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Sunday, March 25, 2012

NSW GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES DHARAWAL NATIONAL PARK

Congratulations to Sharyn Cullis and everybody who campaigned so hard for this result.
 

Thanks are due to Bryan Doyle MLA, The Hon Robyn Parker MLA, The Hon Barry O'Farrell MLA, Premier of NSW, and of course, Catherine Cusack MLA (who led the way for Barry O'Farrell to get involved, prior to the last election).
 
Lets hope they increase NPWS funding to allow them to cope with the necessary workload increase!
Denis Wilson
 
Sunday 25 March 2012









NSW GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES DHARAWAL NATIONAL PARK 


The NSW Government today announced the establishment of Dharawal National Park, creating a new iconic conservation area for families in Sydney’s South West and the Illawarra. 

NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Barry O’Farrell and Environment Minister Robyn Parker said Dharawal National Park would be gazetted tomorrow - fulfilling a key election commitment and delivering for the community after almost two decades of campaigning.

 “The creation of the Dharawal National Park is a big win for the local community, which has fought for many years to have the area protected from mining activities,” Mr O’Farrell said.

 "The NSW Government has ensured this extraordinary natural playground is protected for future generations to explore and enjoy.

 “I am extremely proud that a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has achieved in its first 12 months what the previous Labor Government could not deliver in 16 years.

 “We are committed to making Dharawal National Park a destination to be experienced by people of all ages – the State’s Nationals Parks are there to be enjoyed and explored, not cut off from human access.”

 Ms Parker said the new 6,500 hectare National Park had no depth restriction, meaning for the first time it was protected to the centre of the earth.

 “It will protect an iconic area close to Sydney and Wollongong, and preserve forever its extraordinary biodiversity, including endangered plants, and animals and part of Sydney’s largest surviving koala population,” Ms Parker said.

 “It will ensure the protection of significant upland swamps, rich in plant and animal life, which feed pristine water to O’Hares Creek, the headwater of the Georges River.

 “The Dharawal area also contains significant Aboriginal cultural values, with a high density of important cultural sites and priceless Aboriginal rock art.”

 Ms Parker said the Government had committed $1 million to improve visitor facilities and opportunities in the new National Park.

 “As well as announcing the establishment of the new park, I can also announce that we will shortly place on public exhibition our vision for proposed new facilities.



“These include a new lookout, with access for the disabled overlooking O’Hares Creek at Wedderburn, improved walking access to the gorgeous pools on Stokes Creek and nearby picnic facilities for local families and visitors.

 “At the Illawarra end of the new national park, at Darkes Forest, we are planning to create a loop walk to Maddens Falls and potentially a walk right down to the base of the falls.”

 People interested in commenting on future visitor facilities in the park will be able to make submissions once the public exhibition period commences in coming weeks.

 Today’s historic announcement was marked by unveiling of the new park signs at Wedderburn today by the Premier, Minister and Heathcote MP Lee Evans, Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell, Campbelltown MP Bryan Doyle, Camden MP Chris Patterson and Oatley MP Mark Coure.

 Ms Parker said a community celebration of Dharawal National Park will be held on 5 May 2012.

5 comments:

Margaret said...

This is such good news.

And I confess, I'm pleasantly surprised!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Margaret
It is a great area, almost to rival your local Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park.
I am very pleased and greatly relieved (and just a little surprised too).
Thanks
Denis

Mac_fromAustralia said...

I saw this on the news tonight, really good news.

Flabmeister said...

Denis

This is good news. However it might be worthwhile to watch a couple of issues.

1) This is the current Government's 'poster park'. Be careful this doesn't mean that it becomes the only one they are interested in. Especially if the meagre maintenance resources in other places get transferred here.

2) I don't know what is meant by the business about 'protected to the centre of the Earth'. It seems to offer a large threat to all other Parks!

Finally, lets hope that - unlike the ACT - the declaration cannot be undone. I am thinking of Black Mountain and the bogan-pleasing Gungahlin Drive Extension.

Martin

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mac and Martin.
I have since heard that there is $1million set aside for the next 4 years for the park.
That will not get much in the way of modern viewing platforms, or access roads. You must remember that NPWS are required to build according to really stringent Occ Health and Safety standards these days.
Ironically, I was out at a local waterfall with the Canberra ANPS people, and many people said they enjoyed the fact that the Waterfall viewing points were natural rocks and trees, with no safety fences.
I tend to agree, though I must admit a track to the lookout might have been nice, instead of following, a Wombat trail.
Cheers
Denis
PS Martin. the protection to the Centre of the Earth is because of BHP Billiton's West Cliff Coal Mine adjacent to the Park. They have already mined under a part of the Park, but have no plans to go further within the Park. But with Longwall Mining, the never really knows where the mine extends to (well, at least we amateurs do not).
Your other salutary warnings are noted too.
Cheers
Denis