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Visitor Risk Management and Public Liability

Parks agencies are responsible for the care, control and management of national parks and other protected areas, and are viewed in legal terms as the occupiers of these areas, even though they do not hold any estate or interest in real property. National parks and other natural areas contain inherent risks. Read more
Parks agencies are responsible for the care, control and management of national parks and other protected areas, and are viewed in legal terms as the occupiers of these areas, even though they do not hold any estate or interest in real property. National parks and other natural areas contain inherent risks. Many of the associated recreational activities increase the level of exposure to risk for visitors. Parks agencies, as occupiers of these lands and waters, have a duty to take reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risks of injury to visitors and as occupiers, they may be liable for injuries suffered by visitors if they breach their duty of care.

A best practice approach to visitor risk management includes risk identification; the prioritisation of risk; implementation of control measures to minimise risk; monitoring of control measures to evaluate their effectiveness; and the follow-up response of risk assessment to gauge the degree of risk experienced (see Chapter 6 of Nature-Based Tourism, Environment and Land Management).

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