Showing posts with label NPWS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NPWS. Show all posts

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Is the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government taking the Norther Rivers bushfire risk level seriously?

The NSW Nationals Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages more than 870 national parks and reserves totalling over 7 million hectares.

With 22 per cent of the Clarence Valley covered by heavily timbered national parks and the entire NSW Northern Rivers region having 10 national parks, at least 9 nature reserves and 2 state forests, the risk of bushfires has always been high.

With climate change raising the fire risk and the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government stripping the NWPS of personnel and funding, many local residents are beginning to worry.

Park Watch group forms as a fight back against the Berejiklian Coalition Government's ongoing cutbacks to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Park Watch, Media Release, 1 November 2017:

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service staff in restructure meltdown due to executive and ministerial incompetence according to Park Watch

A new group known as Park Watch comprised of concerned, former National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) officers, scientists, botanists, researchers and former high ranking government officials have received information from serving NPWS officers of a pending mass no confidence vote in the NPWS executive due to incompetence, bullying, the direct appointing of favourites, loss of positions for those who speak-out and, continual lack of consultation.

Park Watch spokesperson on National Park Operations, Mr Ross McKinney has stated that “Under the Berejiklian Government the 10 years of relentless NPWS ‘decimation-by-restructure’ has caused the highest rates of employee stress that has now reached a point where sources within the NPWS are concerned that some staff may be at serious risk of harm.

“I have recently seen a letter of desperation written by a staff member to an NPWS executive Director which paints a disturbing picture of what is happening to staff in this once, world renown organisation. Unfortunately, based on the present NPWS executive’s record, the letter may prove to be career ending for this courageous officer but it clearly demonstrates the anger and sheer desperation of the remaining staff in NPWS”, Mr McKinney said.

“Other sources from within the NPWS have also mentioned a groundswell of Branch based staff who want to send a formal no-confidence message to the government over the existing NPWS executive’s inability to consult, continual movement of the restructure goalposts, lack of leadership and direction, unmanageable workloads, bullying, the direct appointment of favourites to positions that clearly should have been advertised and the loss of positions held by those who have spoken out against the restructure, not to mention the massive funding cuts and decade long restructure time frame”, he said.

Mr McKinney went on to say, “Based on the numerous pleas for help from NPWS staff and information they have provided to Park Watch, it is obvious the  Berejiklian Coalition Government is hell-bent on dismantling the NPWS by setting it up to fail completely, well before the 2019 March election. The NPWS failure as a conservation land management agency then allows the government to introduce a ‘common-tenue’ approach to the state’s remaining forested areas as proposed by Timber NSW, which essentially opens the State’s protected areas to destructive logging operations.

Park Watch - Who are we?

Park Watch is a group of people concerned with the sound management of protected areas so that the diversity and beauty of our natural wild places and landscapes is maintained for all to enjoy - now and by future generations.

The group came together when former staff of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service started to hear about the NSW Coalition government's proposed cut- back in NPWS staff.  Despite the NSW Government hosting an international World Parks Congress in 2014, that made a “Promise of Sydney”, to not regress on looking after our national parks and natural reserves, we are seeing an attack on the national parks workforce underway now. 

Park Watch believes it is important to alert the public to the consequences of the cut backs to visitor services, control of weeds and introduced animals, loss of species, wildfires, degraded walking tracks and vandalising of our natural areas.


1 November 2017

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The NSW Government’s Latest Attack On The Environment

How important is protection of the natural environment to the NSW Government? 
Many in the community believe that the Government gives it a very low priority.   There are even some who would assert that the NSW Coalition Government is conducting a war on the environment.
Concern about the Government’s environmental attitudes is the inevitable result of a series of its policies and legislation over recent years.  A few examples are its original very strong support for CSG and unconventional gas mining[1], its weakening of land-clearing and biodiversity protection laws[2], its strong support of coal mine expansions despite community opposition[3], and more recently, its plan to change the law to enable Lithgow’s Springvale Mine to stay open despite its threat to Sydney’s water catchment[4].
The latest major threat to the natural environment in NSW is the re-structure of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  The National Parks and Wildlife Service, a part of the Office of Environment and Heritage,  manages more than 870 national parks and reserves covering over 7 million hectares of land  which is more than 9% of the state’s land area.
The restructure which is currently under way involves the amalgamation of administrative areas, and either the loss of experienced officers or their demotion to what will be little more than clerical roles with substantially reduced salaries.  In addition there are serious concerns about the effect of the changes on fire-fighting capacity as well as on pest management.
The changes resulting from this restructure will have serious effects throughout the state.
Grafton on the NSW North Coast, for years an administrative centre for NPWS, will lose that function. Despite Grafton’s location in the geographical centre of the new region, the administrative headquarters is being transferred to Coffs Harbour. 
Clarence Valley locals, having seen over recent years the steady transfer of state government jobs from Grafton to Coffs Harbour, are angry about this.  What makes this decision even more nonsensical to some Clarence residents is that the Clarence Valley LGA (Local Government Area) contains one of the biggest areas of national parks on the North Coast.  Clarence Valley Mayor, Cr Jim Simmons, pointed out recently that the Clarence had 2,262 sq km of national parks, 22% of the Council area, while Coffs Harbour, has only 42 sq km – a mere 4% of the Coffs council area.
While there is concern about job losses, the loss of expertise in the Service and the impact of this drawn-out and unfair process on the Service officers, there is another major concern – the long-term effect on our very important national parks estate.  Despite the claims by politicians, including the Nationals Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, this is a cost-cutting exercise at a time when the Government has boasted about a record budget surplus of $4.5 billion.  Any claim that it is not cost-cutting when the NPWS budget has been reduced by $121 million is obviously ludicrous.
However, it is probably more than just a cost-cutting exercise.  It is almost certain that it is at least partly driven by the ideology of the Coalition Government a core part of which, according to John Menadue[5], is commercializing and privatising public assets.
With reference to this, Menadue said: “A clear case at the moment is the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. It is being deliberately underfunded and forced to seek private funding and promoting commercial access to public parks.
“Yet this is happening when, with growing population density, we have a greatly increased need for public parks, gardens and open space. Furthermore, we were able to fund our public parks for decades in the past when we were much poorer than we are today. We need to protect our parks more than ever and we have more money to do so. Yet state governments are screwing national parks with funds to force commercialization and privatization.”
In the same post Menadue quoted figures from John Benson about the downgrading of the NPWS[6]. The number of rangers has been reduced by more than 90 over seven years. Only two of 14 regional managers have been appointed after a restructure and a similar threat faces critical staff at the area management level. Staff is so reduced in some regions that basic amenities cannot be maintained and a lack of field staff presence disappoints public visitor expectations.”
Despite all the spin from politicians and bureaucrats, it is obvious that the government intends to downgrade our national parks and is setting up the National Parks and Wildlife Service for failure. If the community, including that in our local area, does not protest vehemently enough, we will be stuck with this vandalism until this arrogant government is removed.
Northern Rivers

[1] In particular for Metgasco in the Northern Rivers – until the very strong community opposition forced a buy-back of the Metgasco licence.
[2] The 2016 Biodiversity Conservation Act and Local Land Services Amendment Act. There are strong concerns that this legislation will lead to huge biodiversity loss and allow broadscale land clearing.
[6] John Benson’s post on Menadue’s blog -  provides an interesting view of the former world class quality of the NSW national parks estate and its current decline.

GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT for consideration. Longer posts will be considered on topical subjects.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Well done, Iluka Green Army & Landcare volunteers

And well done Clarence Valley Independent for reporting this local content on 7 June 2017:

The team replanting trees in Everlasting Swamp, at Lawrence. Image: Contributed.
New homes for birds and fish are being created as the Iluka GreenArmy and Landcare help the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) replant tree cover in Everlasting Swamp National Park at Lawrence.
NPWS Project Officer Dean Egan said restoring tree cover will create habitat for birds, provide shade and structure for fish and assist in improving water quality in the park.
“More than 140 trees were planted in recent weeks, adding to the over 1200 trees planted in since start of 2016,” Mr Egan said.
“A big thanks to the dedicated team of ten GreenArmy crew and five Iluka Landcare volunteers.
“The Sandon to Wooli Community Nursery and Iluka Landcare have worked with NPWS to source local seed, raise young trees and the Envite-led Iluka GreenArmy has been planting the trees.”
Envite GreenArmy Coordinator Mick Webb said it is great to see this improved wetland health achieved through this community partnership of both young and old.
“The incredible birdlife, fish and rare wetland vegetation needed a bit of a hand up. Parts of the new park were devoid of creek-bank trees, with older trees being hit hard by dieback and lack of habitat,” Mr Webb said.


The Everlasting Swamp from the air


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

President of the Casino Chamber of Commerce, Luke Bodley, lends his support to proposed environmental vandalism on a large scale

Des Euen and ‘friend’ on the Iluka side of the Clarence River mouth at an unspecified date

There is obviously one born every minute somewhere in the world and on 26 May 2016 it was the turn of the National Party's Luke Bodley of Realo Group Pty Ltd to step into the limelight and be recognised .

Here he is on Facebook promoting a proposal to destroy existing environmental, cultural, social and economic values in the Clarence River estuary:

And who is he doing this promotion for? Why for a $1 shelf company, with no apparent business address (instead using the address of the Minter Group), no listed business phone number and, most importantly,  no local, state or federal government support.

A phantom-like company which states it has had international development funding approved for five inter-related projects est. to cost $42.7 billion in total.

Projects which appear to still be mere sketches on the back of envelopes if this plan for a large industrial port is any indication:

Figure 1 shows a port precinct which covers an est. 27.2 % of the entire Clarence River estuary

According to Mr. Euen the indicative timeline will see Stage 1 of this approx. 36 sq km super-port operational sometime in 2018 - even though not one of the required in-depth reports has been generated to date by AID Australia, no planning application has been submitted yet and no comprehensive surveying undertaken. He laughably states the entire proposed port infrastructure will be completed in around twelve years.

I wonder if Mr. Bodley has ever puzzled over the fact that there is no roar of support emanating from the Clarence Valley for these personal projects of former Queensland truck driver Desmond John Thomas Euen?

Has he thought about why an infrastructure 'plan' that has been hawked around the country for at least the last four to five years has been unable to gain official support in all that time from either local, state or federal governments?

Or wondered why Euen isn't holding his "summit" in the area covered by the lynch-pin in his grandiose plan, the Lower Clarence?

Perhaps this Google Earth snapshot of what the lowest section of the Clarence River estuary looks like today might give him a hint:

What this image shows is a river from the mouth to Harwood which has been held under Native Title since 2015 and an approach to the river partially blocked by a culturally & spiritually significant coffee rock reef which is the indigenous ancestor Dirrangun.

It shows the base for the largest commercial river & offshore fishery in NSW (generating in excess of an est. $92M output and $15.4M annual income) which supports a fleet moored on both the Iluka and Yamba sides of the river and as far up as Maclean.

There are also oyster leases and aquaculture ponds within the estuary.

This snapshot covers part of the range of one of only two river-dwelling dolphin pods on the east coast of Australia and one which successfully co-exists with the tourism-reliant small towns of Yamba, Iluka and Maclean, as well as with the many domestic and international yachts and other pleasure boats which use the lower river.

The green is this image predominately comprises cane farms, extensive national parks, dedicated foreshore nature reserves and one of this country’s few World Heritage areas, a 136 ha remnant of the ancient Gondwanna subtropical rainforests proclaimed by the United Nations in 1986.

In 2006-07 the people of the Clarence Valley successfully fought off a Howard Government proposal to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment for the benefit of mining, agricultural irrigation and land development interests in the Murray Darling Basin and southern Queensland.

That fight was part of the reason why Australia’s federal government changed in 2007.

As late as 30 May 2016 Nationals MP for Clarence and Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Chris Gulapatis, has this to say in response to Euen's scheming:

While even Des Euen himself recently told The Daily Examiner that it is NSW Government policy to direct import-export sea freight to the major ports of Port Jackson, Port Botany, Port Kembla and the Port of Newcastle.


North Coast Voices received this email today:

North Coast Voices Blog - Correction of information required

From: redacted []
Sent: Wednesday, 8 June 2016 1:59 PM
Cc: Darren Perkins
Subject: North Coast Voices Blog - Correction of information required

Good afternoon,

With regard to the below blog link for North Coast Voices, Luke Bodley ceased employment with GNF Real Estate Pty Ltd on the 28th April 2016. We request that the mention of George & Fuhrmann Real Estate be removed from the article.

Darren Perkins
Managing Director

George & Fuhrmann

However Luke Bodley was still listed as part of this real estate company's Casino staff as at 2.28PM on 8 June 2016:

When there is public evidence online that Mr. Bodley is no longer associated with this company the mention will be removed from the body of the post, but the correspondence and comment will remain.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The imporatnce of Indigenous Protected Areas as part of Australia's National Reserve System

Here at Country Needs People, we focus a lot of attention on Indigenous rangers. There’s a pretty good reason for that. It’s a phenomenally successful program that is having a positive effect on the lives of Indigenous people across the country. But there’s a second side to our campaign, which sometimes feels overlooked, but which is just as important.

Securing the future of Indigenous Protected Areas will mark another critically important milestone in recognising the value of Indigenous land and sea management to Australia.

Increasingly, Indigenous Protected Areas, or IPAs, are being appreciated as an expression of cultural and economic self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. IPAs are tangible demonstrations of connection to country, but also provide an important social and economic foundation for improving health, education, employment and cultural identity.

IPAs are recognised as part of the Australian Government’s National Reserve System. To date there are more than 70 IPAs, covering 65,000,000 hectares of Indigenous owned or controlled land and sea areas. IPAs are are voluntarily entered into by Indigenous land owners and as part of any agreement with the Australian Government to manage biodiversity; local Traditional Owners initiate the process, and develop a management plan according to criteria which address both local priorities and national biodiversity priorities.  

Typically these two aspects strongly overlap.  The program combines extremely well with the Indigenous Rangers initiatives to result in a strategic, locally led natural and cultural management approach combining highly valuable traditional and local knowledge and contemporary science.  

The IPA is 'declared' formally at a time the Traditional Owners determine, it then becomes part of Australia's national reserve system the NRS.

Read the rest of the post here.

Stretching over 1,114 hectares of the Lower Richmond Valley on the northern coast of New South Wales, Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area is a refuge for an extraordinary number of plants and animals.

Part of the traditional homelands of the Bundjalung people of Ballina and Cabbage Tree Island, Ngunya Jargoon itself is of particular significance to the Nyangbul clan group.

This natural oasis lies in a region suffering from fragmented habitat due to historic land clearing. It is the last remaining intact native area on the lower Richmond floodplain and contains heath and woodlands, rainforest and eucalyptus forest.

Bingil Creek, flowing along the eastern side of the protected area, is in near-pristine condition.

Next to the Blackwell range and Tuckean Swamp, Ngunya Jargoon creates a wildlife corridor between the region's protected areas and provides a home to 38 threatened animal species such as the long-nosed potoroos and other important species including swamp wallabies, koalas and red-bellied black snakes.

More than 400 native plant species are found here, many of which the Bundjalung people used for food, medicine and tools. Bundjalung used broad-leafed paperbark for wrapping food prior to cooking, as a bandage and as a coolamon.

Bush fruits such as geebungs, fiver corners and sour currents played a big part in people's diets. Resin from grass trees, a culturally important plant currently in decline, was used to make glue for firesticks.

Archaeological and historic records paint a rich picture of Indigenous occupation in the area which stretches back thousands of years.

Because large parts of Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area have never been developed or damaged, a number of significant discoveries including artefacts which point to precontact economies during the Holocene period, have been made.

Cultural sites containing a large number of artefacts such as stone axes and flake tools and numerous middens and scar trees have also been recorded on the IPA.

The Bundjalung people are guided by the values of healthy country, intergenerational learning, sustainable business and enjoyment to shape their country's future. They plan to develop an outdoor learning space, build walking tracks and collecting native seeds for regeneration programs as part of their management plan for Ngunya Jargoon.

For more than 10 years, the Mibinj Green Team, made up of Bundjalung people, have been working on country. They've undertaken extensive rubbish collections, cultural surveys, revegetation and fencing activities.

Dedicated as an Indigenous Protected Area on 12 February 2013, Ngunya Jargoon has become part of Australia's National Reserve System, ensuring it will be maintained for future generations to enjoy.

Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area will be managed under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category VI, as a protected area which is managed for conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Unfortunately the Ngunya Jargoon IPA, which is home to a total of 38 threatened species, falls along the proposed Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade that was approved by the Abbott Government in August 2014.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

O'Farrell Government identifies parks, reserves and conservation areas in which recreational shooters will be allowed during a three year pest control trial

Robyn Parker MP Minister for the Environment Minister for Heritage 
 Thursday, 31 October 2013

The locations of a three year scientific trial using skilled volunteers to boost pest animal control efforts in 12 of the state’s national parks and reserves have been announced today by the NSW Government.

Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the Supplementary Pest Control trial would be the first of its kind and the independent Natural Resources Commission will review the outcomes of the program in 2016.

“This trial will provide the first detailed scientific information on how volunteers can help reduce pest animals and protect native plants and animals,” Ms Parker said.
“Pest animals such as goats, pigs, deer and foxes cause damage to wildlife and agriculture and the NSW Government invests $38 million a year on pest control in national parks.

“Through a combination of trapping, baiting and shooting over the past two years, the National Parks and Wildlife Service has removed over 100,000 pest animals from national parks and reserves.

“This trial will utilise the expertise, skill and commitment of volunteers who have an equivalent skill and accreditation level to professional staff, under the supervision of the NPWS.

“It will be a true partnership between the community and the NPWS.”

The three year trial will be carried out in 12 national parks and reserves in Western NSW:

Cocopara Nature Reserve, near Griffith;

Yathong Nature Reserve and Nombinnie Nature Reserve and State Conservation Area, near Cobar;

Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and State Conservation Area, near Balranald;

Goonoo National Park and State Conservation Area and Coolbaggie Nature Reserve, near Dubbo;

Gundabooka National Park and State Conservation Area, near Bourke; and

Woomargama National Park, near Albury.

In all these reserves NPWS has existing programs to reduce pest animals and their impacts. The trial will aim to make NPWS programs even more effective, through planned and targeted volunteer ground shooting.

Ms Parker said the program procedures and safeguards will operate in the same way as existing NPWS pest control operations.

“All relevant areas within parks will be closed to other users on the specific days that planned shooting operations are underway – just as parks are closed during professional pest control operations,” Ms Parker said.

“No person under 18 will be allowed to participate in the program and only firearm types that are currently used in NPWS operations will be permitted.

“Supplementary Pest Control operations will be planned at least four weeks in advance. NPWS will provide final confirmation to neighbours and the public at least 48 hours ahead of any operation.”

The 30 day notification for the trial starts today, however the call for volunteers will be based on need and the advice of the NPWS.

The program will be administered under the National Parks and Wildlife Service Act.

For more information on the trial -

Media: John McCormack 0467 731 806

Friday, 5 July 2013

The NSW Government has suspended recreational hunting - but only in 400 State Forests & 2 Crown Land areas

Excerpts from 14 June 2013 the Governance Review of the Game Council of NSW also known as the Dunn Review:

There is a serious question about how the current situation has been allowed to develop. The Game Council has its roots deeply embedded in politics. It was established because of, and has grown with, the influence and power of the Shooters and Fishers Party in the NSW Legislative Council.
In the opinion of the review this power has resulted in the development of an inappropriate service delivery model. What should always have been a service delivery function undertaken by a government department, became a statutory body. What could have still been a tightly controlled body, has drifted, its autonomy encouraging governance risk taking and a lack of accountability.
The Shooters and Fishers Party argued and fought for autonomy and independence through the establishment of a statutory body. But winning that debate was the easy part. The hard part has been making it work. Despite many of those involved having highly credible private sector, political, and hunting expertise, that expertise could not substitute for the skills and experience required to set up and administer a new government function through a new statutory body in a way that meets government and community requirements and expectations.
Despite lots of hard work and well meaning effort by councillors and staff, and the ad-hoc support of other government agencies, the Game Council has become further and further isolated from mainstream government administration.
It has been argued that a high degree of autonomy and independence is desirable because the Game Council needs to be entrepreneurial if it is to achieve its ambition to be largely independent of government funding. But the Game Council is dependent on government for the majority of its funding and this situation is unlikely to change; so that justification fails.
With autonomy and independence should come ultimate accountability for actions and risk. But accountability clearly lies with government and that is highly unlikely to change…..

In less than a decade the Game Council has built its business to the point where it now licences over 20,000 hunters to either hunt on public land, or to hunt certain game animals on private land…..

The Game Council has its roots deeply embedded in politics. It is commonly known that for many years the support of the Shooters and Fishers Party has been important to the Government of the day to ensure the passage of legislation through the Legislative Council. Mr Brown said the Shooters and Fishers Party has a general philosophy of supporting the legislative agenda of the Government but expects to be able to promote its own policy agenda in return, and aims to get support for at least some elements of that agenda…..

5 July 2013

On Thursday 4 July 2013 the Minister for Primary Industries announced the dissolution of Game Council NSW as a result of recommendations made following the NSW Government’s governance review.
The NSW Government has suspended hunting in all NSW State forests, pending a new risk assessment. All issued Written Permissions are now invalid. Game Council and the Forestry Corporation of NSW will attempt to call all licence holders with bookings to confirm cancellation of their permits in the coming week.
Game Council is committed to working with the NSW Government as the report recommendations are implemented and will also be working closely with NSW game hunting licence holders to minimise the impact of interim arrangements.
Media Contact: Brett Fifield P: (02) 6391 3311, M: 0427 029 511 or

In a simultaneous announcement, Environment Minister Robyn Parker revealed the introduction of amateur hunting to national parks will proceed in October, but on a trial basis in 12 parks.
Pending the results, hunting may be rolled out in up to 75 parks and reserves as previously announced by the government under a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party.

Friday, 15 March 2013

This way lies O'Farrell madness

This national park is a place that protects old-growth forests,
rugged granite formations and picturesque valleys and gorges.
Koalas, powerful owls and giant burrowing frogs are among the
threatened species protected within a park which also shelters
the state’s only known populations of endangered long-footed potoroos.
ABC News on 14th March 2013:
There are concerns that motorists on the New South Wales south coast could be in the firing line under the State Government's plan to allow hunting in national parks.
The Greens have obtained a leaked document showing an area of the South East Forests National Park which straddles the Princes Highway has been designated "zone C".
This would mean unsupervised hunting would be allowed in that part of the park.
In the risk assessment document, parks workers raise concerns that the two-kilometre stretch of highway included within the zone is used daily by school buses, locals, tourists and tradespeople.
Greens MP David Shoebridge says the area lies just five kilometres north of the town of Merimbula.
"All the hunting was meant to be away from residential areas and the unsupervised parts, these so-called remote zone C parts of the national parks, were meant to be in the deepest, darkest parts of New South Wales," Mr Shoebridge said.
"But here we've got it right next to a township, right next to the busiest arterial road on the south coast which thousands of holiday makers and school kids use on a daily basis.
The document says park workers are also concerned about a mentally ill local resident who "tends to appear out of the bush without warning".
"The dangers are obvious to everyone apart from the Government," Mr Shoebridge said_____

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

SAVE OUR NATIONAL PARKS: Are NSW North Coast National Party MPs set to betray their electorates?

North East Forest Alliance


Conservation groups have established a Save Your National Parks website to provide information on north east NSW parks proposed for logging:
The North East Forest Alliance is disappointed that the elected members for the Northern Rivers refused requests to express their support for retaining national parks in response to proposals to open them up for logging.
NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said that having already voted to allow recreational shooters into most of our national parks it seems the Northern Rivers’ State elected representatives are going to stand aside again and allow them to be given to the loggers.
“The Forest Products Association are asking for over a million hectares of north-east NSW’s National Parks, Nature Reserves and State Conservation Areas to be made available for logging. So far they have identified over 100,000 hectares of 43 specific reserves they want revoked.
“In the Northern Rivers the loggers have so far singled out 12 reserves they want to be wholly or partially revoked for logging: Wollumbin, Mebbin, Nightcap, Goonengerry, Guy Fawkes River, Chaelundi, and Nymboi-Binderay National Parks, and Wollumbin, Whian Whian , Bungawalbin, Butterleaf, and Chaelundi State Conservation Areas.
“The O’Farrell Government is currently assessing the timber resources in these reserves with a view to opening them up for logging.
“These reserves encompass core habitat for an array of threatened plants and animals, rare ecosystems, rainforests of world heritage value, exceptional oldgrowth forests, and part of a wilderness. The loggers are also seeking the removal of protections for numerous stands of oldgrowth on state forests throughout the region.
“In mid December NEFA wrote to the four local members for the Northern Rivers, asking them if they support logging within, or revocation for logging of, any National Parks, Nature Reserves or State Conservation Areas on the far North Coast of NSW.
“NEFA told them that we intended to publicise their responses to their electors on the grounds that they have a right to know the position of their elected representatives.
“None of the four State members for the Northern Rivers indicated that they would oppose logging of national parks. Don Page replied that he had forwarded our request for his opinion to the Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker. This is the same Environment Minister who repeatedly refused to rule out allowing logging in national parks during a budget estimates hearing. She has not replied.
“Thomas George responded that until the Government considers an inter-departmental committee review into the timber supply situation on the north coast he is ‘not in a position to speculate on what those options might be or even speculate on what subsequent decisions might be made’.
“Christopher Gulaptis and Geoff Provest did not respond.
“We need local members who are prepared to stand up for the north coast and not stand aside while our national parks are given to the shooters and loggers. The electors of the Northern Rivers must assume that the Government members for Lismore, Clarence, Tweed and Ballina have no intention to stand up for the local national parks that this community had to struggle for decades to protect.
“If the Northern Rivers community wants to keep its national parks they are first going to have to convince their elected representatives that their jobs depend on not supporting proposals to log them” Mr. Pugh said.

Black Bulga State Conservation Area, Bongil Bongil National Park (part), Bungawalbin State Conservation Area (part), Butterleaf State Conservation Area, Chaelundi National Park (part), Chaelundi State Conservation Area (part), Columbey National Park, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, Dorrigo National Park (part), Ghin-Doo-Ee National Park (part), Gir-um-bit National Park, Gir-um-bit State Conservation Area, Goonengerry National Park, Gumbaynggirr State Conservation Area, Guy Fawkes River National Park (part), Hunter Estuary National Park, Jilliby State Conservation Area, Karuah National Park, Karuah Nature Reserve (part), Lake Innes State Conservation Area, Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area (part), Mebbin National Park (part), Medowie Nature Reserve, Medowie State Conservation Area (part), Myall Lakes National Park (part), Nightcap National Park (part), Nowendoc National Park (part), Nymboi-Binderay National Park (part), Sugarloaf State Conservation Area, Queens Lake Nature Reserve (part), Queens Lake State Conservation Area, Sherwood Nature Reserve (part), Sugarloaf State Conservation Area, Tilligerry National Park, Tilligerry Nature Reserve (part), Tilligerry State Conservation Area, Tomaree National Park (part), Tuggalo Creek Nature Reserve, Watagans National Park, Werakata State Conservation Area, Whian Whian State Conservation Area, Wollumbin National Park, Wollumbin State Conservation Area.

Should any Northern Rivers voter wish to express an objection to this proposal then their MP may be contacted at the following:

The Hon. Thomas George, MP
55 Carrington Street
The Hon. Thomas George, MP
PO Box 52
Lismore NSW 2480

(02) 6621 3624
(02) 6622 1403

Mr Christopher Gulaptis, MP
11 Prince Street
P(02) 6642 7574 
F(02) 6642 7574

Mr Geoff Provest, MP
103 Minjungbal Drive
(07) 5523 4816 
F (07) 5523 4817

The Hon. Donald Page, MP
Shop 1
7 Moon Street
The Hon. Donald Page, MP
PO Box 1018
P (02) 6686 7522
F (02) 6686 7470

Minister for Local Government, and Minister for the North Coast
Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
P (02) 9228 3403
F (02) 9228 3442