Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Bob Carr’s green legacy turning brown

For the first time since the Carr Government was elected, the five peak NSW environment groups have come together to attack the Government's natural environment policies. They called on the Premier to urgently act to prevent his legacy becoming one of rivers pumped dry, ancient woodlands and forests lost, Crown lands flogged off and national parks mismanaged.

"The peak groups' Environment in Crisis statement highlights key issues that need swift action if Bob Carr is to avoid being more remembered for the environment destroyed, than the environment protected," the groups said.

"Our patience for Government action on these key issues has run out. It is time to alert the public to the consequences of government failure."

The eight key areas where action is required are:

  • NSW rivers don't have enough water to sustain their health but the Carr Government went out of its way to give irrigators perpetual access and restrict environmental flows.
  • Laws protecting threatened species from extinction are being weakened to make them more developer-friendly.
  • Over 3.5 million hectares of Crown leasehold land will be sold off with minimal environmental controls – a complete backflip by the Carr Government which prevented the former Greiner Coalition Government doing the same.
  • A promise to make decisions and protect the Brigalow woodlands is now two years late even though the Carr Government is well aware the timber industry continues logging at unsustainable rates.
  • Areas of old-growth, wilderness and threatened species habitat are being logged in the South East forests, woodchipped and exported despite a promise by Bob Carr in 1995 to end this.
  • The key to Bob Carr's "green" credentials – protection of national parks and wilderness areas – is in decline as they are increasingly opened up to four-wheel driving, horseriding and resort development, such as in Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Broadscale land clearing continues, despite new laws last year. Five thousand square kms have been approved for clearing by the NSW Government since 1998, on top of illegal and exempt clearing.
  • Budget cuts mean the loss of 300 staff from environment protection programs.

"The Premier has an opportunity to turn around what has been his worst environmental performance since he came to power in 1995. The public want him to act and our natural heritage depends on it," they said.

To see the full statement and further information go to –

For more information contact: 

Jeff Angel, Total Environment Centre 9299 5680
Andrew Cox, National Parks Association of NSW 0438 588 040
Francesca Andreoni, The Wilderness Society 0419 266950
Clare Hammill, Nature Conservation Council of NSW 9279 2633
Keith Muir, Colong Foundation for Wilderness 9261 2400