Annual Report 2014-2015 | Australian Alps Program

Australian Alps Liaison Committee

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Foreword

The Australian Alps Cooperative Management Program has continued to provide consistent delivery of projects through the 2014-2015 year. Whilst there have as always been challenges there have too been significant highlights. Most particularly is the enthusiasm and support of agency staff for the Program.

The Program was well represented at the World Parks Congress in Sydney with direct and  indirect participation in a range of workshops and congress sessions. The Program Manager, AALC members and many Alps staff were involved in either presentations or as delegates. So too ex Alps staff and alumni with IUCN connections presented on the importance of mountain protected areas and Australia’s well demonstrated integrated management activities in these places.

The Program concluded its very successful partnership with the National Environmental Research Programs Landscape and Policy Hub. This four year program was able to deliver a suite of comprehensive research projects that has provided results to guide agency managers and the AALC in our thinking and actions, so to provide better management outcomes for the Alps bio-regional landscape.

The year also provided challenges that require the Program to be adaptable as it moves into its next three year phase. A meeting of the Alps Operational Group in May provided valuable discussion and considered options for improvements to the next Strategic Plan, 2016-2018. Climate change and invasive species were highlighted as highly significant issues that will be consistent priorities for the years ahead.

Parks Victoria implemented its new regional service structure in January 2015. This has meant a significant movement of staff in both their agency roles and geographic locations. We are appreciative of the AALC’s and the Programs support whilst these changes came into effect. For the Alps Program this has meant a loss of some experienced staff but also an influx of new staff with great enthusiasm and energy. As the new convenor for the AALC in this financial year I wish to acknowledge those staff of all the participating agencies that have provided their wisdom, knowledge and enterprise to the Program this year.

Roger Fenwick

Convenor, Australian Alps Liaison Committee 2014 – 2015

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Glossary and abbreviations

AALC
the Australian Alps Liaison Committee, established by the MoU

AATORG
the Australian Alps Traditional Owners’ Reference Group

AAWT
the Australian Alps Walking Track

AOG
the Alps Operational Group, composed of Rangers-in-charge, Area, District and Operational Program Managers, and other key operational staff

Alps program
The Australian Alps national parks Cooperative Management Program, established by the MoU, and the subject of this report

Annual cooperative works program
the group of activities and projects undertaken each year under AALC funding and cooperative arrangements

Australian Alps national parks
those protected areas included in Schedule 1 of the MoU

Australian Alps national parks Cooperative Management Program
the ongoing activities, projects, works and administration undertaken to implement the MoU.

Australian Alps national parks Heads of Agencies
the Heads of participating agencies

CCRG
the Climate Change Reference Group

CHRG
the Cultural Heritage Reference Group

Cooperative management
fostering a culture of goodwill, involving activities, projects, and complementary and supportive relationships and adding value to those relationships through associated economies of scale, going beyond line management and individual agency constraints to ensure consistency and best practice across borders

IUCN WCPA
International Union for Conservation and Nature, World Commission on Protected Areas (Mountain Biome)

MoU
the Memorandum of Understanding in relation to Cooperative Management of the Australian Alps national parks (as amended from time to time)

NRMRG
the Natural Resource Management Reference Group

participating agencies
parties to the MoU.

protected area
means an area of land managed for protection and maintenance of biodiversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources

SECRG
the Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Reference Group

Strategic Plan
the three-year plan prepared by the AALC (for this reporting period the ‘Strategic Plan 2012-2015’) to guide the annual cooperative works program.

VEMRG
the Visitor Experiences and Marketing Reference Group

WCRG
the Water and Catchments Reference Group

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Australian Alps Cooperative Management

Program Mission and Purpose

Australia’s alpine and subalpine environment stretches from Canberra through the Brindabella Range in the ACT, the Snowy Mountains of NSW and the Victorian Alps to West Gippsland. It is a unique part of our nation, a mountainous biogeographical region in a predominantly dry and flat continent.

The Australian Alps is a rich landscape. It contains: plants and animals found nowhere else in the world; significant examples of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage; outstanding recreational opportunities. The Alps are also home to the headwaters of some of Australia’s most important rivers and streams.

In 1986, with the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), State, ACT and Australian government national park authorities formally agreed to manage this important national asset co-operatively. Through this spirit of co-operation, the Australian Alps Liaison Committee was formed to ensure that the parks and reserves in the Alps are managed as one biogeographical entity, to protect them for generations to come. In practical terms this involves: fostering a culture of goodwill, involving activities, projects, and supportive relationships; adding value to those relationships through associated economies of scale; going beyond line management and individual agency constraints; all to ensure consistency and best practice across borders.

The 11 national parks and reserves in the Australian Alps link across State and Territory borders. Together they comprise over 1.6 million hectares of protected areas. These parks and reserves are collectively referred to as the ‘Australian Alps national parks’, a conservation zone of international significance. Responsibility for strategic policy setting, planning and day-to-day management of the Australian Alps national parks listed in the MoU remains vested in the relevant participating agency.

Vision

To achieve best practice in cooperative management of the Australian Alps national parks.

Mission

Through the MoU, participating agencies agree to the following objectives:

  • pursue the growth and enhancement of inter governmental co-operative management to protect the important natural and cultural values of the Australian Alps national parks.
  • co-operate in the determination and implementation of best practice management of the Australian Alps national parks to achieve:
    • protection of the unique mountain landscapes;
    • protection of the natural and cultural values specific to the Australian Alps;
    • provision of outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities that encourage the enjoyment and understanding of alpine and subalpine environments;
    • protection of mountain catchments.

N.B. The current MoU has had 3 reviews since 2003. It requires resigning by the current State and Commonwealth Ministers responsible.

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Agency benefits of the MoU

While responsibility for policy, strategic planning and day-to-day management of each of the Australian Alps national parks remains vested with each participating agency, it is via the Australian Alps Program that knowledge and resources are shared through cross-border relationships. As well as the many networking opportunities significant cooperative actions are achieved:

The sharing of information and data on alpine bog management; feral animal impacts and  management planning; walking track maintenance; assisting with the aspirations of Traditional Owners for recognition of their connections to the Alps; tourist information; staff skills workshops; publications and interpretation signage; Australian Alps Walking Track strategic management. These projects and undertakings demonstrate the benefit for agencies, alpine communities and this important national landscape.

A number of workshops and forums were held during the year:

 Workshop/Forum For Attendence
Field Operations Workshop – “H20 – What’s the go” Field staff 23
Alpine bog protocols research results x 2 (Melbourne and Canberra) Filed staff and research managers 24
AAWT biennial meeting Track managers; bush walk federations; publications/authors 15
Final results NERP LAndscape and Policy

Hub presentations x 2 (Melbourne & Canberra)

Agency – planners, researchers, policy officers, media 54
Rollout of NERP tools:

SPADE and MCAS-S

Science managers; data systems managers 12
Frontline Forum Visitor centre staff (inc. agencies; tourism; business) 37
Alps Program review and Strategic Planning forum AALC and agency area management, planning and senior visitor service staff 22

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The Alps Program’s Functional Relationships

The administrative structure aims to operate with low overheads and effective integration with agency structures and the Alps planning framework (MoU, strategic plan, and annual works program)

Alps program structure chart

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Challenges and Opportunities

Annual Reporting of Performance

The Alps MoU (2003) requires the AALC to ensure “that an annual report is submitted to the parties, through Alps Heads of Agencies at the end of each financial year”

Similarly, the Strategic Plan 2012 – 2015 requires the Annual Report to:

  • evaluate the success of the MoU and the Australian Alps national parks Co-operative Management Program;
  • detail the outputs of the program’s projects and their benefits to Australian Alps national parks;
  • communicate this information to the Australian Alps national parks Heads of Agencies group, relevant Ministers, and other interested parties.

Challenge

The last signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was in 2003. A number of reviews have occurred over the past decade but the updated MoU has not achieved final signing by the relevant ministers.

The MoU is a testament to the commitment of the four governments to a joint vision for the Australian Alps and all its communities. A current approved version would continue validation of the commitment.

Opportunity

The AAnp Cooperative Management Program attains 30 years of operation on July 4 2016. An outstanding global example of trans-boundary cross-border landscape conservation, it will be worthwhile to mark this milestone. A resigning of the MoU by the four ministers responsible would be a highlight of the celebration.

Program Budget

To assist in achieving the objectives of the MoU, a financial contribution is made by participating  agencies. The responsibility for financial management is generally vested with the agency providing the Australian Alps Program Manager position. In this reporting period, Parks Victoria provided the financial and administrative management for the Program.

An annual budget of $315,000 was provided from participating agencies, Victoria* and NSW each contributing $120,000, the ACT $40,000 and the Australian Government contributed $35,000.

The Australian Alps Liaison Committee allocates funding to the Australian Alps annual co-operative works program, which is developed through the submission of project proposals addressing the Key Result Areas of the Strategic Plan. The 2014–2015 program is detailed in the KRA section and the financial report is presented in Attachment 2.0.

The annual projects funded included 8 new projects and 9 ongoing (multi-year) projects. A summary of these projects is also provided inAttachment 2 (Table 4.2) Financial Report.

The total expenditure for the Alps Program in 2014/15 was $368,165 (Attachment 2).

However, it is recognised from prior annual reviews of staff participation in meetings, workshops and project involvement that this effort has equated to approximately $100,000 of further contributions, principally staff time and travel.

* Victoria’s contribution is through the salary and office on-costs of the Program Manager position provided directly by Parks Victoria. Refer to Attachment 2.0 Financial Report for the assessed contribution.

Challenge

The Program has and will continue to be challenged by a static budget that has remained unchanged for more than two decades.

Program office and management costs have increased from 12% of the 1990 budget to 48% of the current budget.

Hence availability of funds for identified projects is challenged by increasing restraints.

Opportunity

A development of actions around further grant and research support opportunities is vital to the Program’s future. Partnerships with stakeholder agencies e.g. Catchment Management Authorities must be pursued as also other state and commonwealth funding opportunities.

Three Year Strategic Plan

The Alps MoU (2003) states that the AALC will ensure “that a Strategic Plan is submitted to the  Australian Alps national parks heads of agencies group (Alps Heads of Agencies) for approval on a three-year cycle, and is accompanied by a review of the implementation of the previous Strategic Plan

In this reporting period the 2012 – 2015 Strategic Plan was in its third and final year of implementation.

A meeting of the Alps Operational Group occurred in May 2015 to assess the achievements of the Alps Program outcomes against the current strategic plan. It was identified that the current plan would extend to the end of the 2015 calendar year and the next plan, 2016 -2018 would be on a calendar year basis. This allows for the required review and restructure of the program’s reference groups to take effect prior to the new plan.

Challenge

A number of KRA deliverables were not able to be met in the reporting period. Three of the four participating agencies were in restructure (NPWS / PV / DoE). Agency staff needed to focus on core agency deliverables during this period, hence opportunities to value add to some of the Alps Program KRA’s presented challenges.

Opportunity

The next strategic plan will set objectives that for the three year life of the plan are pragmatically achievable based on resource availability inclusive of both staff capacity and expected budget.

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Key Result Areas 2014/2015

KRA 1: Climate Change and Adaptation (Climate change RG)

Objective

Determining needs & mechanisms for further research on natural heritage conservation and park management

Outcome

Knowledge increase amongst staff & stakeholders; implement change measures for adaptive management

Measures of Success: 

Vital research into a new high altitude occurrence of native vegetation dieback disease Phytophthora in main range Kosciuszko commenced. The research outcomes have alpswide values – Yr 1 of a 3 year project.

2 science research presentations on the effects of a warming alpine climate were delivered in Canberra and Melbourne.

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KRA 2: Ecological Systems and Processes (Climate change RG)

Objective

Identify processes and risks to population vulnerability

Outcome

Knowledge increase amongst staff & stakeholders of processes leading to the restoration of endangered flora and fauna

 Measures of Success: 

Year 2 (of 3) of the CSIRO/ Australian National Botanic Gardens research into Seed persistence in soil-seed banks of (sub) alpine bogs and fens was completed. At the conclusion of the project an increase in knowledge of germination ecology will assist in appropriate ex situ conservation and adaptive management.

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KRA 3: Water and Catchments (Water and Catchments RG)

Objective

Contemporary threat abatement and rehabilitation actions are known & applied to aquatic/riparian environments

Outcome

Knowledge of agency staff is enhanced to deliver practical management outcomes

Measures of Success: 

Conclusion of the two year project Aligning protocols for assessing alpine bog type and status across the Australian Alps. Finalisation of data and report back via two workshops occurred. / 23 operations staff attended the October field workshop ‘H2O What’s the Go?’ at Tidbinbilla NR. / A water quality survey of 29 visitor sites across the alps that are impacted by feral animal populations commenced.

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KRA 4: Invasive Species Management (Natural Values RG)

Objective

Contemporary approaches to the management of pest species are shared

Outcome

Impacts on the natural and cultural values of the alps are reduced. Eradication outcomes improved

Measures of Success:

Feral deer impacts on ecological and social values in the Australian Alps entered its third and final year. Results will be presented in Spring 2015 at the annual Alps Program Symposium / A new project by University of Tasmania commenced at 2 field sites, East Alps Victoria and North Kosciuszko. The Quantitative Assessment of Feral Horse Abundance will provide a new field tool for population assessments.

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KRA 5: Fire Ecology (Natural Values RG)

Objective

Support best practice principles for research of climate change impacts affecting alpine fire landscapes

Outcome

Increased cooperation in fire ecology research and its application to fire management in alpine areas

Measures of Success:

No projects or activities were undertaken pertaining to this KRA in the reporting year of 2014-2015.

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KRA 6: Visitor Experiences (Visitor Experiences and Marketing RG)

Objective

To offer enhanced visitor experiences whilst promoting sustainable visitor service activities

Outcome

The alps are identified as a national and international destination for world class nature based tourism

Measures of Success:

The biennial Australian Alps Walking Track workshop was held at Namadgi NP in November. AAWT members from 3 agencies plus stakeholders reviewed the current management strategy and cooperative work program. / A new interactive Alps touring guide iPad and totem were installed at Bairnsdale visitor centre.

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KRA 7: Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (Stakeholder Engagement and Communication RG)

Objective

Stakeholders from all relevant groups & interest are aware of the Programs purposes and achievements

Outcome

Stakeholders are more actively engaged in, and are aware of and support Alps programs and activities

Measures of Success:

The biennial Frontline Forum was held in April at Namadgi NP. 27 visitor centre staff from around the alps plus 10 agency staff shared the latest in alps tourism and visitor information. /  6 staff were trained in the maintenance of the Alps website.

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KRA 8: Indigenous People’s Engagement (Cultural Heritage RG)

Objective

Indigenous communities can engage in the Programs activities to enhance good agency and TO outcomes

Outcome

AATORG is able to meet as an effective group that gathers respect & recognition for its connection to the Alps NP’s

Measures of Success: 

No projects or activities were directly undertaken pertaining to this KRA by the AAnp Program this year. Each agency continued to provide opportunities and processes for Traditional Owner engagement in local agency regions.

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KRA 9: Cultural Heritage (Cultural Heritage RG)

Objective

Improve understanding and respect for aboriginal & historic values of the Alps parks

Outcome

Increased knowledge ensures improved practices to reduce impacts on aboriginal & historic cultural values

Measures of Success: 

The Alps Cultural Heritage reference group undertook planning for the second stage of the Aboriginal Cultural and Spiritual values of the Australian Alps report recommendations. On advice from the Commonwealth further work is required and hence funding has been sought for a three year project to develop further evidence for incorporating these values in the (Australian Alps) National Heritage List.

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KRA 10: Program Management

Objective

A well-managed and effective practice to achieve the vision and objectives of the MoU

Outcome

An efficiently managed Program to the satisfaction of key stakeholders and the Heads of Agencies

Measures of Success: 

The AALC met twice independently, and a third time at the annual Heads of Agency meeting. A Program Support Officer position was funded for one day per week. A Parks Victoria officer commenced in this position in August working in budget and financial management, workshop logistics, and providing secretariat support to AALC and HoA.

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KRA 11: Program Promotion and Information

Objective

Increase staff and stakeholder skills in best practice cooperative management to improve cross agency links

Outcome

Agency staff and other stakeholders are aware of the benefits of the Program and support its objectives

Measures of Success: 

The programs work was promoted through the year via a number of mediums. Its staff and stakeholder periodical News from the Alps was published on-line 5 times (newsletter) and the magazine once (an annual publication). An annual distribution of the programs two brochure set was made to all connected visitor centre and park offices. Promotional collateral (pins, badges, car stickers etc.) are available to staff/stakeholders. All Ref Groups met at least once.

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Stakeholder and Agencies Relations

Much of the work of the Australian Alps Program during the reporting period has been made possible through collaboration with a collection of groups inc. associations, organisations, authorities, universities, and local, state and federal government departments. The much appreciated contributions of these organisations are further evidence of the sustained profile, strength and relevance of the Australian Alps Program.

The Australian Alps Liaison Committee appreciates and values the support of these agencies, institutions, and groups. They are valuable partners integral to the success of the program including contributions to policy, strategy, community input, research and project delivery.

  • Australian Alps National Landscapes inc.
  • Australian National Botanic Gardens
  • ACT Parks and Conservation Service
  • Catchment Management Authorities
  • Department of Environment (Commonwealth of Australia)
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning (formerly Department of Environment and Primary Industries – Victoria)
  • Forests New South Wales
  • International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Biome
  • Kosciuszko Huts Association and Victorian
  • High Country Huts Association
  • National Parks Associations of Victoria, NSW and ACT
  • National Environment Research Program – Landscapes and Policy Hub
  • NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (Office of Environment and Heritage)
  • NSW, Vic and ACT Traditional Owner Groups
  • Office of Environment and Heritage NSW
  • Parks Australia (Department of Environment)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Regional tourism organisations and visitor centres
  • Tourism Victoria, Tourism NSW, Australian
  • Capital Tourism and key industry stakeholders and local government
  • University of New England
  • University of Tasmania
  • Melbourne University
  • VicWalk, Canberra, and NSW Bushwalking Clubs
  • Victorian Alpine Resorts Coordinating Council

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Attachment 1 – Program Structure as at 30 June 2015

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT NEW SOUTH WALES AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY VICTORIA
Responsible Minister  The Hon. Greg Hunt MP The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP Shane Rattenbury, MLA The Hon. Lisa Neville, MP
Minister for Environment Minister for the Environment, and Minister for Heritage Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Australian Alps Head of Agencies Sally Barnes
Director of National Parks, Parks Australia, Department of the Environment
Michael Wright
Head, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Fay Steward
(Phillip Perram from April 1 2015)
Executive Director, Parks and City Services Division, Territory and Municipal Services, ACT
Bill Jackson
(Chris Rose from June 5 2015)
Chief Executive Officer, Parks Victoria
Australian Alps Liaison Committee AALC Ben Phillips
Director, Executive Coordination, Parks Australia Department of the Environment
Mick Pettitt
Regional Manager Southern Ranges Region, NPWS
Office of Environment and Heritage
Stephen Hughes
Manager, Partnerships, Planning and Biosecurity, ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Territory and Municipal Services, ACT
Roger Fenwick
(AALC Convenor)  East Region Operations Manager, Parks Victoria
Program Manager Andrew Nixon (Parks Victoria)
Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Group Leanne Wilks
Sabrina Sonntag
Dieuwer Reynders
Jane Saxton
Scott Seymour
Lois Padgham
Jasmine Foxlee
Scott Cunningham
Andy Gillham  (Convenor)
Natural Resource Management Reference Group Rosemary Hollow
Evelyn Chia
Pam O’Brien
Geoff Robertson
Duane Shawcross
Oliver Orgill Ty Caling
Visitor Experiences and Marketing Reference Group  Lisa Testoni Maggie Sutcliffe
Tim Greville
Gail Neuss
Mel Barton
Kevin Cosgriff (Convenor)
Matt Holland
Cultural Heritage Reference Group Oly Clark
Tim Savage
Megan Bowden Louisa Roberts
Jennifer Dunn
Meaghan Russell
Chris Smith (Convenor)
Rebecca Phillips
Climate Change Reference Group Jeremy Groves (Convenor to June 2015)
Zarni Bear
Karen Watson (Convenor to Nov 2014)
Ken Green
Storm Watson
Julian Seddon
Richard Koch
Mark Mickelburough
Water and Catchments Reference Group Ian Krebs
Clare d’Arcy
Graeme Enders
Genevieve Wright
Lisa Evans (A/Convenor)
Shelley Swain
Elaine Thomas

The functional roles of the entities listed in the Australian Alps Co-operative Management Program structure and noted under the MoU are:

Australian Alps Ministers

The Ministers responsible for participating agencies, which are in turn responsible for high-level inter-government relationships and the MoU.

Australian Alps National Parks Heads of Agencies Group

The Heads (or their representatives) of participating agencies meet at least annually to consider strategic issues and direct the Australian Alps Liaison Committee on policy, priority and emerging issues.

Australian Alps Liaison Committee

The Australian Alps Liaison Committee facilitates the development, co-ordination and implementation of the Co-operative Management Program. Its members include a senior officer from each of the participating agencies in NSW, Victoria, ACT and the Australian Government.

Australian Alps Program Manager

The Australian Alps Program Manager is the only full-time employee of the Program and is responsible for co-ordinating the day to day work of the Program and ensuring the annual works program, as agreed by the Australian Alps Liaison Committee, is carried out. The Program Manager position is hosted by each of the State/Territory park agencies for three years at a time. During this reporting period the position was hosted by Victoria.

Program Support Officer

The necessity for administrative support to the AALC and the Program has been recognised for the last 10 years. The Commonwealth provided secretariat support from 2005 to 2010. From 2011 the program has funded a part-time administration officer to assist in administrative and financial reporting matters.

Reference Groups

A number of reference groups are established to advise the Australian Alps Liaison Committee on specific matters, and to assist with the implementation of the Co-operative Management Program. These groups usually have up to two staff from each of the co-operating agencies as members.

During the reporting period, six reference groups operated under the Australian Alps national parks Co-operative Management Program. They were the:

  • Natural Resource Management Reference Group;
  • Cultural Heritage Reference Group;
  • Visitor Experiences Reference Group;
  • Climate Change Reference Group;
  • Water and Catchments Reference Group;
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Reference Group.

The terms of reference for each Reference Group are set out in the Strategic Plan, and are aligned to the Key Result Areas in that Plan. In addition to the reference groups, the Alps Operational Group, the Australian Alps Walking Track sub-group and the Feral Horse sub-group exist to advise the Australian Alps Liaison Committee on operational matters.

All groups met at least once face-to-face during the year plus held a number of teleconference discussions.

Alps Operational Group 

The Alps Operational Group is composed of Rangers-in-Charge; Area, District and Operational Program Managers, and other key operational staff. In most years the Group meets annually to review the previous years work plan and provide advice to the Australian Alps Liaison Committee on the upcoming Annual Works Plan. This year the group met in May to review the current program objectives/outcomes and to validate new values and priorities for the next 3 year Strategic Plan period.

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Attachment 2 – Financial Report Year Ending 30 June 2015

Revenue (all figures EXCLUDE GST)
Opening Balance 1 July 2014
Project carry-overs from 2013-14 $46,4731
Agency Contributions (NSW / ACT / Commonwealth) $195,0002
Sub-TOTAL 1 (Operating Total 2014-2015) $241,473
Agency Contributions for for 2015/16 (NSW / ACT – paid June 2015) $160,000
Sub-TOTAL 2 (Total cash revenue) $401,473
Misc revenue/additional project contributions $142,0003
TOTAL $543,473
Total cash revenue 2014-2015 $401,473
Expenditure and 2015-2016 Carryover (all figures EXCLUDE GST)
Expenditure in 2014/15
Projects (refer to table below) $226,165
Program Office $142,000
Total: $368,165
Carryover (to 2015/16) $188,308
Carryover made up of:
advance agency contributions (NPWS and P&CS) $160,000
project credits unspent $15,308
2 x projects not implemented / funds not required $13,000
Total (exc GST) $188,308

1  This amount is project carryover from year 2013-14. It includes funds from projects: water contamination- faecal colifiorm; rehabilitation field guide; AAnp text book; operational field workshop; deer survey; administration)

2  Both NSW NPWS and ACT Parks and Conservation Service made their 2014/15 contribution in May 2014 (NSW $120,000 ACT $40,000 = $160,000). Commonwealth $35,000 made in August 2014.

3  Parks Victoria commitment is to the cash value of $120,000. Parks Victoria however chose to  provide their contribution as a direct provision of the Program Managers costs (inc. salary, oncosts, office costs = $142,000).

Project under Key Result Area Actual Expenditure to 30 June 2015
Program Manager, employment and office on-costs1 $142,000
Program Operating inc. administration, AALC and Reference Group meetings $22,464
Program Administration support $17,563
Strategic Planning – Alps Operations Group workshop $13,160
World Parks Congress $2,275
Program Management Total $55,462
Annual report (2013-2014) (Invoiced to 2014-15 budget) $3,719
AAnp / IUCN (WCPA) Science Management Forum2 $0
Alps ‘News from the Alps’ Newsletter $9,800
Collateral & promotion purchases $4,500
Program Promotion and Information Total $18,109
Information displays upgrade $945
Frontline Forum visitor information workshop $11,537
Reprint Australian Alps text book (Invoiced to 2014-15 budget) $5,000
Stakeholder Engagement and Communication Total $17,482
AAWT Workshop $6,410
AAnp website service $45
Alps interactive visitor centre displays $1,631
Visitor Experience and Marketing Total $8,086
Seed persistence in soil seed banks $15,000
Phytophthora – dieback $12,000
Climate Change and Adaptation Total $27,000
Finalisation of Aboriginal Cultural & Spiritual Values of the Alps report $845
Indigenous Peoples Engagement Total $845
Feral deer impacts $4,925
UTAS Quantitative assessment of feral horse abundance $41,000
Feral Horse aerial survey (Invoiced to 2014-15 budget) $12,832
Invasive Species Management $Total 58,757
Alps wide huts code $1,000
Heritage buildings workshop (Invoiced to 2014-15 budget) $5,000
Cultural Heritage Total $6,000
Snapshot of faecal coliform contamination in waterways $2,480
Assessment protocols for Alpine bogs data (Invoiced to 2014-15 budget) $18,000
Rehabilitation field guide workshops3 $0
Field Operations workshop ‘H2O – What’s the Go?’ $14,034
Water and Catchments Total $34,514
No projects $0
Fire Ecology Total $0
TOTAL FOR 2013/2014 $226,165

1 Not included in expenditure total
2 Project allocation of $8,000 unspent
3 Project allocation of $5,000 unspent

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Attachment 3 – Review of the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan

The Australian Alps Program Memorandum of Understanding directs a review of the implementation of each 3 year Strategic Plan on the conclusion of its implementation period.

A two part process was enacted to support the requirement.

1) Strategic Planning workshop

A meeting of key agency staff met as the ‘Alps Operational Group’ at Albury in May 2015. The purpose of the workshop was to draw on participants experience and seek their advice to inform the development of the next Alps Program Strategy. The group reviewed the Vision and Mission; benefits of having an Alps Cooperative Management Program; current issues, trends and mandates.

Workshop Directive:

A strong focus on Catchment Health; Biodiversity and People must be a central part of the 2016-18 plan. A realignment of the Programs Reference Groups

Outcomes:

  • The current Vision and Mission was unanimously supported
  • Values of the co-operative program include : Recognition of the Alps as one bioregion; a landscape wide approach in planning; sharing best practice; networking; research; a collective response to climate change impacts
  • Identified issues and trends requiring further energies in the key areas of: Community trends; fire behaviour; political relevance; resourcing/capacity; climate change; invasive species; indigenous engagement; on-ground expertise.

2) Evaluation of Key Result Areas and Priority Issues

In consultation with the AALC the Program Manager reviewed the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan identifying achievements and gaps in addressing the 11 Key Results Areas and the 12 Priority Issues.

11 Key Result Areas were established for the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. They are:

  1. Climate Change and Adaptation
  2. Ecological Systems and Processes
  3. Water and Catchments
  4. Invasive Species management
  5. Fire Ecology
  6. Visitor Experiences
  7. Stakeholder Engagement & Communications
  8. Indigenous Peoples Engagement
  9. Cultural Heritage
  10. Program Management
  11. Program Promotion and Information

Outcomes :

  • KRA’s 1-5 were all met to varying degree. During this 3 year plan period the Alps Program worked closely with the National Environmental Research Program’s – Landscapes and Policy Hub. This provided significant value added outcomes for the AAnp Program and hence assisted in meeting these first 5 KRA’s.
  • KRA 6 had a variety of successful projects delivered related to the Priority Issues 6, 7 & 10
  • KRA 8 had challenges in being able to sustain an ongoing continuity with the traditional owner groups as the AATORG collective. The AALC with advice from agency’s indigenous peoples business units aligned ongoing activities through local agency regions and TO networks.
  • KRA 9 outcomes were met through projects that brought together agency and community including Traditional Owners to better share and understand the associated values.
Priority Issues Results
1 – Aboriginal people involvement Partly met.
TO networking restructured to be through
each agency region
2 – Climate change & adaptation Excellent achievements.
Strong relationship with NERP
3 – Community awareness Met. i.e. Frontline-Forum, brochures,
website
4 – Fire Reduced output post 2013. No funded
projects
5 – Invasive species Met. Very good (see priority issue 12)
6 – National tourism issues & National Landscapes Activities reduced. The national landscape
program was handed to agency and
landscape collectives. The AANL committee
has had a low-prioritisation
7 – One Alps landscape: one park in name not law A positive statement of objective.
Supported by many staff in thinking and
actions; by agencies management plans,
but challenging for agencies in annual
operations
8 – Recreational patterns No investment
9 – Science-management linkage Excellent investment and outcomes
10 – Stakeholder and community engagement Met. AAnp projects provided complimentary
support to agency based actions
11 – Water and Catchments Met. AAnp projects provided complimentary
support to agency based actions
12 – Ecological systems and processes Excellent achievements. Landscape wide
approach to many issues i.e. wild horse;
hawkweed; deer

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