Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

1000 hectare excision puts all parks at risk

“The 1000 hectare excision from the Bargo State Conservation Area cuts the eye out of that reserve, removing a fifth of its land area.  The park excision before Parliament today is not to ensure some essential public purpose, but for a shooting complex.  Once Governments start to hack out large chunks of parkland to accommodate the political pressures of the day, all parks are at risk,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

“The Iemma Government has enraged conservationists with this revocation.  Cutting off pieces of parkland for roads and facilities have become increasingly frequent but this excision is of a different order.  Never before has a large piece of park in a core area been excised for a single interest group to clear and develop.  This is a land grab for a private interest”, he said.

“The Bargo SCA revocation indicates that the Government has lost respect for parks,” Mr Muir said.

“The Department of Environment and Conservation’s revocation of land policy has been ignored.  There has been no consideration of off park alternatives and the proposed location is not the last resort option.  The park excision simply enables the political convenient solution of consolidating shooting facilities in an out of the way place”, Mr Muir said.

 “The Environment Protection Authority was not asked for its view on the potential for lead contamination associated placing a major shooting complex in the bushland catchment of Warragamba Dam.  Tourism Minister Sandra Nori’s assurances that lead from the range will not pose health risk are unconvincing,” he said.

“I call on the Government and Coalition Parties to promise that national parks and state conservation areas are permanent and protected.  Reserves should not be revoked for logging, mining, tourism or other private interest, such as shooting facilities,” said Mr Muir.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9299 7341 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah)