• North and South Coast Key Area Plans
  • Churchill Island Key Area Plan update session
  • Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve
  • Annual Report 2012-13
  • Launch of Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve 
  • Environment Plan 2012-2017
  • Community Information Guide
  • Local Pass

North and South Coast Key Area Plans

Key stakeholder information sessions to provide input into the development of Phillip Island Nature Parks’ South and North Coast Key Area Plan were completed last week, including an open community session held on Saturday.

The Key Area Plan includes the Nature Parks’ beaches along the south coast of Phillip Island from Woolamai to Summerland Peninsula, and in the north from Ventnor to Summerland Peninsula.

The extensive initial consultation process with a wide range of key stakeholders follows on from the recently completed Churchill Island Key Area Plan.

At each session participants were given an overview of the project area and objectives. They were also asked to provide initial input into topics they would like considered in the development of the final draft of the Key Area Plan, to be presented to the community at an open session on 8 October.

“The South and North Coast Key Area Plan will be a new way of seeing the coast and its role as a conservation, ecotourism and recreation destination,” said Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Chief Executive Officer.

“This is not a master plan, but a high level strategic planning framework that will make recommendations for future studies as required.”

“It is important to note that the scope of this Plan does not include private land, management of the South Coast Road on the Summerland Peninsula or the issue of dogs on beaches,” Mr Jackson said.

Mary Whelan, Chairperson of the Southern Communities Planning Group, attended one of the key stakeholder sessions and said: “I think it is a terrific initiative by the Nature Parks. The session was informative as the consultants obviously have a lot of experience combining the preservation of the environment and enhancing people’s experiences of nature.”

Jan Fleming, community member from Surf Beach, was at Saturday’s open community session and said: “The session was clear and informative. The key issues are the preservation of the beaches and surrounds and, of course, the protection of the indigenous flora and fauna.” 

A copy of the presentation from Saturday’s session can be downloaded below. If you require further information, contact Hayley Smith at executiveassistant@penguins.org.au or call 5951 2804.

pdf1Community presentation South and North Coast Key Area Plan 040514

Churchill Island Key Area Plan

pdf1Churchill Island Key Area Plan (5MB)

Phillip Island Nature Parks recently held a Community Information Session about the exciting future plans for Churchill Island.

“The session completed over seven months of work including extensive development with a wide range of key stakeholders,” said Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Chief Executive Officer.

“This Plan details a positive future for Churchill Island which maximises Churchill Island’s potential and where each user group is catered for and the Island’s values are not compromised.”

The Plan was received positively by the small gathering of community members. It was explained that it is not a Master Plan, but a 15-year strategic overview that outlines the exciting ‘big picture’ for Churchill Island.

As well as identifying Churchill Island’s key attributes and their value to the community, the Plan offers the concept of unique ‘precincts’ to showcase these special attributes including heritage, environment, events and functions.

This will be achieved through working with partners such as Bass Coast Shire Council to create a ‘hub’ for the Bass Coast community and a place for people to discover the region’s history, beauty, produce and talents. The Plan outlines a modest, sensible investment strategy using high quality infrastructure.

“It is important to note that, once the Plan is finalised, we are committed to developing a detailed Conservation Management Plan” said Mr Jackson.

As per existing conditions, no permanent accommodation will be created on the Island.

The group agreed that one of the main challenges is the entry to Churchill Island from Phillip Island Tourist Road. The Nature Parks intends to work with community, Bass Coast Shire Council and Vic Roads towards a future solution.

If you require further information, contact Hayley Smith at executiveassistant@penguins.org.au or by calling 5951 2804.

Phillip Island Surfing Teams Challenge wrap-up

The Surfing Teams Challenge held to celebrate the first anniversary of the declaration of the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve was a true recognition of what surfing is all about - fun, family, community and great waves… 

Throughout the day, 96 competitors in 12 teams battled it out on the perfect waves under the watchful eyes of judges Pal Cininas and Craig Clark along with a large, supportive crowd. Due to big swells, the event was relocated from Cape Woolamai to Flynns Reef to cater for the wide range of competitor ages.

With only a handful of points between the first and fifth teams, the winning team was ‘Pirates Blue’ captained by John Mason with team members; Tanner Mason, Nick Hugisloot, Brock Jeffrey-Warren, Amber Goldsbury, Cameron Goldsbury, Dean Bould and Tony Reid.

‘Archysurf’ team came in second with ‘Island Surfboards’ in third, ‘The Wave Pinchers’ in fourth and ‘The Super 8s’ in fifth place.

There was a strong community spirit on display with teams like the ‘Seven Dwarves’ made up of local surfer Peter Chaston with seven Super Groms. The ‘Wave Pinchers’ team comprised several generations of surfers from the Fincher family, including surfing legend Dave Fincher who still hits the waves aged 70 plus. 

“Everyone got stuck right into it,” said Geoff Owens, Event Coordinator and member of the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserves Community Working Group.

“There was such a great feeling of camaraderie. After one year, the Surfing Reserve seems to have worked well and has given surfing a really high profile,” Geoff said. 

Competitors commented on the community spirit of the event and how the tag-team format and team make-up allowed for surfers of all ages and styles to have a go:

“I thought it was fantastic, I had a great time. Mother Nature came to the party with great waves and weather and it was a good crowd. The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve is fantastic and the beaches are a very special part of my life and should be preserved,’ said Sandy Ryan from the ‘Island Surfboards’ team who donated their prize money to the Surfaid charity.

“It was really fun working as a team - everyone enjoyed themselves. National Surfing Reserves are definitely a good idea, they help to preserve the beaches and having an event like this every year is a great thing,” said young Walter Hiatt from the ‘Wave Pinchers’ team.

Andy Neal who heads up Newhaven College’s Surfing Academy said: “It was a great gathering of the surfing tribe – the best I’ve ever seen. The National Surfing Reserve is a special thing to have to recognise the places and surfing history. It’s a great way to say to people when they arrive on the Island that these places are important and somewhere we care about.”

Phillip Island surfing legend Bob Matthews added: “The day was sensational. The best part was seeing the young and old blokes working together as one surfing community - that’s what surfing on Phillip Island is. The National Surfing Reserve is great - I see people in tourist buses pulling up and getting their photos taken next to the plaque at Cape Woolamai and looking out to the surf in awe.” 

As well as the cash prizes, over $3000 worth of goods were donated by local businesses including Island Surfboards, Reece, Outereef, Islantis, Slide and Full Circle.  

The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve community project continues to be proudly supported by: Bendigo Community Bank San Remo, Cowes and Grantville; Ramada Phillip Island and Wyndham Resort Torquay; Karoon Gas, Phillip Island Nature Parks; Bass Coast Shire Council; Phillip Island Board Riders Club and Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club. 

Surfer star Glyndon Ringrose summed up the event: “It was a great day and brought a lot of people together to surf and the community came and watched too. The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve is a great idea to look after our environment and to care for the places where we love to go and surf. The beaches are a very special part of my life and should be preserved.”

It is hoped the Surf Teams Challenge will become a regular event on the surfing calendar. Information and ongoing updates about the Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve can be found on Facebook: ‘Phillip Island NSR’.

 Annual Report 2012-13

We are proud to present our Annual Report 2012-13. During the year, we worked hard to ensure that our ‘shareholders’ – Phillip Island’s environment, wildlife and community - received maximum benefits and returns. On behalf of the Board and our team, we thank you for your contribution to Phillip Island Nature Parks’ outstanding achievements this year.

pdf1Annual Report 2012-13 summary pdf1Annual Report 2012-13 full (4MB)

Contact us with your feedback.

Launch of Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve

NSR committee at launch Layne Beachley Nikki van Dijk
Glyndon Rose Ryan Smith Matt Jackson NSR Phillip Island surfing history
Cape Woolamai NSR plaque Brad Farmer Matt Jackson NSR

Phillip Island’s surfing community celebrated the formal declaration of Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve today at a ceremony at Cape Woolamai Beach.

Surfing legend Layne Beachley hosted the event and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Youth Affairs, The Hon Ryan Smith MP, formally opened the reserve, made up of four sites along Phillip Island’s coast: Cape Woolamai, Smiths Beach, Summerland and Cat Bay.

Seven times world champion, Layne Beachley, was happy to be back at Phillip Island

“I am honoured to be part of the official launch of Victoria’s first National Surfing Reserve. Phillip Island has always been one of my favourite surfing destinations with its four excellent breaks; Woolamai the hero, Smiths Beach and Express Point, Summerland and Cat Bay.

“As Ambassador to Wyndham Hotel Group, encompassing the Ramada hotel brand, it has been an honour to be asked to be part of this historic event and to know that Phillip Island’s breaks are respected and protected for our fellow surfers.

“On behalf of The Phillip Island Surfing Reserve’s preferred accommodation supplier, Ramada Resort Phillip Island, we would like to extend a warm welcome to visiting surfers and their families for many years to come.”

Phillip Island Nature Parks CEO, Matthew Jackson, said the Nature Parks was proud to have been involved in the establishment of the Reserve.

“It has been quite a journey since I first raised the idea of a Phillip Island Surfing Reserve back in 2011 and I want to congratulate the working group who have made today possible,” said Mr Jackson.

“The beaches that make up the Reserve lie within the Phillip Island Nature Parks and

I would like to acknowledge our staff who have worked alongside the community to have this Reserve declared.”

Cape Woolamai was the magnificent backdrop for the proud contingent of local surfers, including star surfers Glyndyn Ringrose and Nikki Van Dijk, who were on hand to witness the declaration.  Representatives from Australia’s surfing fraternity, including the Founder and Patron of National Surfing Reserves (NSR), Brad Farmer and NSR Chairman, Prof Andy Short, were also in attendance.

Only 25 National Surfing Reserve sites have been nominated across Australia and Phillip Island is the 18th to be declared.  It is the first of its kind in Victoria.

The philosophy of National Surfing Reserves is to ‘care, share and preserve’.  National Surfing Reserves is a voluntary collaboration dedicated to recognising iconic surfing sites in Australia and assisting NSR sites globally. Self funded and non-political, the National Reference Group comprises experienced individuals from across Australia to facilitate NSR nominations and management processes. Find out more at www.surfingreserves.org.

The Phillip Island National Surfing Reserve community project is proudly supported by San Remo District Financial Services, Ramada Phillip Island, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bass Coast Shire Council, Phillip Island Board Riders Club and Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

Phillip Island Nature Parks launches Environment Plan 2012 -2017

Phillip Island Nature Parks is proud to release their major Five Year Environment Plan 2012-2017. This important plan was developed through extensive community consultation and focuses on environmental objectives and outcomes for the Nature Parks.

The remarkable diversity and quality of ecosystems found within Phillip Island Nature Parks means that it is one of Victoria’s truly special places. The responsibility to conserve and enhance these important natural values is the Nature Parks’ key priority.

“The Plan was developed through months of significant community consultation including two rounds of community information sessions involving over 200 participants as well as regular updates through local media and our ‘Community News’ website,” said Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Chief Executive Officer.

“Our environment team also consulted with specialist advisors, partners, key stakeholders and our community to achieve the most comprehensive evaluation of the current status, priority needs and potential threats to the Nature Parks’ natural assets ever produced.”

The Draft Environment Plan was released in June for five weeks for public comment and 28 formal submissions were received. These submissions were considered in the final Environment Plan 2012 -2017.

Plan Snapshot
The Plan identifies goals and actions that the Nature Parks will undertake in planning, conservation and community partnerships and is presented in two sections:

1. Park-wide issues, opportunities and goals relating to planning, conservation and community partnerships; including actions relating to fauna, flora, pests, heritage conservation and risk management affecting many parts of the Nature Parks.

2. Key Area Management: applying an ‘Assets Based Framework’ to understand and plan for the many different areas which comprise the Nature Parks at a more detailed level.

Environment Plan 2012 17 key areas

“The next step will be to work in collaboration with key stakeholders, in particular our community, Bass Coast Shire Council and Department of Sustainability and Environment to implement the Plan which will provide significant benefits to Phillip Island and the environment,” said Mr Jackson.

Please call 5951 2804 or email executiveassistant@penguins.org.au if you have any queries or comments about the Nature Parks’ Environment Plan or would like to be notified of future community consultation opportunities.

pdf1Environment Plan 2012-2017 (5 MB)

Your Free Community Information Guide

The Phillip Island Nature Parks team is proud to release their first Community Information Guide and your free copy is now available.

The booklet aims to provide the community with as much information as possible about the Nature Parks’ role, departments and the areas it manages. The booklet details the history and current activities of the Nature Parks and contains important handy information including the yearly cycle of the little penguins and contact numbers such as who to call if you find injured wildlife or see a fox on the island.

Pick up a copy of the free guide from a Phillip Island Visitor Information Centre or any Nature Parks outlet: Penguin Parade, Nobbies Centre, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island, or download a copy. 

pdf1Community Information Guide (2.16MB)

Local Pass

Do you live in the Bass Coast Shire?  Phillip Island Nature Parks has launched an exclusive Bass Coast Shire residents 'Local Pass'.

For the cost of one single 3 Parks Pass the new Local Pass gives unlimited 12 month entry into the Nature Parks’ 3 major attractions - the Penguin Parade, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Koala Conservation Centre. (Nobbies Centre is free). Local Passes are only available for purchase at any of the Nature Parks venues. 

$40.40 per adult
$20.20 per child (4 to 15 years)

To ensure the pass is exclusive to Bass Coast Shire residents, you must show identification of your residency within the Bass Coast Shire – driver’s licence, rates notice etc. The pass is available for purchase from the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and the Nobbies Centre. Photo ID needs to be presented with the pass to gain entry at all locations.

Contact us for more information:
Email: bookings@penguins.org.au
Ph: 5951 2830