New Killalea boss seeks volunteers

Killalea State Park’s new manager Nathan Cattell, left, and trust member Chris Homer are keen to get more volunteers working at the park. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERKillalea State Park’s new manager is already well acquainted with the rugged coastal reserve thanks to years of surfing in the area.

Nathan Cattell, who became familiar with the park’s popular break, is looking forward to forging a closer relationship with the park when he steps into the demanding top job early next month.

The 36-year-old from Bulli is passionate about land management and said he would focus on maintaining Killalea as a community facility for recreation, conservation and education.

He said he believes residents should play a key role through volunteering.

Mr Cattell works for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and is the senior field supervisor at Lane Cove National Park, a challenging role given its 1500 residential neighbours.

‘‘Where I currently work I’ve got in excess of 250 volunteers [and] I run various volunteer programs, so I’m well experienced in that side of things,’’ he said.

‘‘I want to get the community involved [at Killalea]. It’s a community-based facility so I think the public should have some say and input into what happens to the park.’’

Possible volunteer programs included managing weeds, wetland work, pest management and rubbish clean-up.

‘‘It is unique – you won’t find another place like it on the South Coast,’’ he said.

Mr Cattell also wasn’t going to get bogged down in the controversies that have plagued Killalea in the past, including failed plans for an eco-resort.

‘‘We’ve got a new trust, new slate, new manager, so we’re starting brand new,’’ he said.

Killalea State Park Trust deputy chair Chris Homer said Mr Cattell would bring ‘‘fresh energy’’ to the park, adding that he also supported more volunteer involvement.

Challenges included making sure the park’s day-to-day activities ran effectively and efficiently, he said.

Mr Homer also thanked outgoing park manager Clare Farrell for her work on behalf of the trust board.

‘‘Clare has done a great job. It’s quite a demanding role down here and she’s handled that role really well and we just want to thank her for that.’’

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