Parks Australia

Wednesday 31 March 2021

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley has today announced the establishment of a Senior Advisory Group to examine the joint management arrangements for Commonwealth national parks.

Booderee, Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks are Aboriginal land, leased to the Commonwealth and jointly managed with the Director of National Parks through Parks Australia. These are sites of great cultural significance and environmental biodiversity, protected for their cultural and natural values.

Co-chaired by the Hon. Amanda Vanstone AO and Mr Joe Martin-Jard, the Senior Advisory Group has six members who have been chosen for their experience and expertise in governance and Indigenous affairs.

  • The Hon. Amanda Vanstone AO (Co-chair)
  • Mr Joe Martin-Jard (Co-chair)
  • Ms Helen Williams AC
  • The Hon. Shane L Stone AC QC
  • Mr Nolan Hunter
  • Ms Denise Bowden.

The Senior Advisory Group will work together to provide advice to the Minister on best practice for joint management of Commonwealth National Parks.

The primary focus of the Senior Advisory Group will be to engage with the Traditional Owners of each of the parks to understand their aspirations for improved governance and better protection of the cultural and natural values for these sites.

The work of the Senior Advisory Group will be informed by the Final Report of the independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

In his Final Report, Professor Graeme Samuel AC concluded that the EPBC Act does not meet the aspirations of Traditional Owners for managing their land, noting that current legislative arrangements provide for the Director of National Parks to be the ultimate decision maker.

The role of the Senior Advisory Group is to recommend improvements to joint management arrangements and provide a clear and co-designed pathway to transition to Traditional Owners having more responsibility and control over management of their land.

The Senior Advisory Group will provide its advice to the Minister in the second half of 2021.

Please refer to the Senior Advisory Group page for the Terms of Reference.

For further information or to contact the Senior Advisory Group, please contact