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A community and user-based site development plan for Myrtle Forest picnic area, Tasmania : theory and practice


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Ingkhaninan, Supaporn 2004 , 'A community and user-based site development plan for Myrtle Forest picnic area, Tasmania : theory and practice', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Myrtle Forest Picnic Area lies within the Recreation Zone of Wellington Park,
Tasmania. The need for a Site Development Plan to provide recreational facilities for
visitors at locations within the Zone had been discussed in a Park management plan
in 1997, and local people and Park managers had also met since to propose certain
possibilities for Myrtle Forest. This thesis presents both the results of my role as a
participant researcher in the consultant study team that undertook production of the
plan, and my position as an observer researcher who set out to evaluate the
stakeholder consultation components of the planning process. Myrtle Forest Picnic
Area became my case study.
In my first role, my tasks were to collect Myrtle Forest biophysical and cultural
baseline data, conduct a community survey using questionnaires, and interview key
management agency representatives. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches
were employed.
My survey revealed that the site has a relatively high level of use from the local
community, especially the immediate neighbours, but people from elsewhere also
visit. Site users rated the quality of existing visitor facilities as "fair", but said that
improvements and additions were needed. In particular, they wanted to see toilets,
barbecue facilities, and site information. The worst problem identified at the site was
vandalism. Key informants from the relevant agencies indicated that the planning
exercise was most important for future development of the area, and also saw
vandalism as the issue of most concern. In my second role, I acted as observer researcher in all the stakeholder consultation
stages during data collection for the Site Development Plan, including my own
survey and interviews. From the literature, I developed a set of criteria for evaluating
participatory planning of this kind. The analysis revealed that the consultation
program met some of the criteria, but not all. Considering its time and financial constraints, the consultation program was a fairly good and reasonable process,
however. Nevertheless, with reference to the literature, the participatory program can
be seen as being relatively tokenistic. Within its limitations, and attempting to be
realistic, I made suggestions for improvement for other natural area site planning
projects at this scale. These included ensuring transparency by making the work
program itself and the decision-making process subject to public inputs; keeping
stakeholders informed of important facts and situations, especially if changes occur
and if stakeholders are likely to be affected; and setting up a planning project
steering/decision-making committee with at least half its members drawn from
participating communities.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Ingkhaninan, Supaporn
Keywords: Recreation areas, Parks, Myrtle Forest (Mount Wellington, Tas.), Environmental impact analysis
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Env.St.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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