Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

3 May 2020
Keith Muir explains how his career - a wilderness life - (a PDF file of Powerpoint slides) - explains how he made teamwork, unity, good policy, perseverance, seizing every opportunity and non-partisan politics work for nature conservation. 
29 Apr 2020
Congratulations, together environment groups have pushed back against the 2000 hectare Augus Place mining proposal and with luck our efforts shall ensure NSW is not locked into coal-fired electric power generation for another 33 years. Dr Brad Smith of NCC found out that the design life of the Mt Piper power plant is much shorter than the life of the proposed mine, defeating the main justification for such a long consent. .... and Colong's investigations revealed that restarting the Angus Place mine will be much more destructive that either the Springvale or Airly mines. 
16 Apr 2020
Colong Foundation’s interest in bushfire Fire management is a central concern in the management of large intact natural areas (i.e. wilderness), as fire is critical to the protection of both human and natural communities.
1 Apr 2020
Dear Colong Foundation for Wilderness Members, Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 29 April 2020. To ensure the smooth running of the AGM, members wishing to participate in the AGM are encouraged to register their attendance for the video and teleconference details. This meeting will be Keith Muir's last formal activity as Colong’s executive director and for those interested he will present ‘a wilderness life’ after the AGM.
23 Jan 2020
An incinerator plan is being proposed near Lithgow that the community of western Sydney does not want. It will generate toxic pollution. Take Action - make a submission now The proposal seeks to plug a new furnace powered by recyclable materials onto the existing Mt Piper power plant.
24 Dec 2019
October, 2019 is nineteen years since an aerial horse cull humanely shot 606 horses over three days in Guy Fawkes River National Park. The precursor conditions to this cull were drought, extensive bushfires, and ineffective mustering which resulted in the deaths of at least four horses and the reported suffering of many others.
2 Dec 2019
by Judy Smith, Peter Smith and Kate Smith published by P&J Smith Ecological Consultants softcover $40.00, including postage when purchased through the Colong Shop 172 pages, soft cover, two locality maps, over 200 colour photos and 20 illustrations.
9 Oct 2019
by Keith Muir "We need to not spend years consulting on the environmental impact and how communities feel about where we put dams," the Nationals leader John Barilaro told The Daily Telegraph last September. According to Deputy Premier Barilaro, NSW must build more dams to drought-proof regional Australia – but far more than a few frogs will die; these proposals will inundate entire communities and wilderness areas.
20 Sep 2019
Republished:       19 SEPTEMBER 2019 (see also - Colong is a champion for nature needs half) The world's wilderness areas, where human impact is absent or minimal, halve the extinction risk of biodiversity compared to areas outside wilderness, according to a new Nature journal paper.
14 Aug 2019
Haydn Washington, Yuri Bolotin, Aunty Helen and others present the unique and internationally significant pagoda landscapes in Gardens of Stone - Living Landscapes. The unprotected forests of Gardens of Stone beside Lithgow are proposed for protection in a State Conservation Area.  Produced by Tom Zubrycki.
22 Jul 2019
Don't forget to join us this Wednesday night as we present the Underfrog documentary in a night about the ecological impacts of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park. Created by ecologist and filmmaker Harrison Warne, Underfrog journeys into Kosciuszko National Park to uncover ecological impacts of feral horses on our Australian Alps. Horses are having a huge impact on both the landscape and the species found within Kosciuszko National Park, many of which are found no-where else on the planet.
3 Jul 2019
My name is Bob Debus and I represent the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.   In the year 2000 however, I was Minister for Environment in the State of New South Wales with responsibility for National Parks.   I supported the Commonwealth of Australia in its successful nomination of the Blue Mountains for World Heritage. Consistent with World Heritage Committee principle, I passed legislation to forbid any further increase in the area then inundated by the Warragamba Dam. It was repealed last year.  
3 May 2019
VANCE G. MARTIN, president of the WILD Foundation, cochair of the Wilderness Specialist Group (IUCN) and editorial board of International Journal of Wilderness has favourably reviewed Dr Geoff Mosley's new book - Rescuing the Wilderness... He writes:
7 Apr 2019
Access the Destination Pagoda summary and report from the Gardens of Stone site from 6pm Monday 8th April.
14 Feb 2019
Lithgow’s main tourism potential lies in its beautiful, internationally significant pagoda landscapes.
26 Nov 2018
Exhibition has ended Use the webform to make a your email submission objecting to the conversion of this small rainforest reserve into a bike park with many constructed bike tracks. Submission Deadline extened till Friday 21 December.     Proposed maze of Bike Tracks at Mt Kiera - from the Bike Concept Plan
16 Nov 2018
The NSW government’s decision to provide protection for an invasive species achieves no desirable outcomes, only acting to appease the minority interest, pro-brumby lobby. The Reclaim Kosci Fact Sheet outlines the stark difference between ten truths and myths regarding feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park.
2 Oct 2018
A letter has been sent to the NSW Premier by over 20 prominent scientists, park managers and former environment ministers condemning legislation to allow dam inundation of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Signatories include former Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, UNSW ecologist Professor Richard Kingsford, businessman and environmentalist Geoff Cousins and former NSW Environment Minister Bob Debus.
3 Sep 2018
Re-imagining wilderness: finding soul in a dystopian world pdf Andy Macqueen really did present challenging ideas about perceptions of wilderness. Listen or watch youtube Well done Andy!
17 Aug 2018
Concerned about feral horses in national parks? Now here’s something you can - get involved 
4 Aug 2018
Upland Swamps in the Sydney Region by Ann Young, 144 pages, 59 illustrations and 12 tables  - available now as a PDF download - RRP $10 available direct from Dr Ann Young 
24 Jul 2018
Alex Colley* Symposium 2018 Andy Macqueen author, Friend of the Colo, former president of Bushwalkers NSW and a keen supporter of community-based nature conservation efforts will give this year’s address entitled
29 Jun 2018
The NPWS has been forced to exhibit plan of management amendments to permanently allow horse riding in four declared wilderness areas even though there is little interest in riding in these rugged areas. The NSW Government's political decision on horse riding in wilderness areas was part of the "Heritage Horse" deal with National Party. 
18 Jun 2018
The Snowy-hydro scheme, the largest engineering project ever undertaken in Australia, covers Kosciuszko, the largest national park in NSW, with 16 dams, hundreds of kilometres of roads, 80km of aqueducts, many pipelines, power plants, tunnels, associated large rock waste heaps, and vast numbers high tension electricity transmission lines cleared through sensitive subalpine woodlands.
3 Apr 2018
Sunrise over Mount Hay, Grose Wilderness, Henry Gold
16 Mar 2018
Your'e invited to the Colong supporter night - Thursday, 22nd March 2017, from 5.30pm  Nature Conservation Council offices, Rooms 1-2, Level 14, 338 Pitt St, Sydney Directors Sierra Classen, Alex Allchin and Wild Rivers Campaigner Harry Burkitt invite you to a night of wine, juice and pizzas! 
14 Feb 2018
Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), signed twenty years ago, give security for companies to log publicly owned forests. The NSW Government is now jamming through on-going, virtually perpetual RFAs with weaker environmental protections. There's a consultation process now on, but you’ll have to be quick! National Parks Association of NSW has prepared a submission letter and a submission guide. Please make a submission, as every objection counts.
22 Dec 2017
The NSW Government's Draft Biodiversity Conservation Investment Strategy 2017-2037 proposes public investment in private land conservation. The Strategy faces a politically uncertain future as it is underpinned by a government’s investment promise of $240 million funding over five years, with $70 million in ongoing annual funding subject to performance reviews.
4 Dec 2017
A special thank you to all 1644 objectors who wrote to the Planning Assessment Commission opposing Manildra's Invincible mine proposal to restart open-cut mining in the woodlands of the Gardens of Stone.  Manildra says it needs to get the “Invincible” mine restarted to run its ethanol plant efficiently, but the Australia Institute has revealed that over 80% of the value of the proposed mine is coal for the Mt Piper Power Plant. 
27 Nov 2017
The Rock Gardeners The Gardeners of Stone guard the temples of doomWhere the rocks wind and bend in a mist laden room.They tender the haven of many a delightWithout trowel or shovel, just stealth in the night. We are the Gardeners, in the Gardens of Stone Gardens of treasure, Of nature alone. Across these pagodas things move every which way, As nobody intended; so The Gardeners say.
26 Nov 2017
Banner event, Sunday November 26th was a great success held at the top of the hill, State Mine Gully Road, via Lithgow, in Newnes State Forest Awareness of the Gardens of Stone reserve proposal was raised and another spectacular pagoda-studded location explored. 
13 Nov 2017
Could you please take action to help fight off open-cut coal mining in the Gardens of Stone region at Ben Bullen State Forest 25km north-west of Lithgow. Manildra's  - a starch and ethanol company that has no real business in coal - wishes to restart the twice rejected Invincible open-cut mine in the Ben Bullen State Forest. It has set up a subsidiary, Castlereagh Coal, to push this proposal through.
2 Nov 2017
 Upland Swamps in the Sydney Region by Ann Young is now available.
20 Aug 2017
The setting up of national parks systems has been a global conservation phenomenon. It is therefore very important that international recognition is given to how the movement began. Probably the best world example of this birthing in a largely natural area is the establishment of Royal National Park that had a major influence on the development of national parks not only in New South Wales but also in the other colonies.
7 Aug 2017
The launch Andy Macqueen's latest book,Wayfaring in Wollemi: stories of people in wilderness IS FULL AND TAKING NO MORE REGISTRATIONS. BUY the book $40.00 (post free)
28 Mar 2017
March 28th marks the mid-point in the four-year election cycle and NSW Environment Groups have reviewed progress based on the Our Environment, Our Future - Policies for the 2015 NSW Election and Beyond report. This document set out 25 key policy asks across eight broad environment themes and it is on this 2015 report that the NSW Government's performance has been bench marked.
21 Mar 2017
A grab-bag of tourist proposals in the draft Blue Mountains Destination Management Plan on exhibition seeks to double visitor expenditure but seems to be a speculative exercise. Its exclusive resort proposals would drag visitors away from small business while massive plans for coach tourism will place a further tourist cost burden on council through parking and waste collection.
22 Feb 2017
Retirement of coal-fired power stations 
30 Jan 2017
The new year starts with a bid by Centennial Coal to continue polluting Sydney's drinking water that flies in the face of last year's announcement to remove Springvale's mine water from the Coxs River. Please make a submission objecting to Centennial Coal's on-going pollution of the Coxs River, the World Heritage Area and Sydney's drinking water supplies.
26 Oct 2016
When the NPWS told us they had excluded horse riders who were acting inappropriately in declared wilderness from assessment under the horse riding in wilderness trial, the Colong Foundation for Wilderness suspecting a biased process. We then commissioned the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) to appoint an expert, Elizabeth Ashby of Keystone Ecological, to review the trial. You can read her final expert report here.
19 Sep 2016
Over the weekend 172 photographs by leading national and international photographers put In Focus the extraordinary beauty of the Gardens of Stone region of the Blue Mountains at an event in the New Law Building, Sydney University. Over 200 passionate and knowledgeable volunteer photographers, conservationists and bushwalkers came together to celebrate the rebirth of the Gardens of Stone campaign and some became Gardens of Stone Protectors.
17 Sep 2016
A new report reveals that the best of the Blue Mountains lies unprotected outside the World Heritage Area.
6 Sep 2016
The Gardens of Stone In Focus Free Photographic Exhibition and CelebrationWeekend of 17 - 18 September 2016Opens Saturday 10AM, closes Sunday 2pmFree award ceremony and refreshments from Saturday 2pmThe New Law Building Foyer, University of Sydney
24 Aug 2016
It is sexy, it is glossy, it takes you to places only the most dedicated landscape photographers will capture - Landscape Photography Magazine is the bible and inspiration for landscape photographers across the globe.
21 Aug 2016
Australia’s most expert ecologists have written to the Premier of NSW, Mike Baird, to call for humane and effective feral horse control for Kosciuszko National Park and to support the park's draft horse management plan.
6 Jun 2016
The Colong Foundation is calling for the community to support the NPWS Kosciuszko National
13 May 2016
Springvale mine water pollution can’t be not neutral or beneficial to the Coxs River On Monday, May 9th, a Land and Environment Court hearing considered whether discharges from the Springvale Mine have a neutral or beneficial effect on water quality of the Coxs River. The court proceedings should boil down to whether a discharge of 19ML/day of mine water into the Coxs River is less than or equal to a previous virtual 0ML/day discharge of mine water into the Coxs River from Licence Discharge Point 9.
26 Apr 2016
Pristine waters flowing from nationally endangered upland swamps is being lost, and so too are the waterfalls fed by them. The environmental abuse is beyond words, yet waterfall impacts were ignored in the Environmental Impact Statement for Springvale's mine extension ...  
2 Mar 2016
At the end of last year, the Colong Foundation and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society commissioned Pells Consulting to review recent evidence regarding near surface groundwater impacts on Newnes Plateau swamps due to longwall mining at the Springvale Mine following approval to extend its longwall mining area by 1,860 hectares.
10 Feb 2016
ABC TV discusses a consultants report considering whether this would have an impact on Newnes Plateau swamps.
11 Jan 2016
Conservation group 4nature Inc has launched proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court challenging the NSW Government’s approval of the Springvale underground coal mine due to its pollution of Sydney drinking water catchments. See 4nature media release.   Extenal information links
15 Dec 2015
On Sunday December 6th, a large group of volunteers, of over 40 people visited the Wollangambe River to review the progress and see what volunteers could do to speed up the process. The people were  largely bushwalkers and canyoners who have a close affinity for the dramatic scenery of the Wollgangambe River.
11 Dec 2015
Act now to stop the Western Sydney Airport. Use the Colong Foundation's guide to make a submission objecting to the proposed Airport.Deadline for submissions is COB Friday 18 December. Call for a revised and re-exhibited draft EIS with options for flight paths, operating modes and runway orientation to ensure noise pollution impacts are avoided to the greatest extent possible.
25 Aug 2015
A group of protesters today lunchtime in front of Centennial Coal's head office chanted slogans seeking pure drinking water, not mine waste; and World Heritage and nationally endangered swamps protected from mining. Centennial Coal please:
18 Aug 2015
Despite assurances that good progress has been made with the clean up and that 163 wet tonnes of of coal fines have been removed from 4.3km of the Wollangambe River (EPA media release 2-12-2015) there is still a lot of river covered in coal fines.
16 Aug 2015
Threatened heritage subversion - Centennial Coal’s swamp scam by Keith Muir Newnes Plateau supports two types of threatened swamp communities – Shrub Swamps and Hanging Swamps. Both types are listed as ‘Matters of National Environmental Significance’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Any mining proposal that could potentially cause significant impacts to these swamps must be approved by the Federal Environment Minister after an environmental review.
14 Aug 2015
Springvale generates more mine effluent than the PAC assessed
5 Jul 2015
Anthony Bond OAM is a freelance writer and curator. Until recently he was Director Curatorial at the Art Gallery of NSW where he was responsible for collecting and displaying International contemporary art since 1984. He has curated many important contemporary and historical exhibitions including:
18 Nov 2014
The receiver managing Coalpac, the owner of the Invincible Colliery and Cullen Valley Mine, said on Monday that the company will be liquidated. The receiver has also stated that this makes it highly unlikely that there will be an appeal of the recent Planning Assessment Commission decision to block the expansion of open-cut mining in the Cullen Bullen area.
4 Jul 2014
  Alex Colley Symposium - Key Note address by Bob Carr 'Without Alex, there would be little wilderness protected in the state' Bob Carr  
3 Jul 2014
The Coalition parties are attempting wreck our national parks. Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia has too many parks and the NSW Government under Premier Barry O’Farrell and now Premier Mike Baird has put national parks on trial, several times in fact. Pillaging the Pilliga 
1 Jul 2014
by Jill Wran Jim and I were correspondents over 40 odd years.  This is my last letter to him. Dearest Jim
27 May 2014
In the last few months four major coal mining proposals in the Gardens of Stone region have come forward. So now the fate of this outstanding region, which is part of the original 1932 Greater Blue Mountains National Park proposal, largely rests with these mining plans. 
3 Apr 2014
The NCC advises that the NSW Government has proposed sweeping changes to the regulation of logging operations in our state forests. If these proposals become law, the proposed changes will:
16 Feb 2014
Alex Colley OAMWonderful tributes to Alex from the Colong Foundation, the Sydney Bush Walkers and ABC Radio National are below.
10 Feb 2014
Sonia Bennett is a singer, songwriter, artist and bush regenerator. She points out that it is easier and less costly to look after healthy, protected bushland that to fix it after it has been damaged or destroyed.
4 Feb 2014
Please write a letter to Parliamentarians supporting the draft Blue Mountains draft LEP, 2013
16 Aug 2013
Local scientist, musician and photographer extraordinaire, Wyn Jones, gave a presentation at the National Landscapes Forum last month. Wyn writes of his love for the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, its wildlife and wilderness. Wyn is a great advocate for nature conservation and this is his story.
2 Nov 2012
Infrastructure NSW has proposed that the O’Farrell Government immediately restart the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam wall by 23 metres that was rejected back in 1995. 
21 Sep 2012
Wilderness, tourism and national parks: taking stock and looking aheadUniversity of Technology, Sydney, 21-23 September 2012Conference papers and power point presentations
5 Sep 2012
The proposals for a new NSW planning scheme contained in the in the Green Paper are deeply disturbing. These proposals  would bring about a significant reduction in environmental protection, public participation in decision making and access to the courts.  Community and conservation activists should not wait till these proposals are fleshed out but object to the general thrust of the proposed deregulation plan now.
15 Aug 2012
This excellent video of dramatic images by Ian Brown and others (see below) that Karen McLaughlin has put to original new music by the noted composer Amanda Handel, with the assistance of the composer. Special thanks to those who generously donated their images for this video: Andrew Valja, Rob Baigent, Judith Bennett, Ian Brown, Julie Flavell, Chris Jonkers, John Harris, Akos Lumnitzer, Julian Robinson, Sonja Ross and L & M Turton, Julie Favell and Chris Jonkers.