In January 2021, the Director of National Parks (DNP) advised of the following safety action:
The DNP has undertaken a range of actions to address safety issues relating to managing risks associated with aerial culling operations. In particular, the DNP has undertaken a specialist aviation safety review into its aerial culling operation risk assessment and aviation activity services contracts, resulting in:
- the overarching and continuing suspension of aerial culling operations pending the outcome of all related reviews;
- a new requirement for DNP-level approval of any future aerial culling operations; and
- recruitment of specialist staff to KNP to deliver work health and safety (WHS) and training solutions and improvements with a focus on high-risk activities including aerial culling operations.
Helpfully informed by the ATSB’s review, next steps are underway and will include:
- continued review of the DNP’s risk management policy (and the broad interactions with departmental and Commonwealth risk management frameworks) to address findings and recommendations in relation to the incident;
- finalisation of a revised risk profile and risk assessment which addresses key risk areas prior to undertaking any future aerial culling operation;
- completion of an updated suite of documentation and training specific to aerial culling operations extending to operating procedures, compliance, essential qualifications, planning and approvals; and
- improvements to procurement and contract management processes for aviation activities including for aerial culling operations.
At a local KNP [Kakadu National Park] level, the DNP has also…
- undertaken a KNP-focused risk workshop and planned supplementary staff workshops/training in risk planning and mitigation to enable staff and managers to confidently and effectively plan for aerial activities.