Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Harry Burkitt wins NCC Marie Byles Award for most inspiring community action initiative

MARIE BYLES AWARD - For the most inspiring community action initiative.

Colong Wild Rivers [aka - Get a Dam]
Region: Blue Mountains
Contact: Harry Burkitt 0490 010 909
Lives: Lalor Park (Blacktown City)

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness launched its Wild Rivers Campaign in the Blue Mountains in March this year to save 65 kilometres of World Heritage listed wild rivers from the proposed raising of Warragamba Dam wall. They challenged the Berejiklian government’s move to change the National Parks and Wildlife Act to allow the flooding of the Blue Mountains National Park. The group has garnered high-profile support,
including from former federal Green’s leader Bob Brown and former NSW Environment Minister Bob Debus. Representatives of the campaign have met with World Heritage Committee delegates in Bahrain and written a joint letter to the NSW Premier with signatories including former Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, UNSW ecologist Professor Richard Kingsford, businessman and environmentalist Geoff Cousins and Mr Debus. Raising Warragamba Dam wall would push several Australian threatened species towards extinction. The World Heritage listed river valleys under threat protect 50% of the habitat for the most threatened woodland fauna species of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. There are 65 kilometres of wilderness streams within the world heritage area that would be drowned by the raised dam, and Colong is working tirelessly to fight this.