Threats to Wollemi National Park: from 8 new coal mining leases

David Hufton, member, NPANSW

The NSW Government has announced exploration and development of new coal mine leases in State Forests bordering Wollemi National Park, a UNESCO area.

As part of the NSW Government 2020 Coal Strategy eight new areas for coal exploration have been identified, four on the borders of Wollemi National Park.

Link to map: Areas in NSW coal regions available and excluded from future coal exploration and mining

The negative impacts to biodiversity from forest loss and coal mining would be catastrophic to the ecosystems and environmental values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (Wollemi Section).

Vale Bob Salt

The Friends of Berowra Valley are sad to report the death of founding chair, Robert ‘Bob’ Salt OAM on Easter Monday at Bowden Brae Nursing Home.

Bob was largely instrumental in having the Berowra Valley Regional Park declared the Berowra Valley National Park in 2012. He contributed important sections to the Guide to Berowra Valley Regional Park published in 2004 and was involved in the production of the Walking Guide to Berowra Valley National Park in 2014.

Dendrobium Mine Expansion Refused

Dr Peter Turner, NPA Mining Projects Science Officer

To the great relief of many, the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) has refused the proposed expansion of the Dendrobium coal mine, south west of Sydney. Approval would have continued the highly damaging mining introduced in 2013, from 2024 to 2048.  The refusal constitutes a reality check for the mining company, and the Department of Planning. The Department had been the consent authority since a Commission of Inquiry approved the mine in 2001.

What has happened to the planned Sydney Marine Park?

Some insights and history from a marine activist and a marine scientist

Gary Schoer, Secretary, Southern Sydney Branch NPA

Dr Ross Jeffree, National and International Project Officer, Southern Sydney Branch NPA

Sharnie O’Connell, Marine Campaigner, NPA

Southern Sydney Branch first became aware of the possible threats to Sydney’s underwater marine ecosystems when plans were announced for sand mining offshore from Royal National Park in 1990. Faced with looming shortages of building sand from the Kurnell sandhills, Boral proposed that available technology would allow these largely sandy habitats to be exploited, thus filling potential gaps in supply.

Hill End Historic Site – Draft Plan of Management

 Ross McDonnell, NPA Treasurer and former NPWS Regional Manager

It is hard to imagine a current government purchasing most of an historic town, with live-in residents, and transferring it to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The foresight of doing so in 1967 to protect heritage values and to add a new reserve to the historic site category was courageous and commendable.