The state government denies the Burrinjuck Park Trust was left out of discussions which led to the dismissal of its volunteer members.
“Representatives from Burrinjuck Waters State Park participated in a workshop in October 2011 undertaken by Straight Talk, consultants engaged by the department to undertake the State Parks Review,” a spokesman for NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said.
“The trust also responded to a survey undertaken as part of the review.”
Trustee Ian Lumsden said the park manager and trust member Tony Day attended the meeting in October where a review was brought up.
However, the treasurer/secretary didn’t believe that meeting was in any way a form of consultation.
“They raised the question about a review [but] they didn’t actually say anything as dramatic as what happened,” Mr Lumsden said.
“There was no talk of abolishing trusts; there was certainly no consultation with the trust.”
He also said the survey asked about the infrastructure and equipment the park had and didn’t realise it would lead to the volunteers losing their position.
The Burrinjuck Waters State Park Trust will be dissolved to make way for a state-wide restructure.
A new trust will be appointed to oversee the running of seven parks across the state, and members will be paid for their work.
Mr Lumsden had written to the state representative MP Katrina Hodgkinson raising the issues with the way the process was handled, the potential for increased costs to the people and the lack of community input.
The Yass trust member believed Burrinjuck wouldn’t be as well financed by the new trust.
“We have almost been self supporting, I can’t see how they can do it as economically as the old trust.”
The minister’s spokesman said there was no intention that any park would be financially disadvantaged by the change.
“Professional management is expected to improve the operations of all seven parks over time, one of the key objectives of the new management structure,” the spokesman said.
“The NSW government is confident a single trust with professional management will benefit park management and visitors.”
He said the new trust reduced the level of bureaucracy as it pulled seven trusts into one.
Manager of the park, Dean Brind, has been appointed as a member of the reform reference group which will advise the government and the new trust during the transition period.
Mr Lumsden said the trust was a creature of the state and if they pass the laws the community just had to deal with the result.
He said the trust expected a letter in a few months time telling the members a new advisory board had been appointed and their services were no longer needed.