National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) applauds the Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek’s decision to create an Action Plan that will protect the habitat for threatened species and its renewed commitment to conserve a minimum of 30% of our land and sea by 2030.
NPA CEO Garry Dunnett said “it is our view the majority of the ‘30%’ should be met through the conservation gold standard of national parks, nature reserves and marine sanctuaries.”
“We hope the Action Plan will prioritise ensuring sensitive landscapes and ecological communities are included within Australia’s protected area network.
“We are pleased to see the Greater Blue Mountains, Southeast Coastal Ranges and Australian Alps are three ecological communities that are winners in this announcement. These forested landscapes were heavily impacted by the 2019/20 Black Summer Fires, which pushed many species towards extinction.
“While much of the Greater Blue Mountains and Alps already have national park status, the situation for the coastal forests is very different — logging and clear felling for development are putting these landscapes under increasing pressure.
“It is critical the definition of the Southeast Coastal Ranges includes both the NSW Southern Forests and the mid North Coast, capturing important ecological communities in need of enhanced protection.” concluded Mr Dunnett.
As practical steps, NPA calls on the Commonwealth to ensure the Action Plan includes:
A push for a moratorium on the logging of public native forests — as this impacts on the Southeast Coastal Ranges and other critical ecological communities;
To support The Great Koala National Park proposal on the mid-North Coast (in the Southeast Costal Ranges);
To use its powers to stop inappropriate resort and infrastructure development across Kosciuszko National Park (in the Australian Alps);
And, to advise the NSW Government that their ill-conceived plans to further reduce protections for NSW coastal waters is inconsistent with our national obligations under 30by30 and the Convention for Biological Diversity.
Gary Dunnett, CEO National Parks Association of NSW (02) 9299 0000