of visitors (98 per cent).


The issue of children climbing is also of serious concern as the climb is a high risk activity. The above research showed that many children either did not understand the cultural reasons for not climbing or had to make a decision between the ‘do not climb message’ and their parents telling them it was alright to climb.

During the 4th Plan the climb was closed when conditions posed a risk to visitors, including extreme temperatures or storms. During the summer months this meant that the climb was closed for most of the time, except in the early mornings. In 2008 a decision was made, in agreement with the tourism industry, to close the climb after 8.00 am every day from 1 December to the end of February.

As an iconic travel destination on the one hand, and a site with extreme cultural importance to Nguraritja on the other, management of Uluru and the climb in particular is complex. Since the park’s establishment, the Board has agreed not to close the climb but instead to ask visitors to respect Anangu law and culture by not climbing, and to learn about the land and culture through alternative activities. Nguraritja continue to emphasise their wish that people do not climb Uluru and have expressed disappointment that the activity continues.

Issues

·       The safety and enjoyment of park visitors, protecting park values, and respecting wishes of Nguraritja are pivotal to future management directions.

·       The issue of the climb remains a focus for park management.

·       Providing and maintaining a range of activities will assist visitors to experience park values in environmentally and culturally appropriate ways.

·       Some visitors are still arriving in the park unaware of the views and values of Nguraritja about access to parts of the park, including the Uluru climb.

·       The park’s walking tracks need to be maintained in good condition.

·       With the increasing popularity of bicycle riding, safety issues are becoming a concern.

·       Provision of future visitor activities and facilities will need to take account of changing climatic conditions.

What we are going to do

Policies

6.3.1     At the commencement of this plan, camping in and access to the park between sunset and sunrise will continue to be prohibited. However, the Board may revise this decision and, following consultations with Nguraritja and the tourism industry, provide for activities at night subject to conditions specified by the Board.

6.3.2     The Board may approve development of other new activities consistent with the tourism principles (at Policy 6.1.1) subject to appropriate consultations with Nguraritja and the tourism industry, and assessment processes (see Sections 4.1, Making decisions and working together, 8.5, Assessment of proposals and 8.7 New activities not otherwise specified in this plan). Particular emphasis will be given to activities which increase opportunities for Anangu engagement.


6.3.3     The Uluru climb will be managed in accordance with the following:

(a)    At the commencement of this plan, the climb will continue to be open subject to health and safety measures to minimise risks to visitors. These measures may include, but not be limited to:

Ø         improved graphic signage

Ø         closure during periods when the climate is likely to pose increased risks to visitors

Ø         seasonal closure over the summer months due to high temperatures

Ø         other restrictions or measures in consultation with the tourism industry
and Nguraritja

Ø         continued and consistent measures to promote the ‘do not climb’ message from Nguraritja

Ø         provision and promotion of alternative activities.

(b)    For visitor safety, cultural, and environmental reasons the Director and the Board will work towards closure of the climb. Parks Australia will work with the tourism industry and Nguraritja to ensure that:

Ø         visitors continue to be provided with a unique and rewarding experience of the park

Ø         the tourism industry has sufficient lead time to amend and advertise new itineraries

Ø         impacts on the tourism industry are minimised.

(c)    The climb will be permanently closed when:

Ø         the Board, in consultation with the tourism industry, is satisfied that adequate new visitor experiences have been successfully established, or

Ø         the proportion of visitors climbing falls below 20 per cent, or

Ø         the cultural and natural experiences on offer are the critical factors when visitors make their decision to visit the park.

6.3.4     Upgrading, construction and management of existing or new walking tracks and facilities will be undertaken in accordance with Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together and Section 6.1, Tourism directions. See also Section 6.2.

6.3.5     The following recreational activities are prohibited by the EPBC Regulations, and permits will not be issued to undertake them in the park:

-             climbing, abseiling on, or jumping from rock faces

-             bungee jumping and BASE jumping

-             hang-gliding, paragliding and similar activities.

6.3.6     Permits for non-commercial public gatherings of more than 15 persons including athletic events, competitive racing, and weddings will not normally be issued, except under exceptional circumstances and where the activity will not have an impact on protection and presentation of park values, will not pose a risk to public safety or to Anangu interests, and may provide benefit to the park and Nguraritja.


6.3.7    Visitors may use gas barbeques, but no open fires are permitted except in designated fire places or other places approved by the Director.

6.3.8     Bicycle riding may be undertaken without a permit but only on public vehicle access roads or other tracks as specified.

6.3.9      Subject to the EPBC Regulations, other recreational activities may be prohibited in all or parts of the park if considered to pose an unacceptable risk to public safety, park values, or Anangu interests.

Actions

6.3.10    Unless otherwise determined by the Director and the Board, maintain, upgrade or develop walking tracks and road infrastructure in accordance with Australian Standards.

6.3.11    Continue survey programs to monitor visitor numbers, activities and impacts, vehicle numbers and visitor satisfaction.

6.3.12    Continue to work with the tourism industry and Anangu in developing new activities and experiences to increase visitors’ appreciation of the park’s natural and living cultural values.

6.3.13    Ensure visitor information encourages bicycle riders to ride safely in the park and in appropriate areas.

6.4       Visitor information, education and interpretation

Our aim

Visitors receive high quality information that promotes the park’s World Heritage and other listed heritage values and management with appropriate presentation of Tjukurpa stories including the park’s natural and living cultural values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number of visitors participating in educational and interpretation programs.

·       Extent to which visitors are satisfied with the information, education and interpretation materials provided.

Background

Touristangka nganana warkarinyi munu nintini visitors tjuta tjukurpa kulintjaku. Ngalya pitala kulilku ‘munta uwa ngura tjukurpatjara nyangatja’. Iritinguru Anangu kanyiningi ka nganana lina palurutu ngaranyi munu visitors tjuta nintini tjukurpaku.
                                                                                                      
© Sammy Wilson

We are working with the tourists and teaching the visitors to understand Tjukurpa. On a visit they will realise ‘oh yes this is a place with significant Anangu law and traditions’. Anangu have kept this law for a very long time. We continue on the same  line keeping our law and teaching visitors about it. ©

One of the park’s strengths is that it presents a rare opportunity to be able to increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples and culture, particularly those of the Western Desert. This is a key reason for people wanting to visit, and a keen desire of the Board and Nguraritja is to


provide experiences and appropriate messages which assist in this understanding. The park also presents the opportunity to inform visitors about joint management.

The park’s role within the broader Red Centre National Landscape provides an opportunity to interpret and present the park’s unique landscape characteristics and the desert habitats and wildlife occurring there in a regional context.

Information and interpretation for visitors includes publications, signage, websites, and face-to face interpretation activities by Anangu and rangers.

Given the significance placed on the Cultural Centre for increasing awareness of living cultural traditions and the influence that living culture has on management of the park, it is preferable that visitors first visit the Cultural Centre.

The Cultural Centre also supports Anangu enterprises by providing retail outlets for Maruku Arts and Crafts, the Ininti Café and Souvenirs, Anangu Tours, and Walkatjara Arts. It is also the Parks Australia outlet for information about park activities.

The interpretation effort is in part informed by visitor surveys in the park, which show that visitors and tour operators want more cultural, scientific and historical information. Many visitors come in organised groups and receive most of their information from their tour guides. The park recognises the important role tour guides have in disseminating accurate and culturally appropriate information. Tour guides will be required to be certified to work in the park by completing the online tour guiding program (see Section 6.7, Commercial operations). It is necessary to ensure the engagement of Nguraritja so that living cultural information is provided with permission.

Whilst Nguraritja enjoy sharing knowledge of their culture, under Tjukurpa it is important that certain knowledge is only given to those who are entitled to know. This knowledge is ‘layered’, with visitors allowed to know some of the layers, but not all. There are many stories that visitors cannot be told.

The tourism and media industries communicate information about the park to visitors and potential visitors nationally and internationally. Working with the tourism and the media to help ensure appropriate messages are provided is important to having well-informed and prepared visitors.

The park is popular for school visits and those school groups focusing on learning about the park’s natural and living cultural environment are actively supported through staff providing presentations and guided walks.

Issues

·       Appropriate presentation of Tjukurpa is important to increase awareness and understanding
of
why access to parts of the park may not be possible.

·       There is a need to ensure that high quality and culturally appropriate information continues to be available for visitors to enhance their experience of the park.

·       Interpretation needs to be developed for the target market, to be based on the living cultural landscape and to provide links to the broader Red Centre National Landscape.

·       The Cultural Centre infrastructure is ageing, and not suited to a range of uses.


What we are going to do

Policies

6.4.1     In conjunction with Nguraritja, Parks Australia will continue to provide information, education and interpretation that emphasises the park’s cultural significance, the role of joint management, and appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in the park.

6.4.2     The following themes will be central to presentation of the park:

-        Tjukurpa is recognised as a fundamental guide to management.

-        Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park is listed for its natural and cultural heritage values.

-        The park is jointly managed.

-        Nguraritja and Parks Australia ask that all visitors respect culture and not climb.

6.4.3     In conjunction with Nguraritja, park interpretation and information will be consistent and integrated with the Red Centre National Landscape branding.

6.4.4     The Cultural Centre will be promoted as the essential first stop destination in the park.

6.4.5     The Cultural Centre will continue to be a focal point for Anangu engagement.

Actions

6.4.6     Continue to include in visitor information and interpretation material why access to some areas of the park is not permitted and why some places have no publicly displayed Tjukurpa interpretations.

6.4.7     Liaise with the Yulara resort to help the resort make its interpretation facilities and information a complementary introduction to the park.

6.4.8     Maintain and develop the park’s website to provide information about the full range of park values, park management and visitor activities.

6.4.9     Liaise with the tourism industry to help encourage pre-visit information nationally and internationally to focus on the major interpretive themes for the park, to inform visitors that climbing Uluru is culturally inappropriate, to promote visitor safety and to support new experiences in the park.

6.4.10    Work with Anangu to develop a range of activities operating from the Cultural Centre, other sites within the park and the resort.

6.4.11    Develop a welcome experience and orientation to the Red Centre National Landscape linked to the arrival at Connellan Airport.

6.4.12    Develop options for the future use and possible upgrade of the Cultural Centre.

6.4.13   Liaise with government education agencies and schools to promote pre-visit information to inform children that climbing Uluru is culturally inappropriate, to promote visitor safety and to support new experiences in the park.

 


6.5       Promoting and marketing the park

Our aim

Promotion of the park presents accurate and appropriate messages and images.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number of promotional and marketing programs effectively developed in collaboration with the park.

·       Level of Board satisfaction with the messages in various media about the park.

Background

Anangu tjutangku, Anangu munu piranpa kuwari pitjantja tjuta nintini Tjukurpatjara. Tjana mantu pulkara wirura uti kulintjaku Ananguku kaltjaku munu tjanalta tjungu Anangu tjutawanungku ngura munu Anangu tjuta atunymananyi.
                                                                                             
© Sarah Goodwin

Anangu are teaching all the newcomers, Anangu and non-Anangu, about Tjukurpa so they can properly and clearly understand Anangu culture and help us to protect our country and people. ©

Appropriate presentation of the park plays an important part in protection of the park. It helps to build people’s expectations before they visit and it helps gain public support. It also helps to build a greater appreciation of national parks generally and of the conservation of Australia’s unique natural and cultural heritage.

Issues

·       The use of culturally inappropriate images and other messages and promotion that give inappropriate information or create misleading expectations is of considerable concern to the Board and Anangu. It has the potential to create challenges for park management, and the potential for visitors to be dissatisfied with their visit to the park.

·       It is important that Nguraritja maintain control of their cultural material, including film, photographs and publications.

·       The Uluru climb is often emphasised as the principal attraction for overseas visitors, which does not support promotion and protection of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth cultural heritage landscape values.

·       It is important that promotion and marketing of the park and use of the media are managed strategically and in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the tourism industry and other Northern Territory and Australian Government agencies.

·       The tourism industry needs sufficient time to change information in its promotional materials when there are changes to visitor management in the park that may affect tour operations.

 


What we are going to do

Policies

6.5.1     Through cooperative marketing with the tourism industry, Tourism NT and Tourism Australia, the Director and the Board will promote and market the park in accordance with tourism principles (see Section 6.1, Tourism directions and recreational opportunities) and key messages determined by the Board (see Section 6.4, Visitor information, education and interpretation).

6.5.2     Parks Australia will continue to work with the Board of Management, Nguraritja and the tourism industry to update and manage guidelines on appropriate images and messages for promoting the park. The guidelines will continue to specifically focus on promoting the park’s World Heritage values.

6.5.3     Tour operators will be required to provide to Parks Australia copies of their brochures and other advertising material as part of their permit conditions. They will be encouraged to develop flexible itineraries that can take account of changing circumstances. Application procedures for specific tourism opportunities in the park will include assessment of whether their promotional material is consistent with park values.

6.5.4     The Director will inform the tourism industry as soon as possible when changes are made to visitor management in the park that will affect tourism products and their promotion.

Actions

6.5.5     Develop and implement a cooperative promotion and marketing strategy with the tourism industry and the Northern Territory and Australian Governments to appropriately market the park.

6.5.6     Develop joint marketing and interpretation material between the park and other Red Centre National Landscape stakeholders.

6.6       Filming, photography and audio recording

Our aim

Photographers, artists and sound recordists are able to capture unique images and sounds that support maintenance of the park’s World Heritage values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of satisfaction by photographers, artists and sound recordists with the park guidelines for commercial image capture, use and commercial sound recording.

·       Number of image use permits issued.

·       Level of Board satisfaction with the management of film, photography and audio recordings to support the maintenance of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values.

·       Increase in the extent of Anangu involvement in managing commercial filming, photography and sound recording in the park.


Background

Ngura pulka Uluru-nya tjamulu munu kamilu iriti atunytju kanyintja tjukurpa pulkatjara. Iniwai putukaramilantja wiya. Anangu munu piranpa tjungu ngarama. Nyuntu nyanganyi puli wiru mulapa palu tjukurpa nyuntu putu nyanganyi munu kulini.
                                                                                                  
© Rene Kulitja

Uluru is a very significant place with significant law that has been looked after and protected by our grandfathers and grandmothers for a long time. Do not photograph it without regard for the proper way to do this. This applies to both Anangu and non-Anangu alike. You are seeing a really beautiful rock but you might not be seeing and considering its cultural significance. ©

Given the park’s high national and international profile, each year many people and organisations from Australia and overseas seek to carry out commercial filming, photography and audio recording in the park. Imagery and sound materials are used for producing documentaries about the park’s cultural and natural significance, tourism and travel promotion materials, reference books and other publications. In addition, commercial media use images and sound in news reports about the park. Anangu welcome filmmakers, photographers and artists to the park but would like to ensure that material is obtained and used appropriately.

Under Tjukurpa, certain activities and materials are restricted to people who may properly view them and some stories may be spoken but not written or filmed. The capture and use of images and names of Anangu may be sensitive. How images and recordings are used can also cause some concern. The image of Uluru, for example, receives much exposure through books, postcards, posters, tea towels, ash trays, and a wide range of other items. Anangu consider that some of these uses are inappropriate for cultural reasons. In addition, cultural traditions, including but not exclusive to knowledge and stories, are considered to be subject to Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) rights. As such, there is closer management of images and sounds in the park than in many other national parks to protect Tjukurpa.

To help manage these issues, the Board of Management has approved guidelines for commercial image capture and use and for commercial sound recording.

The Board’s Film and Photography Consultative Committee provides advice and recommendations on permit applications, improved communication, film and photography issues related to the park, and potential breaches of legislation.

Filming, photography and sound recording also present an opportunity for Anangu to benefit from visitor use of the park. The Central Land Council and other agencies have responsibilities to assist Anangu in developing commercial arrangements with commercial film, photography and sound recording interests. The use of images taken within the park for advertising and promotion may be permitted when done in a way that promotes the park’s natural and cultural values. Acceptable image uses are described in the guidelines.

For visitors, images taken on a visit are important reminders of the park. Visitors are welcome to take pictures or create paintings; however there are some culturally sensitive areas where visitors are requested not to take images. These are clearly identified through information provided to park visitors, including onsite signage.


From time to time, the park receives media attention and various media representatives come to the park to cover stories of particular interest. These ‘news of the day’ media can be numerous on occasion, and their activities may extend to other types of image or sound recording. It has been practice to allow media to operate in the park without a permit to cover news of the day stories. However, such media have been required to liaise with the park’s media office before commencing any work and to receive a media briefing.

Images that are captured for commercial purposes and images used commercially require a permit. Sections 354 and 354A of the EPBC Act restrict commercial activities within Commonwealth reserves unless in accordance with a management plan. The EPBC Regulations (rr.12.24 and 12.38) regulate the capture of images and sound recordings and the deriving of commercial gain from images captured.

Issues

·       Nguraritja consider that some images and uses of images of Uluru and Kata Tjuta are inappropriate for cultural reasons.

·       To assist in maintaining Tjukurpa, some restrictions on image capture and sound recordings are needed.

·       In the public and commercial domain photographs and images of Uluru and Kata Tjuta exist which may be offensive or disturbing to Anangu for cultural reasons. Many of which were taken before the park became Aboriginal land and controls existed.

·       Anangu receive little commercial benefit from the use of images of the park and of associated cultural traditions.

·       Managing the activities of news of the day media crews can be challenging at peak times.

·       Significant resources are directed towards managing commercial film crews.

What we are going to do

Policies

6.6.1     Commercial filming, photography and other image capture including artwork, and audio recording, may be carried on in the park and images of the park may be used for commercial gain:

(a)    in accordance with:

Ø         guidelines approved by the Board

Ø         a permit issued by the Director or other authorisation arrangements approved by the Board

Ø         payment of park fees

(b)    where the activity is consistent with the protection and/or promotion of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values, including maintenance of Tjukurpa and respecting Anangu Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) rights.

 


6.6.2     Consistent with the film and photography guidelines, appropriate consultations will be undertaken before permits are issued for commercial filming, photography or other image capture, or for sound recording.

6.6.3     The Director will support and actively encourage Anangu to be involved in managing and benefiting from commercial filming, photography and other image capture, and audio recording in the park. This may include Anangu:

-        supervising film, photography and audio recording crews, and artists

-        providing contract commercial filming, photography and audio recording services

-        developing commercial initiatives with commercial film, photography and sound recording crews.

6.6.4     Television, newspaper and radio reporting relating to events of the day in the park will not require a permit from the Director. News reporters must be briefed by staff and comply with the film and photography guidelines. The Park Manager may set limits on the number of crews, photographers and sound recordists that are permitted in the park at any one time, depending on available resources.

6.6.5     Any person taking images or sound recordings in the park will be required to comply with any restrictions on areas that should not be photographed, types of images that may not be taken, and matters that should not be recorded.

6.6.6     The Director may prohibit or place restrictions on non-commercial image capture in the park for cultural reasons.

Actions

6.6.7 Provide interpretive material to make visitors and commercial photographers aware of restrictions on image capture in the park, and of their responsibilities in relation to accessing and photographing significant sites.

6.6.8 In consultation with Nguraritja and the Central Land Council, investigate establishing an image library for commercial use which provides commercial benefits to Anangu and protects cultural interests.

6.6.9 In consultation with the Board, investigate options for cost recovery for management of commercial image capture and sound recording activities and, if feasible, implement a practical cost recovery regime.

 


6.7       Commercial operations

Our aim

Commercial activities provide a range of rewarding experiences for visitors and benefits to Anangu while protecting Anangu interests and the park’s cultural and natural values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Level of visitor satisfaction with the activities and experiences provided by commercial tourism operators.

·       Number of additional Anangu businesses or partnerships.

·       Number of accredited tour operators and certified tour guides.

·       Level of impact from commercial activities on significant fauna and flora species is minimal.

·       Level of impact from commercial activities on cultural heritage values is minimal.

Background

Anangu kulintja wiru tjuta tjana wangkanyi nyakula kulini tjantjiku tjanampa warka palyantjaku Anangu waltja tjutaku. Paluru tjana unytju nyinara, touristku business tjaatarinytjaku, kutjutu kutjutu palyantjaku ngula tjana tjitji malatja malatja tjanalta warkarinyi.
                                                                                            
© Davey Inkamala

Many thoughtful people are discussing changes, looking at how to make work opportunities for their families. They have been thinking about starting tourism businesses, building them up step by step so that in the future their children and children’s children, they’ll be working. ©

Commercial operators have an important part to play in helping visitors appropriately use, appreciate and enjoy Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park. Well-run commercial operations also help Parks Australia manage visitors in the park and enhance visitors’ experience. Commercial tour operators bring a large proportion of visitors to the park.

Nguraritja expect to benefit from their land being managed as a national park and from the use of their land for tourism. They seek direct employment of Anangu in the park and in the development of tourism ventures. Section 9(1)(k) of the Lease refers to Parks Australia support for such Anangu owned activities.

Proposals to undertake new types of commercial activities are submitted to the Board from time to time. Many activities are not suitable to being undertaken in the park. Key considerations include the extent to which Anangu might benefit, whether the proposed activities are culturally appropriate, and their impact on the park.

Some requests have been received by the Board for exclusive access to some areas of the park for commercial purposes, and exclusive provision of certain activities. The Board has agreed that under certain conditions such opportunities might be considered if the proponents are Anangu owned or jointly owned enterprises.

 


Under ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act commercial tour operations can only be carried on in accordance with a management plan. Commercial tour operators must also comply with relevant Northern Territory legislation, for example for registration of tour vehicles. At the time of preparing this plan fees for commercial tour permits are set out in the EPBC Regulations.

Under the EPBC Regulations (r.12.36) commercial flights operated over the park up to 3,000 metres above sea level (other than flights on approved flight paths to or from an airport) are deemed to be carried on in the park and need to be authorised by a permit or a management plan. See Section 6.2, Access and site management, for further discussion about access to the park by air.

All commercial operations in the park require a permit from the Director. The Director may impose conditions on any permit issued and may also cancel a permit if an operator does not meet the conditions imposed. The permit system helps to ensure that safety standards are adhered to and that the park’s values are protected.

Vehicle-based tour operators must comply with permit conditions related to insurance, indemnity, provision of visitor statistics, fee payment, access, the quality of information provided to visitors, visitor safety and their duty of care for visitors.

Issues

·       There is a need to optimise commercial tourism operations in ways that protect and appropriately present the park’s unique characteristics, including improved benefits for Anangu and ensuring that management of commercial activities is efficient and effective.

·       Nguraritja would like to benefit more from commercial operations on their land.

·       At the time of preparing this plan the number of Anangu-owned or jointly owned tourism enterprises is proportionally very low.

·       Park resources have been used to assist Anangu businesses to become established. This assistance should be provided by other more appropriate agencies to free up resources for other park management activities.

·       Climate change may have implications for the planning and management of commercial tourism operations in the park.

What we are going to do

Policies

6.7.1     Commercial operations may be undertaken in the park in accordance with a permit issued by the Director.

6.7.2     The Director may grant subleases or licences or approve permits for exclusive-use commercial activities approved by the Board in accordance with Policy 6.7.3.

6.7.3     Proposals for new commercial activities may be approved by the Board. In making its decision about a new activity, the Board will consider:

-             the activity’s consistency with maintenance of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values and World, National and Commonwealth heritage management principles (see Appendix B, C, D and Appendix H); maintenance of Tjukurpa; and consistency with the principles for tourism directions (Policy 6.1.1)


-             consistency with the presentation of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park as Aboriginal land

-             benefits to Nguraritja

-             visitor and other safety issues

-             impacts on other park users

-             the costs to the Director of managing and monitoring the activity.

6.7.4     Some classes of commercial activities may be reserved for enterprises that Anangu own or part own or for enterprises that operate under legally binding employment and/or benefit sharing partnerships between the company and Anangu.

6.7.5     All commercial tour activities will continue to be managed in accordance with arrangements in place at the commencement of this plan until reviewed by the Board following consultation with the tourism industry.

6.7.6     Commencing at a time to be agreed with the tourism industry, tour guides and pilots will be required to complete entry-level tour guide training before being permitted to operate commercial tours within the park boundary or airspace.

6.7.7     The Director will encourage tour operators to take up industry-based accreditation. Consideration will be given to introducing further incentives to encourage the uptake of accreditation, such as extended permit tenure and exclusive or restricted access to sites or types of activities.

6.7.8     Aircraft (with the exception of hot air balloons, zeppelins, gyrocopters and similar types of aircraft) may be operated for the following commercial purposes in the airspace over the park up to 3,000 metres above mean sea level without a permit from the Director: regular commercial and service delivery activities such as passenger transport, charter operations and medical transport to and from Yulara.

6.7.9     Aircraft, with the exception of hot air balloons, zeppelins, gyrocopters and similar types of aircraft, may be operated for other commercial purposes (such as scenic flights) in the airspace over the park up to 3,000 metres above mean sea level without a permit from the Director provided the activity is undertaken in accordance with the Fly Neighbourly Agreement and pilots have undertaken the compulsory tour guide training course.

Actions

6.7.10    In consultation with the tourism industry, review the commercial operator permit system. Consider and if appropriate change:

-        the number of permits or limits on visitor numbers for particular areas or activities

-        the length of permits, permit fees and permit conditions

-        the application process for all or some types of activities including new and/or exclusive activities

-        extent and delivery of benefits to Anangu such as payments and employment

-        activity types that could be reserved for Anangu businesses

-        how permits are monitored.

6.7.11    Work with the tourism industry to identify efficient means to reduce the carbon footprint from tourism activities and to investigate, and implement where feasible, more sustainable ways of using and managing resources related to tourism activities in the park.


6.8       Visitor safety

Our aim

Visitors to the park have a safe experience.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number and severity of health and safety incidents involving visitors.

·       Extent to which visitor expectations about safety information are met or exceeded.

Background

Ara nyangatja Anangu tjuta munu ranger tjuta tjungu warkaringanyi warkaringkula nyakukatinyi minga tjuta wirura ‘safe’ para-ngarala park-angka malaku tjanampa ngurakutu ankunytjaku. Minga tjuta pulkara wirura atunymananyi.
                                                                                         
© Imantura Richards

This is about Anangu and rangers working together, making sure visitors are alright as they travel about the park, so they can return safely to their homes. Taking really good care of tourists. ©

Nguraritja have a strong sense of responsibility for the safety of visitors to their land, often assisting a great deal in search and rescue. They believe however that visitors should respect Tjukurpa by not jeopardising their safety when visiting the park. Tjukurpa determines the rules of proper behaviour.

The Director has a range of responsibilities in relation to health and safety incidents in the park. The Director also has a duty of reasonable care for park visitors and staff, and a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 to take reasonably practicable steps to protect employees, contractors and park visitors from risks to their health and safety.

Ensuring visitors are well prepared and have appropriate expectations about a visit to the park are significant factors in helping to ensure a safe visit. The key safety issues include risks associated with being in extreme temperatures, visitors who are not physically suited to strenuous activities or are inappropriately prepared for walking in the park or hot temperatures, and wandering off walking tracks. As most visitors come via Yulara, information received there can help visitor understanding of safety issues and appropriate activities. Tour guides are also a major source of information.

A range of measures is adopted in the park to reduce risks to visitors, including:

·       closing sites temporarily or seasonally at times considered to pose particular risks to visitors (for example, in extreme weather conditions)

·       providing educational materials for visitors on safety risks and safe behaviour

·       providing training and accreditation for tour operators

·       providing an emergency contact radio network at key visitor locations in the park

·       maintaining roads, tracks, parking areas, viewing areas, and visitor and shade facilities in a safe condition.

As a result of these measures there has been a reduction in deaths and serious injury to visitors in recent years.


Climate change predictions suggest that temperatures are likely to increase in arid Australia, possibly by as much as 5.1°C by 2070. This will result in half the year having days with temperatures likely to exceed 35°C. This compares with an average of 89 days above 35°C in 2007 (Hyder 2008). If these predictions eventuate, they will have significant implications for visitor comfort and safety in the park.

Under the EPBC Regulations (r.12.23) the Director may close areas of the park where it is necessary for safety reasons. This may include closing areas to people engaged in particular activities.

All visitor safety incidents are reported, recorded and reviewed regularly. Using this information the Director has compiled a Risk Watch List for the park that identifies and rates a range of risks, including risks to visitor safety. Additional management measures are identified and implemented to reduce significant risks, subject to available resources.

Issues

·       The park by its nature, isolation and prevailing climatic conditions presents a number of potential risks to visitors. These may be exacerbated under future climate change scenarios.

·       As many visitors come to the park on commercial tours, tour operators play an important role in helping to provide park visitors with a safe experience.

What we are going to do

Policies

6.8.1     Where reasonable and practicable the Director may, subject to and in accordance with the EPBC Regulations, prohibit activities in the park that present a risk to public safety or close areas of the park where necessary in order to prevent people engaging in unsafe activities.

6.8.2     Risks will be regularly assessed and management measures to address risks will be reviewed and amended in accordance with the Director’s Risk Management Policy.

6.8.3     Visitor management programs will be adapted as necessary to continue to ensure visitor comfort and safety under changing climatic conditions. This will include raising visitor awareness about climatic conditions and ways to minimise any risks.

Action

6.8.4 Prepare and periodically review risk assessments of visitor sites and facilities and implement management measures to reduce visitor risks.

 


7.         Stakeholders and partnerships

Anangu aspirations for Mutitjulu are to improve the life and well being of Community members and future generations, look after country and strengthen culture, and for Anangu to determine the priorities and management directions for the Community.

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park lies within a broader area of Aboriginal land and areas in the park derive their meaning from, and contribute meaning to, places outside the park.

Maintaining cooperative working relationships with stakeholders, relevant agencies and regional neighbours contributes to the management of the park.

7.1       Mutitjulu Community

Our aim

That Mutitjulu continues to develop as a community which provides a healthy, sustainable environment for Anangu to visit and live in the park and contribute to park values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which Mutitjulu is providing a healthy, sustainable environment for Anangu to live in, visit and contribute to maintenance of park values.

Background

Nganana wirura councilangka warkaripai Mutitjulula parka kulu-kulu atunymara kanyilpai munula tjukaruru kanyinma ngura nganampa.
                                                                                                  
© Judy Trigger

We do good work on the Council, both at Mutitjulu and also protecting and looking after the park. We must look after our place properly. ©

Nganampa ngaranyi wali wiru kanyintjaku, munu fence-tjara, papa tjarpanytjaku tawara walikutu. Ukiri pakaltjingkunytjaku munu punu kulu-kulu ulpuru pakantjaku tawara wiltjangka nyinantjaku.
                                                                                        
© Cedric Kunmanara

We need good housing that is healthy and safe, with running water, and proper fences to keep dogs out and to grow lawn and trees, to stop dust and for shade. ©

The Mutitjulu Community lies within the park, 1.5 kilometres from the eastern side of Uluru. The population, which has fluctuated between 150 and 400, is comprised of Nguraritja, relevant Aboriginals and a significant number of non-Aboriginal people. Anangu see the existence of a well-functioning community as being important for successful ongoing joint management arrangements for the park. While many Nguraritja live at Mutitjulu Community, others live in communities on Aboriginal lands throughout the south-west of the Northern Territory, north-west of South Australia, and in centres such as Alice Springs. Decisions about Tjukurpa and Aboriginal culture in relation to the park and surrounding land are made by the broader Nguraritja group assisted by the Central Land Council.


The establishment of Mutitjulu is related to the development of tourism in the region, the implications this had for Anangu, and past policies towards Indigenous Australians. The first tourists visited the Uluru area in 1936. In 1948 the first vehicular track to Uluru was constructed, responding to increasing tourism interest in the region. Tour bus services began in the early 1950s. In 1958, in response to pressures to support tourism enterprises, the area that is now the park was excised from the Petermann Aboriginal Reserve to be managed by the Northern Territory Reserves Board as the Ayers Rock–Mount Olga National Park. With increasing tourism development in the area from the late 1950s, Anangu were discouraged from visiting the park. However, Anangu continued to travel widely over their traditional lands, pursuing ceremonial life, visiting family, and hunting and collecting food. The semi-permanent water available at Uluru made it a particularly important stopping point on the western route of these journeys.

In 1964 pastoral subsidies in the region were revoked, forcing large numbers of Anangu off pastoral leases and increasing the numbers of Anangu residing at Uluru. By the early 1970s Anangu found their traditional country unprecedentedly accessible with roads, vehicles, radio communications and an extended network of settlements. At a time of major change in government policies, new approaches to welfare policies promoting economic self-sufficiency for Aboriginal people began to conflict with the then prevailing park management policies. The establishment in 1972 of the Ininti Store as an Aboriginal enterprise on a lease within the park offering supplies and services to tourists, became the nucleus of a permanent Anangu community within the park.

EPBC Act and Park Lease

Section 367(1)(d) of the EPBC Act requires the management plan to be consistent with the Director’s Lease obligations. In relation to Mutitjulu, the Lease states that traditional owners of the park and other Aboriginals entitled to use or occupy the park have the right to reside within the park at Mutitjulu or at such other locations specified in the management plan, subject to

·       directions or decisions of the Board with respect to health, safety or privacy

·       reasonable constraints in the management plan for reasons of safety, security, privacy or protection of the park.

The Lease further states that the Land Trust reserves the right to request the Director to sublet any reasonable part of the park to a Relevant Aboriginal Association. At the time of preparing this plan, the Relevant Aboriginal Association is the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

The Lease also requires the Director to fund the Relevant Aboriginal Association for the purpose of providing a Community Liaison Officer in accordance with a budget approved by the Board (see Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together).

Section 358 of the EPBC Act allows the Director to grant leases, subleases and licences in the park (including Mutitjulu) in accordance with a management plan.

As noted in Section 2.4 of this plan, ss.354(1) and 354A(1) of the EPBC Act prohibit certain actions being taken in the park, including Mutitjulu, except in accordance with a management plan. This includes actions that affect native plants or animals, carrying on an excavation, building or other works; and commercial activities. The EPBC Regulations relevant to management of the park also apply to Mutitjulu, subject to a management plan (and the terms of any sublease).


Traditional use of land in the park for hunting, food gathering, ceremonial and religious purposes is exempted from ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act by s.359A and exempted from the operation of the Regulations by r.12.06(1)(e).

This Section of the plan includes policies that set out how the EPBC Act and Regulations will apply to other activities in Mutitjulu, including activities which though prohibited elsewhere in the park are allowed at Mutitjulu.

The Director has restricted public access to the Mutitjulu Community in the past under the EPBC Regulations (r.12.23) to allow the continuing cultural use of the area, to protect the privacy and quiet enjoyment of residents and to reduce interruption or disturbance.

Mutitjulu

The presence of Nguraritja at Mutitjulu contributes to the maintenance of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values.

While Mutitjulu is located within the park, support for the day-to-day functioning of the community is the responsibility of a range of other Australian Government and Northern Territory agencies for matters including residents’ health and welfare, policing, day-to-day community services, infrastructure, employment, training and education.

In accordance with the Lease conditions, the Director provides funding for the position of Community Liaison Officer in accordance with a budget approved by the Board of Management. The role of this position is to liaise between the Mutitjulu Community and Parks Australia about management activities and present Mutitjulu Community views to the Board.

Mutitjulu is also subject to a range of other legislation in addition to the EPBC Act and Regulations.

An ongoing challenge in Mutitjulu’s development is the sensitive nature of the environment in which it was built, and the issue of essential services required for a growing population, notably water and power.

The Mutitjulu Community and the park see it as essential to maintain and improve measures for managing weeds, domestic animals, sewage, waste, and water. Any new infrastructure will need to take account of total impact on the area, and be managed in accordance with appropriate impact assessment procedures.

At the time of preparing this plan, whilst not required to, the Director provides all essential services (power, water and sewerage) to Mutitjulu Community which diverts resources from park management activities. To help offset the costs of providing power a user-pays system for power has been introduced. Other Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory have their essential services supplied and maintained by the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation and other appropriate agencies.

The Director, the Board and the Community want essential services at Mutitjulu to be delivered by an agency that is better equipped to deliver those services. Discussions with the Northern Territory Government regarding transfer of responsibilities for essential services are continuing at the time of preparing this plan. Power and water are significant issues for the Mutitjulu Community and Community members want the issues resolved quickly.


The Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation has for many years managed the Community area, provided services to the Community and managed the buildings and infrastructure. The exceptions to this have been the provision of essential services infrastructure and the maintenance of some houses by the Director, and responsibility for buildings occupied by other service agencies.

From 1 July 2008 new local government arrangements for regions and communities in the Northern Territory were implemented. Under these arrangements the southern region of the Northern Territory, including the park, is now within the boundaries of the MacDonnell Shire Council. The Shire Council has powers and responsibilities under the Local Government Act 2008 (NT), though in the park this is subject to the EPBC Act and Regulations. Shire councils also deliver a range of community services on behalf of other government agencies, and may also provide some services on a fee for service basis. The MacDonnell Shire Council commenced providing a range of local government and other services in Mutitjulu in early 2009. At the time of preparing this plan the long-term future of these arrangements is still under consideration.

Issues

·       Mutitjulu needs to be able to develop as a healthy, sustainable community able to support future generations and to play an important role in joint management arrangements.

·       Mutitjulu residents want to have control over their lives and the well-being of the Community.

·       Currently there is no clear management framework for the delivery of services at Mutitjulu or the development of Community infrastructure.

·       Projects for the benefit of the Community are being held back by infrastructure constraints.

·       Management of the Community, including delivery of services and development of Community infrastructure, needs to take account of Mutitjulu’s location in the park.

·       Transferring responsibility for providing essential services to a more appropriate agency would allow the Director’s resources to be redirected to management of the park.

·       Under the Remote Indigenous Housing National Partnership Agreement, the Commonwealth with the States and Northern Territory have committed to undertake an audit that will assess levels of outstanding need and clarify funding and service responsibility for the future delivery of municipal and essential services. The audit will also inform roles and responsibilities for the delivery of these services into the future.

What we are going to do

Policies

7.1.1     Mutitjulu may continue to exist in its current location for the purpose of providing a community for relevant Aboriginals to reside in a socially, economically and sustainable community in the park, together with rights of access for their employees, staff, invitees and agents in accordance with the Park Lease conditions; and to enable and assist Anangu to maintain their ongoing association with the park.

 


7.1.2     The Director will pursue agreements with appropriate agencies regarding the provision of municipal and essential services consistent with the following principles:

-        better outcomes for Nguraritja, Mutitjulu Community, and the Director

-        improved management of the park

-        enhancement of the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values.

7.1.3     The Director may enter into a sublease with the Relevant Aboriginal Association, or other entity. Any sublease arrangement will:

-        be consistent with the conditions of the Lease between the Land Trust and the Director

-        clearly define the area covered by the sublease

-        include provisions for minimising impacts on park values

-        include environmental protection measures, including waste management.

7.1.4     When making decisions or taking actions in relation to Mutitjulu under this Section, the Director will follow the Guide to Decision-making (Table 1 in Section 4.1) which sets out the consultation required, and Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals.

7.1.5     The EPBC Act and Regulations applying in the park in accordance with this plan will apply to Mutitjulu, with the exceptions specified in Policies 7.1.8 to 7.1.18.

7.1.6     The Director’s approval will be required for proposed actions in the Mutitjulu Community which affect the delivery of an essential service provided by the Director to ensure there is no negative impact on service capacity.

7.1.7     The Director will support developments in Mutitjulu which are demonstrably for the benefit of the Community, subject to resources and capacity constraints and impacts on the park.

7.1.8     Minor works and excavations (such as digging in a garden, fixing existing infrastructure or undertaking minor renovations to existing buildings) will not require a permit or other approval from the Director.

7.1.9     Construction of new buildings, and works and excavations other than minor works and excavations (such as large excavations, renovations which involve a substantial addition to the existing footprint or a new building), will require a permit or other approval from the Director, which may be given subject to conditions.

7.1.10    The Director may agree to arrangements under which construction of buildings, works and excavations may be carried on without the need for a permit or approval from the Director.

7.1.11   Government agencies providing services to the Mutitjulu Community should perform those functions in a manner consistent with this plan.

7.1.12    Commercial activities (such as tourism related activities) may be carried on in the Mutitjulu Community in accordance with a permit or other form of approval from the Director. A permit or approval from the Director will not be required where the primary purpose of the activity is to provide a service to the Community (such as the Community store).

7.1.13    A permit will not be required for reasonable use of pesticides, herbicides or other poisonous substances for domestic purposes unless the Director determines otherwise.


7.1.14    Mutitjulu Community residents may keep up to two dogs per residence without a permit from the Director, provided that the person in charge of a dog complies with conditions set by the Director for the protection of human health and safety and park values.

7.1.15    Other domestic animals may only be kept at Mutitjulu in accordance with a permit. The Director will not issue a permit unless satisfied there is minimal risk of adverse impacts on native species or ecosystems, or human health and safety.

7.1.16    Consistent with the domestic plants policy, approved plants may be brought into and kept, propagated and/or cultivated in Mutitjulu without a permit issued by the Director.

7.1.17    Public address systems, loud speakers, portable generators and alternators, and other equipment covered by r.12.27 of the EPBC Regulations may be used in the Community without a permit from the Director. Such equipment must be used in a way that does not cause a nuisance to other members of the Community.

7.1.18    Non-commercial social and cultural events involving more than 15 people may be held
in the Community without a permit from the Director under the EPBC Regulations.

Actions

7.1.19    The Director will monitor, and where necessary review, arrangements for access to the Community in consultation with the Central Land Council and the Relevant Aboriginal Association.

7.1.20    The Director will work with the Mutitjulu Community, Central Land Council and other relevant agencies to prepare and implement a community development plan consistent with the aims and policies of this Section of the management plan.

7.1.21    The Director will pursue agreements with appropriate agencies regarding the provision of municipal and essential services. In the interim, the Director will continue to work with all relevant agencies to clarify roles and responsibilities for service delivery and community management in Mutitjulu.

7.1.22    The Director will develop a domestic plants policy and work with relevant bodies to ensure awareness of the domestic plants policy.

7.1.23    The Director will work with relevant bodies to effectively manage the domestic dog population.

 


7.2       Neighbours, stakeholders and partnerships

Our aim

Cooperative relations and partnerships are developed and maintained with park neighbours and stakeholders in a manner that focuses on promoting the joint management of the park and achieving common management aims.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which stakeholders and partners contribute effectively to park management activities.

·       Extent to which park management contributes to regional programs and assists neighbours consistent with this plan.

Background

Ngaranyi manta park-angka urilta kulu-kulu manage-amilantjaku. Atunymankunytjaku ngura park-angka urilta ngarantja tjuta.
                                                                                             
© Barbara Tjikatu

The land both within and outside the park needs to be managed. There are many significant places to protect outside the park. ©

Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park lies within a broader area of Aboriginal land, with the exception of the township of Yulara and Connellan Airport. It is important that planning in the park takes into account the Anangu perception that areas in the park derive their meaning from, and contribute meaning to, places outside the park. Links with other places form an integral part of the way in which Anangu ‘map’ the park’s landscape, which in turn has implications for their decisions about areas in the park and the strong relationships they wish to maintain with the entire Western Desert area. The location of Homelands in Anangu lands adjacent to the park has been heavily influenced by such landscape ‘mapping’. The homelands also reinforce the social connections and ritual obligations among Nguraritja. Importantly, many Nguraritja live in these homeland areas. Thus the Homelands are integral to the Tjukurpa of Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park.

Management of adjacent Aboriginal lands is seen as complementary to the management of the park; there are many landscape issues that affect both such as fire, pest animals and weeds. Sharing knowledge and skills is therefore beneficial to both the park and adjacent lands.

Regional neighbours and stakeholders include relevant Aboriginal organisations including the Petermann and Katiti Aboriginal Land Trusts, the Yulara resort, regional communities and Australian Government and Northern Territory Government departments and agencies. The Director also has cooperative relationships with a range of stakeholders and agencies that are based outside the region. Many of these stakeholders and agencies have interests in, and/or skills and knowledge that can contribute to, the management of the park. As a consequence, these stakeholders and agencies play an essential role in the effective management of the park.

 


Issue

·       Developing and maintaining relationships and partnerships with neighbours and stakeholders can increase support for park management aims, help to manage issues of common interest and make the best use of available resources.

What we are going to do

Policy

7.2.1     The Board and Director will further develop and maintain good working relationships with neighbours and stakeholders with an interest in, or associated with, the park.

Action

7.2.2     The Board and Director will work with relevant Australian Government and Northern Territory Government agencies, the Central Land Council and Aboriginal Land Trusts, regional organisations, research organisations, park user groups, non-government organisations and other stakeholders to promote a regional and partnership approach when dealing with issues affecting the management of the park and the region. To help do this, the Board and Director may:

-        seek representation on relevant advisory, project and steering committees, and participate constructively in these

-        establish advisory, management and Consultative Committees to engage neighbours and stakeholders

-        work with relevant regional stakeholders to take an integrated approach to regional landscape management and planning issues

-        contribute to regional programs and assist neighbours and stakeholders in a manner consistent with this plan and subject to available resources.

 


8.         Business management

Management of the park will be done in ways that minimise impacts on park values, in accordance with relevant legislation and in ways that protect Nguraritja interests. park staff need to be sufficiently trained to respond to incidents such as search and rescue where appropriate, and to carry out law enforcement activities. New proposals in the park will be properly assessed to make sure they do not have unacceptable impacts on park values, Nguraritja interests, and visitor safety and enjoyment. Additional effort will be made to reduce the park’s ecological footprint, through alternative and wiser use of energy and other resources. Park management activities will be monitored regularly to show whether they are producing the planned results.

8.1       Capital works and infrastructure

Our aim

Capital works and infrastructure are safe, functional and cost effective, reflect value for money to construct and maintain, and are developed and maintained in a manner that protects other park infrastructure.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       The extent to which capital works projects are managed in accordance with sound project management and procurement policies and procedures.

Background

Nyangatja panya palyanu Cultural Centre kuniya wiru mulapa ngaranyi. Anangu tjutangku nyakula kulintjaku ka nyangatja Anangu uwankaraku arnga-nguru palyanu.
                                                                                               
© Topsy Tjulyata

This Cultural centre is made in the shape of a beautiful kuniya python. This is for everyone to see and understand the Tjukurpa. Its whole body is made from mud (bricks). ©

Capital works and infrastructure within the park include park management assets and facilities (such as access roads and walking tracks, staff housing, bores, radio repeaters, generators, workshops, Park Headquarters and the Cultural Centre) and visitor facilities.

Parks Australia builds facilities for visitors and staff, for administration, and for some community purposes at Mutitjulu. Maintenance work is also undertaken. Staff housing is primarily provided within the park at Rangerville, near the Mutitjulu Community, and at Yulara. At the time of preparing this plan, there are 23 staff houses in Rangerville and five in Mutitjulu. To relieve pressure both on available staff housing and on energy supplies, additional housing is utilised off-park in Yulara.

 


The park’s UHF radio network is used during routine operations, patrols, emergency response operations, land management, and survey work in the field. The network uses hand-held, vehicular and base radio sets. Because the rock outcrops in the park block radio signals, five repeater stations are strategically located in and near the park. In order that park staff can be promptly notified of emergencies, there are radio alarms for use by park visitors at several locations around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. In addition, the park has a portable UHF radio capacity to communicate directly with aircraft involved in coordinated emergency response operations.

Parks Australia currently provides water supply, power, and sewage treatment services to Rangerville and Mutitjulu Community and to the park’s business infrastructure. The park has a very significant power generation capacity and supplies power to all of its facilities and to Mutitjulu, with diesel generators at Park Headquarters, the Entry Station, and Rangerville. For further discussion on resource use see Section 8.7, Resource use in park operations. A system of treatment ponds near Mutitjulu processes sewage from Rangerville and Mutitjulu and a separate system services Park Headquarters, the Cultural Centre and the public toilets at the base of Uluru. All are managed by Parks Australia at the time of writing.

The Parks Australia workshop complex is in a fenced compound in Mutitjulu. The complex houses park plant, materials and equipment used in the day-to-day running of the park and to maintain Parks Australia assets.

The existing Park Headquarters building was built in 1979. The office accommodation area was enlarged in the mid-1980s by adding two demountables to the rear of the complex. The demountables were replaced with a purpose-built transportable building in 1992, expanded again in 1995. The current arrangements for staff are significantly below standard and place unreasonable pressures on staff.

Road maintenance in the park is a significant cost and an ongoing management issue. The three main public roads – the Uluru Road, the Uluru Ring Road, and the Kata Tjuta Road – are all sealed. All public access roads are part of the park and maintained by Parks Australia. In the past, gravel for road and track construction and maintenance has been sourced outside the park (see Section 5.3 for discussion on extraction of gravel and sand). The new roads constructed in 2008 near Uluru as part of the Talinguru Nyakunytjaku project are also maintained by Parks Australia. This project involved realigning the Uluru Ring Road and constructing new visitor facilities.

Some capital works infrastructure is managed by external agencies. For example the bores providing water to the township of Yulara and the Telstra optical fibre telecommunications cable.

Sections 354 and 354A of the EPBC Act prohibit the Director and other persons carrying on an excavation, erecting a building or other structure, or carrying out works in the park except in accordance with a management plan. Regulation 12.11 of the EPBC Regulations, which applies to works by third parties, operates subject to ss.354 and 354A of the Act and the management plan.

 


Issues

·       Capital works and infrastructure need to be established and maintained in accordance with Australian Standards and with minimal levels of impact on park values, and undertaken in an efficient and cost effective manner.

·       The adequacy and standard of staff accommodation has implications for sustained employment and retention of staff. However, limited resources and the increasing need to minimise impacts on the park environment are particular challenges in providing adequate and additional accommodation.

·       Infrastructure in the park is ageing, and the long-term provision and maintenance of park infrastructure is a significant resource concern.

·       Disposal and treatment of sewage and waste needs careful management to minimise impact on park values. The current sewage ponds are nearing capacity.

·       Consideration of new technologies to minimise impacts is becoming increasingly important.

·       Anangu have emphasised the importance of complementary management of the wider landscape and would like to ensure that sourcing materials from adjacent lands does not lead to unacceptable impacts outside the park.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.1.1     The Director may carry on an excavation, erect a building or other structure, or carry out works in the park, including in relation to capital works and infrastructure.

8.1.2     Third parties may carry on an excavation, erect a building or other structure, or carry out works in the park to develop and maintain capital works and infrastructure in accordance with Section 8.5 of this plan, and:

-        in accordance with a lease, sublease or licence granted by the Director (see Section 8.6)

-        in connection with Mutitjulu (see Section 7.1)

or

-        in accordance with a permit or approval issued by the Director.

8.1.3     Decisions about capital works and infrastructure and other works will be made in accordance with Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together, and Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals.

8.1.4     New capital works and infrastructure, and alterations, renovations or significant repairs to existing capital works and infrastructure, must:

-        as far as practicable incorporate good, cost effective environmental design, including efficient resource use

-        as far as practicable, use low maintenance designs and materials

-        comply with all relevant laws, standards, and codes of practice

-        as far as practicable provide access for all members of the public, including the physically impaired, to buildings and facilities.

8.1.5     As far as practicable, new capital works and infrastructure will use existing roads and tracks.

8.1.6     Third parties who undertake capital works and infrastructure development and other works must meet the costs of any rehabilitation and environmental impact assessments required as a result of the works.

8.1.7     Timber, including preservative treated pine, and recycled plastic products may be brought into the park and used for construction purposes.

8.1.8     Emergency communication devices will continue to be maintained. Additional emergency communications systems may be installed at other visitor sites if considered necessary and reasonably practicable to do so following risk and cost assessments.

8.1.9     Sourcing materials on adjacent lands outside the park will be undertaken in a manner consistent with sourcing materials inside the park and will comply with all legislative requirements for the management of those lands.

Actions

8.1.10    Develop and implement a capital works and infrastructure management and maintenance system. The system will aim to extend the cost effective life of assets, improve and maintain asset performance, and maintain infrastructure assets to a reasonable and safe standard.

8.1.11    The Director will seek to address the existing shortfall in both quantity and quality of staff housing. Options may include outsourcing the delivery of essential services to the park so that park resources can be directed to management of the park.

8.2       Compliance and enforcement

Our aim

Relevant legislation is complied with as a result of effective education and enforcement programs.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

Decrease in number of compliance incidents.

Level of visitor satisfaction with adequacy of educational information provided.

Percentage of operational staff trained in compliance.

Background

Warka nganampa tourist tjuta utingku wangkanyi munu wangkara paini nyangangka tjarpanytja wiya, nyarangka tjarpanytja wiya, nganampa law nganampa tjamu tjutangku pailpai ‘tjarpanytja wiya nyarangka, nyangangka tjukaruru anama’.

                                                                                             © Rupert Goodwin

Our work includes explaining the law to tourists and telling them not to go into certain areas. This is based on our traditional law; our Grandfathers cautioned people in the same way saying ‘don’t go into there, this here is the right way to go’. ©

Encouraging compliance with relevant legislation is important for protecting park values, park infrastructure, visitor, staff and contractors’ safety and the interests of Nguraritja. In particular,


the Director is required to comply with the provisions of the EPBC Act, the management plan, other relevant legislation and government policies, and the Park Lease.

Staff may be appointed by the Minister under the EPBC Act as rangers or wardens, and exercise the powers and functions conferred on them by the Act and the Regulations. In addition, all members and special members of the Australian Federal Police are ex officio wardens, and officers or employees of other Australian, state or territory government agencies may be appointed by the Minister as rangers or wardens. The Australian Government requires that investigating officers be trained to standards prescribed in the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines. Rangers and wardens conduct monitoring and enforcement operations while on routine patrols and during specific, targeted programs. Park staff not appointed as wardens and rangers cannot exercise these powers but can encourage compliance with legislation through education to raise public awareness of appropriate behaviour.

During the 4th Plan, breaches of the EPBC Act and Regulations included unauthorised entry to a sacred site, walking off track, climbing Uluru when closed, and failure to hold valid park entry tickets. Minor breaches have been dealt with by issuing infringement notices or simple cautions; in other cases court action has been taken.

Given the large number of commercial operations in the park, considerable effort is invested in educating people engaged in commercial activities, ensuring commercial activities comply with relevant laws, and ensuring that all activities are undertaken in accordance with required permits. This includes tour guide training and ongoing liaison with the tourism industry to ensure standards are maintained (for further discussion see Section 6.7, Commercial operations).

Part 17 of the EPBC Regulations provides for permits to be issued, subject to conditions, for activities that are otherwise prohibited. Northern Territory laws apply in the park to the extent they can operate concurrently with the EPBC Act and Regulations and the management plan.

Issues

·       Exercise of enforcement powers by park wardens and rangers must comply with Australian Government policies, standards and guidelines.

·       Wardens and rangers need ongoing training.

·       Establishing and maintaining working relationships with other relevant compliance agencies can improve management of compliance issues that are of shared concern.

·       If the existing park ticketing system is changed, there will be a continued need for compliance checking by park wardens and rangers.

What we are going to do

Policy

8.2.1     Compliance and enforcement will be managed in accordance with the Parks Australia Compliance and Enforcement Manual and all relevant Australian Government policies and procedures.

 


Actions

8.2.2     The Director and the Board will monitor the effectiveness of the EPBC Act and Regulations in relation to the park and may recommend amendments to the Minister.

8.2.3     Provide ongoing compliance and law enforcement skills assessment and training for staff appointed, or likely to be appointed, as rangers and wardens.

8.2.4     Develop and implement compliance and enforcement strategies and procedures for managing specific compliance issues in the park in accordance with the EPBC Act, the Parks Australia Compliance and Enforcement Manual, other Parks Australia policies, Australian Government standards, legal requirements, risk management principles, and Board priorities.

8.2.5     Liaise and, where appropriate, work with other relevant agencies involved in compliance and enforcement. This may include entering into agreements, making arrangements for wardens to be appointed as law enforcement officers under relevant Northern Territory legislation, and appointing Northern Territory Government officers as wardens or rangers under the EPBC Act.

8.3       Incident management

Our aim

Incidents in the park are responded to promptly, effectively and safely.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number of applicable incidents managed under the Australian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS).

·       Number and percentage of staff trained in incident management.

·       Decrease in number of OH&S incidents requiring emergency management.

·       Extent to which there is effective engagement of other agencies in incident management in the park.

Background

Tjana kawalirinyi puutjingka munuya putu kulilpai, wirura wanka nyinanytjikitjangku.
                                                                                                  
© Pulya Taylor

When they get lost in the bush they don’t know what to do and how to survive. ©

Incidents occur in the park that affect life, property and the environment, including vehicle accidents, incidents at Uluru and Kata Tjuta which require search and/or rescue operations, medical emergencies, and wildfires.

The Director has a range of responsibilities in relation to incidents in the park. The Director also has a duty of reasonable care for park visitors and staff, and a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 to take reasonably practicable steps to protect employees, contractors and park visitors from risks to their health and safety.

 


The Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Service is responsible for the protection of life and property and the provision of disaster and emergency management to widely dispersed communities throughout the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, a division of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Service, has the role under the Fire and Emergency Act (NT) of responding to fires and emergencies in an emergency response area. The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service has a base in Yulara, essentially to provide structural fire response capability.

The Northern Territory Emergency Service, also a division of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Service, comprises volunteers and staff who provide a response capability within regions across the Territory. At the time of preparing this plan the Northern Territory Emergency Service has no base in Yulara and the organisation’s nearest facility is at Alice Springs.

Parks Australia has therefore been largely responsible for emergency responses, most of which involve search and rescue operations, including rock rescues. Parks Australia maintains a substantial fire suppression capability which is generally used within the park but has been deployed further afield, notably to the Ayers Rock Resort when needed.

In relation to bushfires, the Bushfires Act (NT) is also relevant (see Section 5.9, Fire management).

Northern Territory Police are based at Yulara and also at Mutitujlu. Police do not have a statutory role in relation to OH& S incidents occurring within the park (unless an incident is a disaster or emergency, requiring counter disaster measures, under the Disaster Act (NT) or involves one of their staff whilst on duty). However, under an intergovernmental agreement police forces are responsible for provision and coordination of land searches for missing civil aircraft and for overall coordination of searches for hikers and land vehicles. Under the agreement, in complex rescues the Police Officer-in-Charge controls the incident in liaison with representatives from each agency involved, including Parks Australia, fire and rescue, and emergency services. The Police Officer-in-Charge has powers to draw on available resources, wherever they are and whoever controls them.

In the case of other types of incidents such as road accidents, police and medical services have lead responsibility. However, park staff are often the first on the scene and as a result can be required to perform critical incident response roles. While there is a medical centre and staff in Yulara, the nearest services for serious medical emergencies are at Alice Springs. Given the size and remoteness of the park, and distance to medical services, successful handling of emergencies also depends on the ongoing availability and cooperation of helicopter pilots based at Yulara.

There is also a need to be prepared for potential large-scale incidents such as diseases which may be transmitted by wildlife or feral animal populations. In these instances, park staff would cooperate with relevant Northern Territory and Australian Government agencies.

Responding to incidents can be costly, although until now the Director has not sought reimbursement or contributions toward costs from persons involved in incidents, for example for search and rescue operations.

 


Issues

·       There is a need for properly trained and resourced personnel to provide an effective incident response, particularly given the park’s remoteness from most services.

·       There are significant costs involved in providing incident response services, including ongoing training of staff in rescue operations.

·       Incidents in the park often attract media attention. It is important that the media is provided with accurate and consistent information.

·       For timely and successful incident responses, it is essential that the emergency services are clear about their roles and responsibilities and that there is ongoing cooperation in incident planning and management.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.3.1     The Director will continue to liaise with the Northern Territory Police, Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, and other relevant agencies about incident response procedures including responsibilities, personnel, training, resources and incident management.

8.3.2     The Director will take all reasonable steps to ensure properly trained and resourced personnel are available to provide incident response services in the park.

8.3.3     Appropriate and accurate information about incidents will be maintained.

8.3.4     Subject to legal requirements, the Director may seek reimbursement or contributions for the cost of responding to incidents, in particular search and rescue operations, in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board.

8.4       Research, monitoring and knowledge management

Our aim

Research and monitoring activities in the park:

·       lead to a better understanding of the park’s biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage values, and the pressures these are under from a variety of sources

·       lead to a better understanding of visitors: who they are, their expectations and awareness of the park, levels of satisfaction, and preferences and use of the park

·       effectively involve Anangu and traditional skills and knowledge

·       contribute to effective management of the park and the region

·       help evaluate the effectiveness of management actions in protecting park values.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which research programs improve understanding and management of natural and cultural values.

·       Overall visitor satisfaction with the park is 80 per cent or higher.

·       Extent of improvement in park understanding of visitors.

·       Number of research activities which involve Anangu and appropriately utilise traditional knowledge and skills.

Background

Anangu tjutangku Ranger munu scientist tjutangku nintini parkaku kuka tjutaku munu punu tjutaku. Paluru tjana tjakultjunanyi yaaltji mingkiri tjuta nyinapai, munu piti tjanampa nyaangka ngarapai, munu mai nyaa tjana ngalkupai, uwankara. Anangu kutju ninti.
                                                                                               
© Tony Tjamiwa

Aboriginal people are teaching rangers and scientists about the fauna and flora of the park. They are telling them where to look for animals, where their burrows are, what food they eat, everything. Anangu know all this. ©

Effective research and monitoring provides essential information to assist the Director and the Board, and the Australian Government, to make sound decisions about management of the park. This work may be carried out by park staff or consultants engaged by the Director. It may also be carried out in collaboration with other government agencies, organisations and individuals.

The results of research and surveys in the park provide valuable information about natural and cultural resources and visitors’ use of the park. Regular monitoring reveals whether and how conditions have changed in relation to the baseline information and helps in assessing the effectiveness of management programs and making better management decisions.

Flora and fauna monitoring in the park provides useful information for regional conservation programs, local Aboriginal enterprises, and the tourism industry. The episodic fluctuations in the abundance and distribution of many animals and their habitats mean that long-term monitoring programs are essential to identify trends.

Visitor monitoring programs to understand who visits the park, how visitors use the park, and levels of visitor satisfaction are undertaken on a regular basis.

Other government agencies, organisations and individuals may also wish to carry out research and monitoring activities for their own purposes, independently of the Director; and may want to do so for either non-commercial or commercial purposes.

Under r.12.10 of the EPBC Regulations research may not be undertaken in the park unless it is provided for by, and carried out in accordance with, a management plan in force for the park; or is authorised by a permit, or under certain other conditions (r.12.06). Research which involves taking, keeping or moving of native species, or is undertaken for commercial purposes, is prohibited by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act except where undertaken in accordance with a management plan.

Research which involves actions that affect members of species that are protected under Part 13 of the Act, that is listed threatened species, ecological communities or migratory species, must also comply with the provisions of Part 13 unless done in accordance with a management plan.

Research in the park may involve taking biological resources of native species for research and development.

 


Bioprospecting

Access to biological resources (also known as bioprospecting) is the taking of biological resources of native species for research and development on any genetic resources, or biochemical compounds, comprising or contained in samples or specimens of these species.

Access to biological resources in Commonwealth areas such as the park is regulated under the EPBC Act. Section 301 of the Act authorises Regulations to be made to control the activity. ‘Biological resources’ are defined by the Act (s.528) as including genetic resources, organisms, parts of organisms, populations and any other biotic component of an ecosystem with actual or potential use or value for humanity. ‘Genetic resources’ are defined as any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin that contains functional units of heredity and that has actual or potential value for humanity.

Part 8A of the EPBC Regulations is made under s.301 to regulate access to biological resources. Key features of Part 8A in relation to Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park are as follows:

·       Any person who wants to access biological resources must obtain a permit from the Minister.

·       The ‘access provider’ must agree to the taking of biological resources. The access provider for Aboriginal land in the park is the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Land Trust.

·       Where access is sought for commercial purposes or potential commercial purposes:

-        there must be a benefit-sharing agreement with the relevant access provider

-        the benefit-sharing agreement must provide for reasonable benefit-sharing arrangements, including protecting, recognising, and valuing of any Indigenous people’s knowledge that is to be used

-        the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Land Trust must give ‘informed consent’ to the benefit-sharing agreement before it can proceed, after the traditional owners of the land have been consulted and the views of the Central Land Council obtained.

·       Where access is sought for non-commercial purposes:

-        written permission must be obtained from the relevant access provider

-        a statutory declaration must be given to the access provider declaring, among other things, that any biological resources taken are not intended to be used for commercial purposes, that a written report will be given to the access provider on the results of any research into the biological resources, that samples will not be given to other people (other than a specified research institution) without permission of the access provider, and that the person(s) given access will not carry out, or allow others to carry out, commercial research or development unless a benefit-sharing agreement is in place with the access provider

·       there must be an environmental impact assessment of the proposed access if it is likely to have more than negligible environmental impact.

Access to biological resources is also covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act if the resources are members of a native species and/or if access is for commercial purposes. Access is covered by r.12.10 of the EPBC Regulations. Access to biological resources for scientific research must be in accordance with a management plan.


Access to biological resources outside the park is subject to Northern Territory biodiscovery legislation. On Aboriginal land, the Land Rights Act carries certain obligations and the relevant Land Council must be consulted.

Issues

·       Research and monitoring should be targeted in such a way as to inform park management operations, and the research and monitoring results need to be clearly communicated to park staff, Nguraritja, and other stakeholders.

·       The park is part of a broader landscape with similar management issues and it is important to share data, and to participate in collaborative research and monitoring projects and relevant regional forums.

·       Effective methods for storing, retrieving and sharing data and knowledge are required. This includes appropriate management of sensitive information.

·       Anangu knowledge plays a fundamental part in understanding the condition of and changes in the park’s natural and cultural values.

·       Bioprospecting is a rapidly developing industry with potential for significant commercial rewards.

·       Anangu have important Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) rights that must be respected.

·       There is a need to facilitate appropriate access to biological resources and avoid duplication of processes, particularly in relation to issuing permits.

·       Relevant Anangu should benefit appropriately from granting access to bioprospecting.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.4.1     The Director will carry out, take part in, and contribute to research and monitoring that is consistent with this plan, and helps to improve the management of the park.

8.4.2     Research and monitoring will take account of the park within the broader landscape by establishing links with other agencies and research organisations working within the region. This will include a cooperative approach to sharing data.

8.4.3     The Director may carry out research and monitoring that involves actions covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act in relation to members of native species.

8.4.4     Organisations and individuals may carry out research and monitoring, including actions covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act:

-        in collaboration with the Director, under a formal written agreement

or

-        in accordance with a permit issued by the Director.

8.4.5     Research and monitoring may only be carried out for commercial purposes if approved by the Board (generally, or in relation to a particular research and monitoring activity or class of activities).


8.4.6     Permits authorising research and monitoring may be issued if:

-        the activity will not threaten the conservation status of a species or ecological community

-        the activity will not adversely impact on any cultural site or its values

-        the activity will not significantly impact on the park’s listed heritage values

-        the activity cannot reasonably be done outside the park

-        Nguraritja have been appropriately consulted on the activity and their interests and concerns have been addressed

-        the activity is of benefit to the park.

8.4.7     Access may be provided to biological resources in the park in accordance with Part 8A of the EPBC Regulations and written agreement from the Director.

Actions

8.4.8     In consultation with the Board Consultative Committees and the Board, undertake a long-term research and monitoring program consistent with the following proposed research and monitoring priorities, and other priorities as determined by the Board. Current proposed research and monitoring priorities include:

-        baseline surveys and ongoing monitoring of the distribution and abundance of listed species and communities including EPBC Act and Northern Territory listed species

-        status of native wildlife populations and their interactions with fire and other environmental and climatic factors, including the use of established long-term flora and fauna monitoring sites

-        species declines and their causes

-        impact of fire on habitats and native species including the effects of weeds on fire and of fire on weed distribution, and the effectiveness of seasonal burning as a habitat management tool

-        impacts of feral animals and weeds on park values, and improved survey and control methods

-        cultural heritage conservation

-        ongoing park visitor surveying and monitoring, including at least one major survey and ongoing monitoring of visitor numbers, visitor use patterns and satisfaction, visitor impacts and tour operator activity

-        monitoring water quality at waterholes.

8.4.9     Develop and maintain systems for collecting, storing and retrieving research and monitoring data using the most practicable up-to-date technology.

 


8.5       Assessment of proposals

Our aim

The likely impacts of proposed actions on park values and Nguraritja interests are properly considered before decisions are made, and World, National and Commonwealth heritage values are maintained through effective assessment procedures and subsequent monitoring.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Number of proposed actions in the park that are assessed through the park Environmental Impact Assessment procedures and, as appropriate, through the EPBC Act.

·       Level of Board satisfaction that the park Environmental Impact Assessment procedures are adequately protecting the park’s World, National and Commonwealth heritage values and Nguraritja interests.

·       Level of Nguraritja satisfaction that the park Environmental Impact Assessment procedures properly consider their interests.

Background

Kulintjaku nguraritja mula-mulangku kulinma nguraritja munu mula-mulangku kulira pitjala
tjapinma palunya kulu nyakunytjaku katima ka nyangama tjukarurungku palyantjaku Anangu-wanungku.
                                                                                             
© Barbara Tjikatu

To understand traditional owners interests genuinely listen to traditional owners, come and ask us about it and genuinely listen. Also take us to look at it and see how to do it properly through consultation with Anangu. ©

Many activities proposed to be undertaken in the park by the Director, Anangu and external stakeholders such as the tourism industry and other businesses need to have their potential impacts assessed before a decision can be made on whether the activity should go ahead. Impacts that need to be considered include impacts on the park’s natural and cultural values, on Anangu and on visitor enjoyment and activities.

Some activities proposed to be undertaken in the park may be ‘controlled actions’ (see Section 2.4, Legislative context) and require assessment and approval by the Minister under the EPBC Act because they are likely to have a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance (such as the park’s World Heritage values) or the park environment generally. The EPBC Act defines the ‘environment’ as including:

(a)   ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and

(b)   natural and physical resources; and

(c)   the qualities and characteristics of locations, places and areas; and

(d)   heritage values of places; and

(e)   the social, economic and cultural aspects of a thing mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

Proposed actions that do not trigger the EPBC Act’s assessment and approval provisions may still have impacts that require assessment before a decision can be made on whether the


action should go ahead. Proposed actions of a routine nature that are authorised by or under prescriptions (that is, policies and actions) in a management plan generally do not require impact assessment.

The Director and the Board make decisions on whether or not proposals should be approved using the park’s environmental impact assessment process.

Issues

·       If not properly assessed and managed, proposed actions may cause significant local environmental and cultural impacts and affect the interests of Nguraritja.

·       Up-to-date, clear and consistent guidelines and procedures are needed for assessing proposals and determining whether proposals require referral under the EPBC Act.

·       Assessment of proposals by park staff can require significant resources.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.5.1     The potential impacts of all proposed actions will be considered, and where necessary assessed, in accordance with Table 2, the assessment matters and considerations outlined in Table 3 and the following prescriptions. Where a proposed action requires approval or advice from the Board of Management the Board will be advised of the outcome of that consideration and any assessment.

8.5.2     Proposed actions that are considered likely to have more than a negligible impact but are not controlled actions under the EPBC Act will be assessed in accordance with the park’s impact assessment procedures.

8.5.3     Park assessment procedures will be consistent with best practice and will address assessment of likely impacts on the environment (as defined by the EPBC Act), on the park’s natural and cultural values and on Anangu, including social, economic and cultural impacts. Assessments will also evaluate impacts on the park’s aesthetic, scientific, recreational and educational values and on park management operations.

8.5.4     Assessment of proposed activities that are not controlled actions may be carried out by park staff, proponents of the proposed activity, or independent experts.

8.5.5     Subject to the EPBC Act, the Director may recover from proponents the costs associated with administering, assessing and monitoring proposals.

8.5.6     A high priority will be placed on assessment of proposals from Nguraritja and then Anangu.

Action

8.5.7 In conjunction with the Central Land Council, periodically review and update procedures for assessing proposals to ensure consistency with best practice.

 


Table 2 – Impact assessment procedures

Category

Example

Impact assessment and consultation requirements

Category 1

 

 

Actions considered likely to have no impact, or no more than a negligible impact, on the park’s environment and natural and cultural values, and on Nguraritja

 

·       Minor capital works e.g. maintenance, replacement, repairing or improving existing infrastructure in its present form

·       Regular/routine ongoing operations to implement prescriptions in this plan e.g. patrols/weed control/fire management

·       Seasonal opening/closing of visitor areas

·       Issuing permits for regular activities in accordance with this plan e.g. commercial tours, research

·       Trimming or clearing vegetation around road signs or visitor sites

 

·       No assessment required

·       Use minimal impact work practices when implementing actions

·       Consultation in accordance with Table 1 in Section 4

Category 2

 

 

Actions considered likely to have more than a negligible impact, but not a significant impact, on the park’s environment and natural and cultural values, and on Nguraritja

 

 

·       Moderate capital works e.g. new infrastructure or moderate expansion/upgrade of existing infrastructure

·       Rehabilitation of heavily eroded sites

·       Developments for approved existing tourism activities that do not require major works

·       Minor new operations or developments to implement prescriptions in this plan

·       Tour operator accreditation system

·      Assessment by park staff, proponent, or independent expert

·      Assessment in accordance with procedures approved by Director and Board

·      Consultation in accordance with Table 1 in Section 4

Category 3

 

 

Actions considered likely to have a significant impact on the park’s environment and natural and cultural values and on Nguraritja

 

·       Major capital works e.g. new major infrastructure or major expansion/upgrade of existing infrastructure

·       Major new operations or developments to implement prescriptions in this plan

·       Major/long-term changes to existing visitor access arrangements

·       New types of commercial activities

·      Director will consider whether action should be referred for consideration as a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act

·      If action referred and Minister decides it is a controlled action no assessment required by park staff

·      If action not referred, or referred and Minister decides it is not a controlled action, assessment as for Category 2

 


Table 3 – Environmental Impact Assessment matters and considerations

Matters for assessment

Considerations include, but not limited to

1.        Environmental context

 

(a)     What are the components or features of the environment in the area where the action will take place?

·      Species, ecological communities in the park-wide and regional context

·      Matters of national environmental significance

·      Cultural features

·      Heritage features

·      Socioeconomic values including Anangu uses and interests

·      Tourism and recreational values

·      Aesthetic/landscape values

·      Scientific reference areas

(b)     Which components or features of the environment are likely to be impacted?

 

·      Short- and long-term impacts on and off site

(c)     Is the environment which is likely to be impacted, or are elements of it, sensitive or vulnerable to impacts?

 

·      Species, ecological communities

·      Matters of national environmental significance

·      Cultural values (including sacred sites)

·      Heritage values

·      Tourism and visitor experience

·      Nguraritja interests, in particular relevant Lease conditions

·      Cumulative impacts from a range of activities across the park on the environment or its elements

·      Uniqueness of elements within the park-wide and regional context

(d)     What are the history, current use and condition of the environment which is likely to be impacted?

 

·      Comparison with condition of similar sites elsewhere in the park


 

Matters for assessment

Considerations include, but not limited to

2.        Potential impacts

 

(a)     What are the components of the action?

 

·      Include associated infrastructure and stages

(b)     What are the predicted adverse impacts associated with the action including indirect consequences?

 

·      Include indirect and off-site impacts

·      Consider scale, intensity, timing, duration and frequency

(c)     How severe are the potential impacts?

 

 

(d)     What is the extent of uncertainty about potential impacts?

 

 

3.        Impact avoidance and mitigation

 

Will any measures to avoid or mitigate impacts ensure, with a high degree of certainty, that impacts are not significant?

 

·      State whether there are any alternative sites for proposal

4.        Significance of impacts

 

Considering all the matters above, is the action likely to have a significant impact on the environment?

 

·      If yes, the Director will consider whether action should be referred for Ministerial consideration under the EPBC Act

 

(Note: this table is a guide only)


8.6       Subleases, licences and associated occupancy issues

Our aim

Subleases, licences and the management of associated occupancy issues are provided for appropriately.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which the Director’s legislative obligations, including the requirements of this plan, are met.

Background

As noted elsewhere in this plan, the park is Aboriginal-owned land under the Land Rights Act and is leased to the Director.

Section 358(2) of the EPBC Act allows the Director to grant a sublease or licence relating to land in the park provided it is in accordance with a management plan. In addition, the Lease requires the Director to have the written agreement of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust before granting any sublease or licence.

The Lease states that the Director of National Parks covenants not to transfer, assign, sublet, part with the possession of, or otherwise dispose of the park or any part thereof without the consent in writing of the Aboriginal Land Trust and then only in accordance with the management plan.

The Lease also states that traditional owners of the park and other Aboriginals entitled to use or occupy the park have the right to reside within the park at Mutitjulu or at such other locations specified in a management plan, subject to:

·       directions or decisions of the Board with respect to health, safety or privacy

·       reasonable constraints in the management plan for reasons of safety, security, privacy or protection of the park.

The Lease further states that the Aboriginal Land Trust reserves the right to request the Director to sublet any reasonable part of the park to a Relevant Aboriginal Association. At the time of preparing this plan, the Relevant Aboriginal Association is the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation (MCAC) incorporated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

Issues

·       Leases, subleases, licences and other occupancies need to be established and maintained to appropriate standards, including minimising impacts on park values.

·       In order to help support Nguraritja interests (and minimise impacts on the park) rights to occupy and use land in the park should be formalised as far as possible.


What we are going to do

Policies

8.6.1     The Director may, with the written consent of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust and approval of the Board, grant subleases and licences relating to land in the park, including:

-        granting subleases or licences for exclusive-use commercial activities approved by the Board (see Section 6.7); and

-        granting a sublease of the Mutitjulu Community area to the Relevant Aboriginal Association, or other entity (see Section 7.1)

8.6.2     Decisions about subleases and licences will be made in accordance with Section 4.1, Making decisions and working together, including taking into account the impact assessment of the proposal under Section 8.5, Assessment of proposals.

8.6.3     The Director, in consultation with the Board, may determine the rent/occupation fee for each sublessee or licensee and the length of any sublease or licence.

8.6.4     Subleases and licences will:

-        be consistent with the conditions of the Lease between the Land Trust and the Director

-        clearly define the area covered by the sublease or licence

-        include provisions for minimising impacts on park values

-        include environmental protection measures including, where necessary, waste management.

Action

8.6.5     Monitor and take appropriate action to ensure that occupation and use of land in the park have minimal impact on park values.

8.7       Resource use in park operations

Our aim

The park’s ecological footprint is minimised as far as practicable through the wise use and management of available resources.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which resource use by the park is managed in accordance with best practice.

Background

The Director supports environmental best practice principles on the use of resources and management of waste products in the park. These principles are consistent with the need to conserve the park’s natural and cultural resources; the park’s status as a World Heritage area; meeting broader commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste; and minimising the potential impacts associated with waste management practices.

There are particular challenges in providing and using resources such as water and power in a remote and arid area. As rainfall is comparatively low in the region, the main source of reliable


potable water is groundwater (see Section 5.5, Surface water and groundwater). Climate change has the potential to reduce rainfall or increase evaporation and thereby reduce the amount of recharge entering the aquifers, so water availability is likely to be more of a challenge if predicted changes to the climate eventuate (see Section 5.4, Climate change). There is currently a strong dependency on diesel generators for providing power to park buildings, staff and community houses and other buildings. The park’s remote location also presents particular challenges for recycling and disposal of waste – there are no recycling facilities within a reasonable distance that waste generated in the park could be transported to. Most of the waste generated in the park, including Mutitjulu Community, is currently disposed of in a landfill tip in the park. Some waste, chiefly from commercial operations at the Cultural Centre, is disposed of at the landfill site near Yulara. Alternative sources of energy and methods of waste disposal are being considered at the time of preparing this plan.

Issues

·       Despite the challenges, there is potential to improve waste management and environmentally responsible use of resources.

·       The disposal of some substances in the park may be hazardous to the health of people and wildlife.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.7.1     Recycled and renewable resources, and technologies that reduce environmental impacts and energy use, will be used within the park where possible.

8.7.2     New infrastructure will as far as possible aim for maximum energy efficiency ratings.

8.7.3     Construction waste will not be disposed of in the park.

Actions

8.7.4     Work with other organisations, suppliers, contractors and other relevant people to take a regional approach to:

-        promote and implement best practice environmental work practices and activities in the park

-        promote and implement best practice environmental standards relating to manufactured resource use in the park and the region

-        investigate, and where possible and cost effective implement, alternatives to the disposal of waste materials in the park

-        comply with internal environmental management plans and relevant government policy and legislation, including toxic and hazardous waste disposal requirements.

8.7.5     Investigate options for using best available energy efficient technologies in the development of new infrastructure, and in existing infrastructure where possible and as needed.

8.7.6     Investigate, and where feasible implement, cost effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in park operations.

 

8.8       New activities not otherwise specified in this plan

Our aim

The Director and the Board are able to respond to new issues and proposals consistent with this plan and the EPBC Act and Regulations.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which new issues are dealt with effectively and consistently with the principles and policies set out in this plan.

Background

Tjilpingku minyma pampangku tjanala tjunguringkula wangkara kulira lipula palyalpai alatji tjana tjukurpa kulilpailta kuralpaingka tawara.
                                                                                            
© Rupert Goodwin

Discussing issues together with the senior men and women makes them level. In this way they think about the law to ensure nothing is damaged. ©

This plan sets out how the park will be managed for a period of 10 years. During that time, circumstances may arise or proposals be brought forward for actions which were not anticipated at the time the plan was prepared and which require the Director to take actions that are not covered by specific prescriptions in this plan. As noted in Section 2.4, Legislative context, under ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act certain types of actions can only be taken if they are authorised by a management plan (including acts in relation to native species, works, and actions for commercial purposes). The Director is required by the Act (s.362) to exercise the Director’s powers, for example to issue permits, and to perform the Director’s functions so as to give effect to the management plan.

Issues

·       This plan needs to enable appropriate actions to be taken and authorised that are not specified by other prescriptions in the plan because they were not foreseen at the time of writing.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.8.1     The Director may take actions that are not covered by specific prescriptions in this plan, including actions covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act.

8.8.2     The Director may, with the approval of the Board, take action or authorise (whether by permit, contract, lease or licence) actions by other persons that are not covered by specific prescriptions in this plan, including actions covered by ss.354 and 354A of the EPBC Act.

8.8.3     Except in cases of emergency, the decision-making and impact assessment processes prescribed in Sections 4.1 and 8.5 of this plan apply to actions under this Section.


8.9       Management plan implementation and evaluation

Our aim

This plan is effectively implemented.

Measuring how well we are meeting our aim

·       Extent to which this plan is implemented and its aims are met.

Background

Nganana mukuringanyi ‘Tjungu Warkaripainya’ panya Joint Management-anya mulapa wirura ngarantjaku. Tjukaruru mula-mula ngarantjaku ngaranyi. Tjukurpa pulka mulapa palyantjaku kunpu ngarantjaku.
                                                                                                
© Mrs Patterson

We want ‘Joint Management’ to work strongly for us. It needs to be real and straight. There are many important things to do to be strong. ©

One of the main functions of the Board is to make decisions relating to the management of the park consistent with this plan and, in conjunction with the Director, to monitor the management of the park. Parks Australia’s Strategic Planning and Performance Assessment Framework is used to help monitor and improve the management of Commonwealth reserves. A full description of the framework and the Key Result Areas (KRAs) and outcomes relevant to this plan is in Section 1.2, Structure of this management plan, and in Appendix E.

The prescriptions contained in this plan are based on achieving KRA outcomes and government legislative requirements (including the EPBC Act and the Director’s Lease obligations) that deal with specific attributes and issues related to the management of the park.

It is the Director’s responsibility under s.514B of the EPBC Act to administer, control, protect, conserve and manage biodiversity in Commonwealth reserves. Funds for the management of the park are allocated from the Australian National Parks Fund as provided for by the EPBC Act. Under s.356A of the EPBC Act the Director may collect charges for activities undertaken in Commonwealth reserves, subject to the approval of the Minister. As an authority for the purposes of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, the Director is also subject to the requirements of that Act as well as other relevant legislative requirements and government policies.

Park staff are responsible for the management of the park’s budget in accordance with the Chief Executive Instructions and policies of the Director, and relevant government policies.

At the time of preparing this plan, park staff are employees of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The Department requires each staff member to have an individual performance and development plan that links their work output to agreed work plans. For park staff, these relate directly to the implementation of the management plan.
The Department provides learning and development opportunities for staff related to their
agreed work plans and career development.


Issues

·       For the Board to effectively monitor, evaluate and make informed decisions about the allocation of funding and resources there is a need for clear, accurate and regular information regarding the implementation of this plan.

·       For this plan to be effectively and responsibly implemented, work policies, procedures and programs must be consistent with the plan, the priorities of the Board and relevant government policies.

What we are going to do

Policies

8.9.1     Priorities for implementing the actions in this plan will be determined by the need to:

-        protect and promote World, National and Commonwealth heritage and other park values

-        ensure visitor safety

-        provide benefits to Nguraritja and respect Nguraritja aspirations

-        ensure cost effectiveness.

8.9.2     Park work programs, expenditure, staff learning and development plans, staff training and activities will focus on implementing this plan and any other priorities as determined by the Board.

Actions

8.9.3     The Park Manager will report regularly to the Board on the implementation of this plan and park expenditure in a manner requested by the Board and consistent with any government requirements.

8.9.4     Develop an implementation schedule for this plan and use it to determine and report on annual priorities and work plans.

8.9.5     During the life of this plan undertake a business review of charges determined and imposed by the Director under ss.356 and 356A of the EPBC Act for entering or using a Commonwealth reserve or part of a Commonwealth reserve and using services or facilities provided by the Director. Determine and implement new charges where appropriate, subject to approval by the Minister.

8.9.6     In consultation with the Board, appropriate agencies and interest groups investigate a cost recovery plan for services provided by Parks Australia and implement the cost recovery plan as appropriate.

8.9.7     Following consultation with relevant stakeholders, develop and/or periodically review park policies and operational procedures and present them to the Board for consideration.

8.9.8     Prior to the preparation of the 6th Management Plan, prepare and present to the Board a technical audit of this plan. The audit will include, but may not be limited to, the following terms of reference:

-        consideration of each prescribed management policy and action and whether or not it was successfully implemented


-        evaluation of the performance of each prescribed policy and action in relation to the Section aim(s) that it was intended to achieve

-        in the case of any prescribed policy and/or action that was not implemented, or which failed to achieve the desired aim(s), determination of the cause

-        recommendations to the Board and Director regarding any changes to aims, policies and actions that should be considered during the preparation of the 6th Plan.

 


Appendix A.

Provisions of Lease between Uluru–Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust and the Director of National Parks

 

ULURU–KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK

THE NORTHERN TERRITORY OF AUSTRALIA

MEMORANDUM OF LEASE

ULURU–KATATJUTA ABORIGINAL LAND TRUST being a Land Trust established by Notice published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. S 403 on the 30th day of September 1985 pursuant to sub-section 4(1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth) ("the Lessor"), BEING the proprietor of an estate in fee simple in the land in the Northern Territory known as the UluruKata Tjuta National Park ("the Park") previously described herein, AND having received a direction from the Central Land Council in accordance with sub-section 12(2C) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth), that direction having been given by the Central Land Council on its being satisfied that:

A           the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Park understand the nature and purpose of this lease and, as a group, consent to it;

B           that the Aboriginal communities and groups which may be affected by the lease have been consulted and have had adequate opportunity to express their views to the Central Land Council; and

C           the terms and conditions of this lease are reasonable.

HEREBY GRANTS a lease of the Park to the DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE ("the Lessee") a corporation established by the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 SUBJECT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING RESERVATIONS, PROVISIONS, COVENANTS AND CONDITIONS:

 

PART 1 - RESERVATIONS

1            Reservation of Right of Entry and Inspection
The Lessor reserves a right in favour of the Chairman of the Lessor and any person authorised in writing by the Land Council after reasonable notice and at all reasonable times, to enter upon the Park or any part of it and to inspect the Park and any improvements on the Park, subject to such reasonable constraints as may be contained in the Plan of Management for reason or safety, security, privacy or protection of the Park.

2            Reservation of Aboriginal Rights to Use and Occupy
The Lessor reserves in favour of relevant Aboriginals and groups of relevant Aboriginals the following rights, which shall operate subject to the directions or decisions of the UluruKatatjuta Board with respect to health, safety or privacy:


 

(1)        the right to enter upon the Park and use or occupy the Park to the extent that the entry, occupation or use is in accordance with Aboriginal tradition governing the rights of those Aboriginals or groups of Aboriginals with respect to the Park, whether or not those rights are qualified as to place, time, circumstances, purpose, permission or any other factor;

(2)        the right to continue, in accordance with law, the traditional use of any area of the Park for hunting or food-gathering (otherwise than for purposes of sale);

(3)        the right to continue the traditional use of any area of the Park for ceremonial and religious purposes; and

(4)        the right to reside within the Park in the vicinity of the present Mutitjulu Community or at such other locations as may be specified in the Plan of Management together with rights of access and residence for their employees, staff, invitees and agents.

The above reservation is subject to such reasonable constraints as may be contained in the Plan of Management for reasons of safety, security, privacy or protection of the Park.

3            Reservation of requirements to sublet part of Park
The Lessor reserves the right to request the Lessee to sublet any reasonable part of the Park to a Relevant Aboriginal Association. The Lessee shall not unreasonably or capriciously refuse to grant a sublease to such Relevant Aboriginal Association where it is in accordance with the Act, the Land Rights Act and the Plan of Management.

 

PART II - PROVISIONS

4            Commencement
The lease shall commence on the 1st day of January 1994 .

5            Term
The lease shall be for a term expiring on 25 October 2084.

6            Rent

(1)        The Lessee shall pay to the Land Council on behalf of the Lessor an annual rent of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000.00) (to be indexed from May 1990 to January 1994) payable in advance and shall further pay to the Land Council on behalf of the Lessor;

(a)        an amount equal to 25% of receipts from any entrance fees and other charges imposed in pursuance of subsection 17(1A) of the Act, such amounts to be paid quarterly calculated by reference to receipts of the previous quarter.

(b)        an amount equal to 25% of receipts in respect of any charge, penalty, fee, fine of impost received by the Lessee or the Commonwealth of Australia arising out of the operation of the provisions of the Act or the Regulations made thereunder in respect of commercial activities undertaken within the Park in excess of the sum of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000) ("the threshold amount") to be paid annually in arrears and calculated by reference to receipts of the previous year.


 

(2)        not withstanding any term or provision of this lease to the contrary nothing in this clause extends to any charge, penalty, fee, fine, or impost received by the Lessee or the Commonwealth of Australia and arising out of the operation of the provisions of the Act or the Regulations made thereunder other than the charges, penalties, fees, fines or imposts referred to in sub-clause (1).

7            Rent Review

(1)        The annual rent to be paid under clause 6 and the threshold amount pursuant to paragraph 6(1)(b) (collectively "the review figures") shall be reviewed on the 5th anniversary of the commencement date and thereafter at 5 yearly intervals during the term of the lease (collectively "the review date") and shall be calculated by individually multiplying each of the review figures at the commencement of this lease (called "base period") by the fraction NI/B1.

N1 refers to the Consumer Price Index for Darwin (all groups) published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics ("the Bureau") in respect of the quarter immediately preceding the particular review date and B 1 is the Consumer Price Index for Darwin (all groups) published by that Bureau in respect of the quarter immediately preceding the base period.

(2)        In the event that at any time during the term of this lease the Bureau shall up-date the reference base of that index, the required conversion shall be made to preserve the intended continuity of the calculations by making the appropriate arithmetical adjustment to make the up-dated index number correspond in reference base to the index number at the review date.

(3)        In the event that it is not possible to make an arithmetical adjustment as specified in sub-clause 7(2), or if there is a change in the basis of assessment of that index or its calculation has been suspended or discontinued, then in the event of the parties failing to agree upon a formula provided for in sub-clause 7(1) then the matter shall be referred for determination by the Australian Statistician to fix a formula for review of the review figures on the review date which will provide as nearly as practicable the same adjustments of their review figures as if the Consumer Price Index referred to in sub-clause 7(1) had been continued without variation and the determination shall be final and binding upon the parties.

(4)        Each rent review shall be made within 3 months prior to the review date.

(5)        The Lessor shall notify the Lessee in writing of its calculation of the increase in the review figures on the review date.

(6)        The review figures shall not be reduced in the event of a decrease in the index number since the previous review date.

(7)        If the Lessee fails or refuses to accept the Lessor's assessment of the review figures by notice in writing or the parties fail to agree upon the review figures at the review date within 30 days after service of notice thereof by the Lessor the review figures shall be determined by reference to arbitration and thereupon the provision of paragraphs 21(2)(a) to (d) shall apply mutatis mutandis.


 

(8)        The Lessee shall in the interim pay the rent including an amount equal to not less than half of the increase in rent payable as calculated by the Lessor in the event that the parties are unable to resolve the difference in their calculations prior to the date for payment of the rent.

(9)        If the Lessee has paid rent in excess of the current amount due because of the Lessor's calculation the Lessor shall repay the excess together with interest thereon at a rate equal to the interest rate charged at the time of the interim payment by the Lessee's banker for amounts equal to the excess rent paid calculated at a daily rate.

 

PART III - COVENANTS AND CONDITIONS

LESSEE'S COVENANTS

8            The Lessee covenants:

(1)        to take all practicable steps to ensure compliance by all persons with the Act, Regulations under the Act and the Plan of Management;

(2)        not to transfer, assign, sublet, part with the possession of, or otherwise dispose of the Park or any part thereof without the consent in writing of the Lessor and then only in. accordance with the Plan of Management;

(3)        to pay all reasonable costs of and incidental to the registration, preparation, execution and stamping of this lease;

(4)        to pay all rates and taxes which may at any time become due in respect of the Park;

(5)      (a)    to carry all of the risk as self-insurer in respect of the timely reinstatement to full value of any of the improvements in the Park which may be damaged or destroyed, without the consent of the Lessor being improvements existing at the date of the commencement of this lease and such other improvements as may be made except such improvements in respect of which there exists a contract of insurance insuring the risk to the extent of liability imposed upon the Lessee under this sub-clause.

(b)        to carry all of the risk as self-insurer as occupier of the Park as regards any liability to any third person; and

(c)        as far as is practicable, to make good any damage to the Park (other than improvements) being damage caused by the Lessee except where that damage to the Park was occasioned with the consent of the Lessor or the Uluru–Katatjuta Board.

(6)        to comply with all Acts, Regulations and other laws otherwise applicable to the land.

9            The Lessee covenants subject to the Plan of Management-

(1)        (a)    to promote and protect the interests of relevant Aboriginals;

(b)        to protect areas and things of significance to relevant Aboriginals;

(c)        to encourage the maintenance of the Aboriginal tradition of relevant Aboriginals;

(d)        to take all practicable steps to promote Aboriginal administration, management and control of the Park;

and without limiting the generality of the foregoing.


 

(e)        within six months of the commencement of this lease to establish and implement a programme for training reasonable numbers of relevant Aboriginals in skills relevant to the administration, management and control of the Park;

(f)          to engage as many relevant Aboriginals as is practicable to provide services in and in relation to the Park;

(g)        to take all reasonable steps to adjust working hours and conditions to the needs and culture of Aboriginals employed in the Park,

(h)        to utilise the traditional skills of Aboriginal individuals and groups in the management of the Park;

(i)          to promote among non-Aboriginals employed in the management of the Park and, to the extent that is reasonably practicable, among visitors to the park and residents of the Yulara a knowledge and understanding of and respect for the traditions, languages, culture, customs and skills of relevant Aboriginals and to arrange for appropriate instruction in connection therewith to be given, to the extent that is reasonably practicable, by Aboriginals engaged for the purpose;

(j)          to regularly consult and liaise with the Land Council , the relevant Aboriginal Association, and the Pitjantjatjara Council in connection with the administration, management and control of the Park;

(k)        to encourage Aboriginal business and commercial initiatives and enterprises within the Park;

(l)          to consult with relevant Aboriginals only through the Land Council and where appropriate the Relevant Aboriginal Association;

(m)      to provide funding to the Relevant Aboriginal Association for the purpose of providing a Community Liaison Officer in accordance with the budget approved by the Board from time to time;

(n)        to consult with and have regard to the views of the Land Council in respect of the formulation of any educational and interpretive policy in relation to the Park;

(o)        as far as practicable and subject to the Plan of Management and to the Lease, to provide such capital equipment and machinery as is reasonably required for the adequate maintenance of roads, and all other Park improvements ( being roads , facilities, or improvements owned or controlled by the Lessee);

(p)        after consultation with and having regard to the views of the Relevant Aboriginal Association and the Land Council, and subject to the Plan of Management, to implement a licensing and induction scheme for tour operators carrying on commercial activities in the Park;

(q)        subject to the Plan of Management and the Act to use its best endeavours to collect entrance and other charges and ensure such charges are properly accounted for on an audited basis; and

(r)          subject to the Plan of Management, to permit an officer or officers of the Land Council to enter and move freely in the Park for the purpose of performing on behalf of the Land Council statutory powers or functions of the Land Council.


 

10        (1)    Subject to any lawful obligation imposed upon the Lessee by the Act, the Audit Act 1901 (Cth) or the Finance Directions issued thereunder, if at any time during the term hereof the Lessee is desirous of disposing of its interest in any property or equipment of the Lessee used in the operation of the Park, to give the Lessor, the Land Council or its nominee, the Relevant Aboriginal Association and any other incorporated body the membership of which is limited to Relevant Aboriginals or groups of Relevant Aboriginals (in this clause referred to as the "permitted Aboriginal purchaser") the right of the first refusal to purchase the said property or equipment or any part thereof subject to the following terms and conditions:

(a)        the Lessee shall give notice in writing to the Relevant Aboriginal Association and the Land Council of the Lessee's intention to dispose of any such property or equipment. The notice shall constitute an offer by the Lessee to sell any such property or equipment to a permitted Aboriginal purchaser and shall specify the consideration required by the Lessee from a permitted Aboriginal purchaser for the purchase of the Lessee's interest therein, which consideration shall not impose any more onerous obligation or duty upon permitted Aboriginal purchaser or require the permitted Aboriginal purchaser to pay any greater pecuniary sum than the Lessee would impose upon or require from a purchaser other than a permitted Aboriginal purchaser;

(b)        within fourteen (14) days after the Lessee gives the said notice a permitted Aboriginal purchaser shall give notice in writing to the Lessee of acceptance or rejection of the Lessee's offer to sell. In the event of giving notice of acceptance there shall be deemed to be a binding contract for sale by the Lessee and purchase by the permitted Aboriginal purchaser of the Lessee's interest in the said property or equipment for the consideration stated in the Lessee's notice;

(c)        the purchase price shall be paid within thirty (30) days from the date on which the notice of acceptance is given to the Lessee and, if the permitted Aboriginal purchaser shall make default in payment of the purchase price or any part thereof, it shall be lawful for the Lessee at its option and, without prejudice to any other legal rights or remedies that the Lessee may have, upon giving fourteen (14) days notice in writing to the permitted Aboriginal purchaser, to rescind the contract constituted pursuant to paragraph (b) and thereupon to resell the said property or equipment by public auction or private contract and any deficiency on resale together with all outgoing costs and expenses of and incidental to resale shall immediately thereafter be made good by the particular permitted Aboriginal purchaser to the Lessee.

(d)        In the event that a notice of acceptance is not given within the stated time limit, the Lessee shall then be at liberty to sell the said property or equipment by private contract to any other person for a pecuniary sum being not less than that specified in the notice in writing given pursuant to paragraph (a) or by public auction.

(2)        In this clause “property or equipment used in the operation of the Park” means property and equipment in such categories as are agreed upon between the Land Council and the Lessee.


 

11        Funding

(1)        Subject to the Act the Lessee shall from monies lawfully available to the Lessee provide such moneys as are reasonably required for the administration of the Board and, for the payment of any reasonable expenses incurred by members of the Board in the performance of their duties (herein collectively referred to as "the administrative costs of the Board").

(2)        This clause does not have operation to the extent that the administrative costs of the Board are met from another source or sources, including an appropriation by the Parliament.

12        Staffing

(1)        The Lessee will at all times use its best endeavours to maintain staff within the Park at the level and designations of staff requirements provided for in the Plan of Management.