Nature NSW – Spring 2020

Grahame Douglas, President, National Parks Association of NSW

2020 has brought many challenges to the community and the nation and NPA has not been immune (sic) to its impacts. Care should always be taken when thinking of using the word unprecedented, however. As a country we have had prolonged drought, followed in NSW by possibly the worst recorded bushfires, then floods and now the COVID 19 pandemic. These have all impacted upon the community in various ways. Members of the NPA family have been affected both directly and indirectly. Our thoughts and support go out to all those in the community impacted by these events. Please support those communities and plan your next bushwalk or trip with this in mind. NPA needs to demonstrate that we can support sustainable tourism as a clear alternative to the devastation and destruction of our native forests, the clearance of our rural landscapes, and improper management of our marine and inland waters.

In this issue, we discuss the need to address past injustices and recognise the impact that the Black Lives Matter movement has on our work as conservationists, and the naming of our protected areas, with an article on the need to rename Ben Boyd National Park. Cathy Marchant gives us some important food for thought in relation to the management of the network of Travelling Stock Routes in this State. NPA has also invested a huge amount of time, effort and heartache in trying to protect the Pilliga from the natural gas industry and Government’s ill-considered support for fossil fuels, as demonstrated in the article by Lynne Hosking. Brian Everingham reports on the state of play for plans of management and the need for NPA members to engage in these documents and provide important community input. Janine Kitson provides us with the importance of an independent and well-funded ABC to help inform the community of the attacks on nature and cultural landscape in NSW, and to hold the Government to account.

NPA also places on record the great work of the Hon. Matt Kean, Minister for the Environment, in the recent purchase of the 153,415 ha Narriearra Station. This is the largest acquisition of private land for national parks in the state’s history and has been a long-standing proposal of NPA since our Western Lands Study in 1990. The Minister is also supported in his action to remove feral horses from Kosciusko National Park, and stands in stark contrast to the appalling behaviour of the Deputy Premier, John Barillaro, who has not only undermined the Government’s efforts in this area and other conservation initiatives, but has also used language in reference to NPWS staff that requires an immediate apology. The Premier should be considering if he is fit for office.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the work of Anne Dickson who left the Presidency of NPA for family reasons. I would also like to acknowledge the dedicated work of all our staff over this difficult time and their tireless efforts to support you, the members of the NPA.

Nature NSW Online  – Spring 2020

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