Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Climate Change
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water

Director of National Parks retires

Media release
5 July 2013

The Director of National Parks, Peter Cochrane, has advised me he will not seek reappointment when his contract expires in December this year.

Mr Cochrane has made an outstanding contribution to Australia's environment over the past 14 years and his lasting legacy will be the culture of collaboration and partnership he has engendered in his agency, Parks Australia.

He has forged strong relationships with traditional owners in our three jointly managed national parks, Booderee and World Heritage-listed Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta.

He has worked closely with the Government to ensure the inclusion of the traditional lands of Koongarra into Kakadu National Park protecting forever its magnificent landscape and sacred sites.

Mr Cochrane's stewardship of Indigenous Protected Areas is something of which he can be justifiably proud, areas that have grown enormously in conservation significance in some of the most remote parts of the country. More recently he has overseen the management planning process of Australia's internationally acclaimed network of marine reserves.

Mr Cochrane has led the drive to make national parks everyone's business through his work with Commonwealth and state agencies, universities and research institutions, industry and non-government organisations.

He has also harnessed the support of BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia to set up Australia's national biodiscovery program, Bush Blitz, which is adding enormously to our knowledge of Australia native plants and animals and discovering hundreds of species new to science.

A merit-based process will be conducted in coming months to identify a replacement for him.