The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) welcomed Monday's announcement of a significant new national park by the NSW Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Rob Stokes MP.
Everlasting Swamp National Park is one of several new reserve acquisitions announced by the Minister at NPA's annual general meeting on Monday.
"This is an exciting and significant addition to the national park estate. Everlasting Swamp National Park will ensure the protection of this internationally critical wetland area and the many threatened species that rely on it – including iconic species like the Jabiru and Brolga. We commend the government for persevering with the negotiations necessary to secure this fragile wetland," said Mr Kevin Evans, CEO of NPA.
In addition to the new national park, the Minister also announced notable extensions to several other protected areas.
- an additional 3,200 hectares added to the Ramsar-listed Gwydir Wetlands State Conservation Area, increasing the size of the park by forty percent and protecting threatened species such as the Australasian Bittern.
- a 209 hectare addition to Doodle Comer Swamp Nature Reserve, which will result in protection of fifty percent of this important Ramsar wetland area.
- 1,000 hectares of land added to a series of national parks, including World Heritage Dorrigo National Park, New England National Park and the Morton National Park.
- Additions to coastal protected areas including Glen Rock State Conservation Area, which protects the last surviving pocket of coastal rainforest in the region, archaeologically rich Jervis Bay National Park, and Arakoon National Park on the NSW mid north coast.
"We commend the NSW Government on these noteworthy additions to the reserve system, especially after a prolonged period during which acquisitions were few and far between. Many of these were areas highlighted by NPA as vital for inclusion into the national park estate. This is another step towards achieving our vision of a fully comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system. " Mr Kevin Evans, CEO of NPA.
"Though the acquisitions may not look as impressive as some made in the past in terms of hectares protected, we recognise that the government has selected higher-cost areas strategically to ensure maximum connectivity gains."
"These critical additions to the national park system demonstrate Minister Stokes' ongoing commitment to connectivity conservation. As a Lead Partner of the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative we will continue to work collaboratively with government to secure the protection of this vital corridor and other significant conservation areas."
Mr Kevin Evans, CEO National Parks Association of NSW, ph. 0457 797 977