Nature NSW – Winter 2021

Grahame Douglas, President, NPA NSW

Hi and welcome to this issue of Nature NSW. With the COVID pandemic restrictions easing we have seen a good pickup in our Activities program and members increasingly enjoying themselves. I really appreciate the work of the walks leaders and the teams of people supporting our activities. However, we have been seeing an increasing trend in walks related injuries which may be related to people not being better prepared for walks. If you are attending the walks please follow Leader’s instructions and also be walk fit for the grade of walk you are participating in. We all want our members to be safe, not only from COVID, but any injury.

On the conservation front, much is happening with NPA trying to ensure that the Kosciuszko NP Plan of Management Amendments, which would permit above ground transmission lines for Snowy 2.0, do not proceed. The current Plan of Management makes clear that all such lines should be underground, and a check has revealed that such a proposal would not be permitted anywhere else in the world. KNP is one of our iconic parks and must be protected. We also continue to fight for the humane culling of feral horses. It is perverse in the extreme to think that pregnant horses are released into the park after capture.

We continue to pursue our agenda in relation to the protection of our forests, including the Great Koala National Park, and the end of the Eden Woodchip Mill and native logging in our Great Southern Forests. On Koalas, this issue of Nature NSW looks at the challenges of the SEPP 44 Koala Protection measures introduced by the NSW Government as assessed by the Environmental Defenders Office. And when talking about koalas, we continue to press for the protection of the Upper Georges River under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. This Open Space Corridor was acquired under the planning system to offset and protect a key wildlife corridor due to the extensive urbanisation in South-west Sydney. The NSW Government is seeking to effectively “double dip” by seeking offset credits to facilitate urbanisation in the Mt Gilead area. The whole corridor of acquired lands (and a small area of Crown Reserves) should be protected now to protect our Koalas and other key wildlife.

In this issue Gary Dunnett, our Executive Officer, presents the challenges of rewilding formerly extinct species on the mainland, back into our national parks and nature reserves in NSW. NPA believes that these proposals should be considered on the merits of each area, including the likelihood of success.

The Colong Foundation puts the case for stopping the raising of the Warragamba dam, a proposal which the NPA strongly opposes, and David Hutton looks at the issues around coal mining in the Upper Hunter Valley near Wollemi NP.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Nature NSW, and look forward to any feedback to our Editor.

Nature NSW Online  – Winter 2021

In this edition: