Posted on 25/10/2012 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Phillip Island Nature Parks Annual Report 2011-12 delivers outstanding results for Phillip Island’s environment, wildlife & community
Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Annual Report 2011-12 was recently passed in State Parliament. The document showcases many positive results including significant tourism and environmental outcomes for its ‘shareholders’ - Phillip Island’s environment, wildlife and community.
“We are proud to demonstrate the many highlights of our year and thank the Board, our dedicated team and local community for their highly valued input and contribution towards our ecotourism and conservation achievements,” said the Nature Parks CEO, Matthew Jackson.
During the year, over $3.9 million was invested on environment, scientific research and education initiatives across Phillip Island.
Record visitation to the Nature Parks attractions was achieved with ticketed visitation of 790,454 visitors (excluding the Nobbies Centre where admission is free) with 54 per cent of visitors coming from overseas.
During the year, economic modelling of the Nature Parks’ operations resulted in an annual economic contribution to the State of Victoria of $125 million, including $64 million directly into the Bass Coast Shire economy.
A total of 86,606 Nature Parks ‘3 Parks Passes’ were sold, benefiting the local community and increasing length of stay on Phillip Island. Key collaborations continued with local traders and tourism organisations, including Phillip Island Tourism and Business Association and Destination Phillip Island, to attract more visitors and increase their stay on Phillip Island.
Little penguins were winners once again with the average annual numbers of penguins crossing the beach (1,016) at the Penguin Parade being the highest since records began 35 years ago. Penguin breeding success was also above average with 1.31 chicks fledging per pair compared with the long-term average of 0.96.
The year also saw the opening of the Nature Parks Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre that cares for sick and injured wildlife across Phillip Island. The Centre will provide for up to 1,500 little penguins in the event of an oil incident. A total of 104 little penguins were admitted to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in 2011-12. This is down from 131 in the previous year and is below the long–term yearly average of 133 admissions.
For the third year in a row no little penguins were killed by foxes on the Summerland Peninsula. Our fox eradication program achieved ultimate recognition through winning the national Banksia Environmental Foundation Award for Environmental Excellence and the Victorian Coastal Award for Excellence.
The year also brought great results for the community. Both the Nature Parks’ Strategic Plan and Environment Plan 2012-2017 were completed in consultation with the community along with a long term vision for the repositioning of the Summerland Peninsula.
“These important documents are the ‘road map’ for the Nature Parks’ future,” said Mr Jackson.
“The Environment Plan 2012-2017 is the most comprehensive evaluation of the current status, priority needs and potential threats to the Nature Parks’ natural assets ever produced.”
Other community achievements through the year include the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan, creation and distribution of a Community Handbook and the holding of our second Community Open Day. A community working group, led by the Nature Parks, prepared a submission to declare Phillip Island as a National Surfing Reserve. This is expected to be formalised in 2013 and will be the first of its kind in Victoria.
In another significant milestone, Phillip Island now has the only known increasing population of hooded plovers in the world. The number of breeding birds on Phillip Island has quadrupled over the past 20 years.
Other successes outlined in the report include:
- Planting nearly 70,000 new plants and undertaking over 4,000 hours of weed control across the Nature Parks.
- Continued rehabilitation of the Summerland Estate with a further 40,000 seedlings planted and 617 artificial penguin homes installed to encourage penguin breeding.
- Achieving a 12.8 per cent reduction in the Nature Parks’ carbon emissions.
- Two koalas were born at the Koala Conservation Centre during the year bringing the total number of koalas born at the Centre to 103 since it was established in 1991.
- A total of 29,655 students visited the Nature Parks with a record number of these (67 per cent) attending the Penguin Parade.
- Over 1,000 volunteer days spent in the Nature Parks.
- The Nature Parks continued to be Phillip Island’s largest employer with a total of 187 staff made up of 59 per cent female and 41 per cent male.
- Our researchers prepared a total of 28 scientific research papers.
“I would like to personally thank everyone for striving towards a future where Phillip Island and its unique ecosystems are restored and protected for future generations, through demonstrating world-class management of biodiversity and natural asset protection,” said Mr. Jackson.
Phillip Island Nature Parks Annual Report 2011-12 is available in full at www.penguins.org.au
Ms Danene Jones - Communications Executive
Tel: +613 5951 2825 Mobile: 0418 402 161 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org