Sydney’s blue backyard is central to our way of life, reputation and economy, yet less than 1% of the harbour cities coastal waters are protected. The NSW government has dragged the anchor on meaningful marine protection in NSW for 6 years, ignoring evidence and stalling their own reform process initiated three Premiers ago in 2010. Key stakeholders fatigued by years of consultation with no substantive progress to show for it, fear there is little true commitment from this government to strengthen marine protection.
High rates of forest clearing in Queensland and Western Australia—with NSW set to follow—act in concert with intense native forest logging as an all-out assault on Australian forest environments says the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA).
It’s easy to become blasé about forests when living on the eastern seaboard of Australia, because most settlements (including the large urban areas of Sydney and Brisbane) are fringed by forests and daily life puts millions in contact with forests and forest animals like king parrots and kookaburras.
It’s possible with diverse community support
Dr Oisín Sweeney, Senior Ecologist, National Parks Association of NSW
Last year the National Parks Association NSW (NPA) released a report that showed how, despite being a noble attempt to marry some pretty uncomfortable bedfellows (logging, conservation and recreation), the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have failed in all of their high level aims. From protecting the environment to maintaining long-term economic stability and jobs in forest industries, the RFAs have not worked. A new approach is desperately needed writes Oisín Sweeney.
National parks protect the best of our natural heritage: stunning landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and majestic forests. Together with other protected areas they form the basis of our economic and social wellbeing, attract millions of visitors annually, and help to protect Australia’s unique wildlife by acting as a refuge for threatened species. Although their primary purpose is the protection of biodiversity, National Parks also deliver other invaluable economic, social, cultural and health benefits to Australians. Future generations deserve the right to see these natural values intact and protected as we do today.