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    Revised Point Nepean National Park Masterplan considers community, context and future

    Nicholas Rider

    Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) in consultation with Tonkin Zulaikha Greer has revised its Point Nepean National Park Masterplan to reflect government policy and community views.

    With the initial masterplan developed in 2010, TCL was re-engaged in 2016 by Parks Victoria to ensure that it aligned with current community aspirations, that it was reflective of broadened contexts (geographic, thematic and political), and that it established clear and unequivocal parameters for future management and private investment in the park.

    Located on the far western tip of the Mornington Peninsula adjacent to Portsea, the 560-hectare national park adjoins Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Mornington Peninsula National Park and Police Point Shire Park. The Point Nepean area (known as Mon Mon by the site’s Traditional Owners) has a long and rich history spanning thousands of years of Aboriginal occupation, military defence, quarantine and, most recently, as Point Nepean National Park.

    Recent policy captures a tension between private investment and regulation. The task of the masterplan is to strike an appropriate balance between two types of ‘public benefit’ – the first being the benefit of private investment in tourism infrastructure to the Victorian economy, the second being conservation of the park’s environmental, cultural, social and aesthetic benefits as a public space, national park and heritage landscape.

    PNNP_DraftMP_full-20-1.jpg
    Point Nepean in the context of the Mornington Peninsula, the Heads, the Rip and the Port Philllip Forts infrastructure

    PNNP_DraftMP_full-17-1.jpg

    The renewed masterplan document has been updated to reflect feedback from the community captured by an early 2016 consultation process. This process builds upon extensive community engagement undertaken in 2010 for the prior Draft Masterplan.

    In 2010, the site’s Traditional Owners were also engaged during the preparation of the initial masterplan. During 2016, Parks Victoria met with the Bunurong Land Council (BLCAC) and Boon Wurrung Foundation (BWFL) to gauge the Traditional Owners’ response to the 2010 Masterplan, their aspirations for the Point Nepean National Park Masterplan Renewal process and to clarify how their values might become more central and overarching within the masterplan. These discussions envisioned the renewed masterplan as a bipartisan document leading towards a partnership and ongoing collaboration. 

    SUMMARY OF SITE VISION 

    The draft masterplan is approached through six site themes, which highlight the site’s key qualities and stories – shared cultural landscape, peninsula, country, coast, the Heads and Quarantine. These inform the masterplan’s principles – revealing stories, peninsula connections, caring for country, coastal experiences, the Heads and Quarantine – and, in turn, focus its keys initiatives for the park’s future. 

    Revealing storiesStory.jpg

    Layers of human intervention and custodianship are evident throughout the park, providing access to the many stories relating to the site’s rich history of entanglement between human activities and environmental dynamics.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • Interpretation and storytelling (including digital)
    • Traditional Owner stories and spaces
    • Welcome to Country
    • Arrival and orientation – introduction and gateway to the park’s stories and experiences at adapted Stables Building

    Peninsula connectionsPeninsula.jpg

    The draft masterplan aims to value unique qualities that have made the site a significant cultural landscape for the past 35,000 years – its remoteness, its diverse land and marine landscapes, and its curious juxtapositions.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • Nairm Trail – upgrade and access improvements
    • Upgrades and extensions of bush trails
    • Defence Road infrastructure minimisation
    • Park entry as immersive and welcoming landscape experience
    • Car parking
    • Bike sharing along Defence Road and Coles Track
    • Sustainable shuttle

    Caring for CountryCountry.jpg

    The draft masterplan sets out to restore and reveal the site’s unique ecologies and interpret them through many perspectives.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • Landscape healing and regeneration
    • Collaborative management and healing base
    • Guided access to Traditional Owner Sites Interpretation – ecological stories

    Coastal experiencesCoastal.jpg

    As a place shaped by water, the masterplan strives to provide more comprehensive visitor connections to the park’s marine context, coastal ecologies and maritime histories.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • Potential new jetty at the Quarantine Station
    • Coastal lookout trails and Traditional Owner guided access to the Bass Strait Coast
    • Sea kayak trail

    The HeadsThe-Heads.jpg

    Protecting and conserving the experiences and narratives of the Heads, the draft masterplan acknowledges the heritage and context of the site.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • The Narrows Experience – improved track between Fort Pearce to the Heads with shared use access
    • New circulation strategy at the Heads
    • Forts conservation 

    Quarantine StationQuarantine.jpg

    The draft masterplan recognises the Quarantine Station as a nationally important heritage setting and the starting point for visitors to explore the national park.

    Draft masterplan’s key initiatives:

    • Quarantine interpretation
    • Traditional Owner spaces – arrival and orientation
    • Heritage building conservation and adaptive reuse
    • Removal of non-significant buildings
    • Infrastructure upgrades   

    THE FUTURE OF THE PROJECT

    The draft renewed plan is available here for comment until Friday 10 February, 2017. Following this, the project will be finalised in response to feedback, before it’s approved and released in mid-2017. Parks Victoria will then consult with key stakeholders around the implementation of actions outlined in the plan, including a potential Expression of Interest process.

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