The Colong Foundation for Wilderness has renewed calls for the NSW Government to declare Ben Bullen State Forest a conservation area after hearing of plans to expand the Invincible open–cut coal mine located at Cullen Bullen north of Lithgow in the state’s Central West.
Posted: 29 January 2016
World Heritage Area noise assessment for the proposed Western Sydney Airport misleading and unhelpful
Posted: 15 December 2015
The Colong Foundation believes that overflights from the proposed Western Sydney Airport will cause significant noise impacts to wilderness in the Blue Mountains. The Foundation fears that if the airport is approved the Blue Mountains will lose its green cachet and affect its tourist-based economy.
Posted: 7 December 2015
On Sunday 6 December the Colong Foundation for Wilderness organised a working bee of volunteers from Sydney University Bushwalkers and other bush walking groups to remove coal fines from the Wollangambe River. More than forty people who care about this beautiful river walked to where Centennial Coal has left coal fines in the River since a major tailings dam collapse at Clarence Colliery on 2 July this year. Everyone was shocked by the impact of the spill on the World Heritage listed River. The river is still coated in black coal fines for many kilometres.
Posted: 28 October 2015
The Planning Assessment Commission shall soon hand down its review report for the proposed Airly Mine extension. The Colong Foundation is increasingly concerned that major failings associated with this proposal will not be addressed:- cliff falls, and poor solid and liquid waste management.
Badgerys Creek Airport draft EIS - 24 hour operation means noise and air pollution for Western Sydney
Posted: 19 October 2015
“The proposed Badgerys Creek Airport draft environmental impact statement has confirmed a 24-hour a day operation and that means a lower quality of life for the people of Western Sydney”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 23 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that “water management for Centennial Coal’s proposed extension Airly Mine must be vastly improved. The water management combined with the proposed 38 hectare solid waste heap creates a toxic time bomb. Further, it’s Panel and Pillar extraction mine plan will put cliffs and pagoda complexes in the State Conservation Area at risk. He was speaking before the public meeting of the Planning Assessment Commission into the Airly Mine extension that is to be held at the Lithgow Union Hall at 3pm today.”
Posted: 22 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that “the second assessment report by the Department of Planning and Environment handed down last Friday largely agrees with recommendations of Planning Assessment Commission regarding approval of the Springvale mine extension. Department has also flagged consideration of Springvale mine water transfer to Mt Piper and an independent expert panel will advise on the mine extraction plan regarding the nationally threatened upland swamps.”
Posted: 17 September 2015
[ Note: The CMFEU placed a notice on September 10, 2015 on the Save Our Jobs, Save Our Town facebook page postponing the family picnic rally stating that they 'required more numbers for that date to be beneficial'. ] Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the stand down of Springvale mine workers is the fault of Centennial Coal and no one else. He was responding to today’s CMFEU family picnic rally held in Martin Place in support of Springvale’s mine workers.
Posted: 15 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the additional recommendations made by the second Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) may help to block Centennial Coal’s plans to wind back environmental protection measures. “The Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, decision to hold a second PAC hearing has helped to stop a wind backing of protection measures at this mine”, said Mr Muir.
Posted: 10 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that the Lithgow Mercury and Centennial Coal must publish apologies in the front part of the paper regarding remarks defaming his reputation for honesty. “I would never deliberately mislead anyone, especially when presenting a case for the Colong Foundation to a Planning Assessment Commission (PAC)”, he said.
Posted: 3 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that “today’s second public hearing for the Springvale Mine extension was necessary to correct a serious administrative error by the Department of Environment and Planning.
Posted: 2 September 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that “Springvale mine expansion proposal must not proceed unless the swamp habitat of the threatened Giant Dragonfly is protected.
Posted: 25 August 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness today convened a lunchtime demonstration outside the Sydney headquarters of Centennial Coal to protest the on-going pollution of rivers within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. “Twenty three million litres a day of mine effluent are sent down the Coxs River through the World Heritage Area and into Warragamba Dam from Centennial Coal’s Springvale mine,” Mr Muir said, after speaking at the demonstration.
Posted: 17 August 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness this afternoon welcomed the decision by Planning Minister Rob Stokes to recommend a further Planning Assessment Commission review for the Springvale mine extension proposal. “The Springvale mine extension does need to be considered in relation to the draft State Environmental Planning Policy on Mining,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 14 August 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said “Centennial Coal is causing unreasonable worry and fear in the Lithgow community by creating the impression that the Springvale mine will close when that outcome is not on the cards.” He was responding to the public meeting called by Lithgow City Council this morning. “Springvale mine will not close for want of approvals. Springvale might close for economic reasons, if Banpu, the Thai company that owns Centennial, considers there is no profit in running the mine,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 11 August 2015
Centennial Coal is trying to force the Government’s hand over the proposed 13 year mine-extension at its Springvale mine. “It appears as though Centennial Coal is trying blackmail both the State and Federal Government through a mine lock out during final negotiations over a proposed mine extension,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 30 July 2015
Nature Conservation Council of NSW The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd Almost one month after tonnes of finely crushed coal from a mine tailings dump collapsed into the Wollangambe River, the company responsible has still not begun a clean-up operation that was ordered by NSW Environment Protection Authority .
Posted: 23 July 2015
Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness has welcomed NSW Labor’s call for Environment Minister, Mark Speakman, to enforce ANZECC water standards on discharges from the Springvale Mine. The Colong Foundation hopes that this appeal made jointly by Adam Seale and Penny Sharpe is sympathetically considered by the NSW Government.
Posted: 22 July 2015
“The waste heap collapse at Clarence Colliery is not Centennial Coal’s only serious environmental disaster, the Springvale Mine with more than 900 pollution licence infringements between 2000 and 2013 is far, far worse,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 22 July 2015
“The Gardens of Stone: In Focus Photographic Competition is going from strength to strength. Now a prestigious and independent judging panel has been announced. Keith Muir, of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said today that the organisers were delighted to attract three eminent people for the panel. “News photographer Nick Moir, conservationist Joan Domicelj and Blue Mountains photographer Paul Chantler will bring their own special skills to the challenging job of judging the hundreds of entries,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 17 July 2015
Every glass of water or coffee a Sydney resident drinks has mine effluent in it! Centennial Coal is allowed to discharge up to 30 megalitres of mine effluent a day* from its Springvale mine into the Coxs River, with virtually no treatment. This discharge then flows into the waters stored behind Warragamba Dam, our main water supply.
Posted: 8 July 2015
“In May 2015 Planning Minister Rob Stokes* signalled that the community will be given a greater chance to "test the decision" on major mining proposals. In line with the Minister’s decision, there should be another public hearing convened for the Springvale determination Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to investigate an apparent error in the review assessment”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Sacked Ecologist’s Revelations Triggers Call for a New Public Hearing into Centennial Coal’s Mining Plans
Posted: 6 July 2015
“The revelation* that a Centennial Coal consultant warned in 2001 that the Springvale Colliery was causing serious damage to endangered swamps has triggered calls for another public hearing regarding this mine’s expansion proposals. Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that a second public hearing into the proposed mine-extension is necessary to ensure 29 nationally threatened swamps are protected from longwall mining.
Posted: 2 July 2015
"There has been a major environmental mine disaster in the Blue Mountains# said Mr Keith Muir director, Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 23 June 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Blue Mountains Conservation Society The Colong Foundation for Wilderness To bring attention to the amazing but threatened Gardens of Stone, a region that is the perhaps best-kept secret in Sydney's backyard, conservationists have devised an exciting new photographic competition. This weekend groups of adventurous photographers will start to explore it.
Posted: 5 June 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Society of NSW
Posted: 29 May 2015
The proposed requirements for mining applications that the NSW Government released yesterday will fail to protect our water supplies. These requirements include the replacement of existing protections for upland swamps with an offsetting process that allows these swamps, a vital part of our water supply catchments, to be damaged. Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes this swamp offset proposal will have serious implications for water supply security.
Posted: 26 May 2015
Lithgow Environment Group Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council of NSW Scientists and conservationist are calling on the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to reject the expansion of a longwall coal mine near Lithgow because it would pump millions of litres of salty water into Sydney’s water supply and drain endangered swamps.
Posted: 30 April 2015
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Nature Conservation Council of NSW Blue Mountains Conservation Society Lithgow Environment Group Centennial Coal has resolved to push ahead with a massive proposed expansion of the Springvale longwall mine project that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) says would directly discharge 30Ml/day of high salinity mine water into the Coxs River.
Posted: 18 March 2015
“The proposed Badgerys Creek Airport is becoming a tale of two cities with design rules for the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport set to lower living standards for Western Sydney”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 13 February 2015
“One main environmental gain in Premier Baird’s 100 achievements released today relies on the EPA to improve of the local environment, yet it doesn’t stack up to much! We are yet to see a ‘tough and independent’ EPA (achievement 76)’ acting as an effective pollution policeman. Rather we currently have a pollution approval agency, generally captive to the industry it regulates as has been pointed out by the Upper House Inquiry also released today,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 December 2014
Today’s announcement by Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, that aerial culling will not be used in Kosciuszko National Park* is a disaster. Aerial culling is essential to contain the numbers of feral horses in the park. “Mr Barilaro has offered no solution for controlling feral horses and drastically reducing their numbers”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 December 2014
Natural Resources Commission final report recommends commercial logging in state conservation reserves MEDIA RELEASE Monday 8th December 2014
Posted: 24 October 2014
NSW must follow Victoria and scrap its plan to log parks or risk becoming a conservation pariah at the World Parks Congress next month
Posted: 21 October 2014
Lithgow Environment Group The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council of NSW Protect Gardens of Stone forever – declare Ben Bullen State Forest a conservation area Conservation groups are calling on the government to declare Ben Bullen State Forest a conservation area after the Planning Assessment Commission rejected Coalpac’s plans for an open–cut coal mine near Cullen Bullen in the state’s Central West for a second time.
Posted: 24 September 2014
A group of bushwalkers will set off this week on an eleven-day expedition in period costume, using century old equipment, trekking through the Blue Mountains wilderness to celebrate the birth of conservation in Australia one hundred years ago.
Posted: 24 September 2014
South West Sydney will celebrate the birth of bushwalking and conservation in Australia by marking the finish of an eleven-day re-enactment of a 1914 walk that ignited Australia’s passion for nature.
Posted: 18 September 2014
Lithgow Environment Group The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council of NSW
Posted: 17 September 2014
Lithgow Environment Group The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council of NSW
Posted: 3 September 2014
This spring, a surprising event celebrates the beginnings of bushwalking, which started in Australia 100 years ago. Two young adventurers, Mr Alex Allchin and Ms Sierra Classen, are leading a walk that will be associated celebrations and events in the Blue Mountains to which everyone is welcome.
Posted: 3 September 2014
Gardens of Stone Alliance Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Lithgow Environment Group The Department of Planning & Environment recently recommended approval of Coalpac’s modified open-cut coalmine at Cullen Bullen. It rejected a larger proposal by the company in 2013.
Posted: 7 August 2014
The Department of Planning and Environment has today recommended approval of the Coalpac open-cut mine in the Gardens of Stone region. Conservation groups fear this recommendation will see open-cut mining continue, threatening the region’s internationally significant pagoda landscapes. The Department’s recommendation will now be considered by the Planning Assessment Commission at a date yet to be set.
Posted: 1 August 2014
A Natural Resources Commission (NRC) draft report recommends that taxpayers subsidise the logging of four state conservation areas in the Brigalow-Nandewar Area, just north of Coonabarabran. The subsidy ranges from $575 per hectare for heavy logging to $40 per hectare for low levels of logging under a scheme where the larger white cypress pine trees are proposed to be given away.
Posted: 24 June 2014
“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness calls on the Minister for the Environment, Robert Stokes to save his career and reject plans to log and graze parks in the Pilliga just north of Coonabarabran,” urged Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 10 June 2014
Treasury documents suggest that the rejection of proposed open-cut coal mines aimed at supplying the Mt Piper power plant near Lithgow could cause a major electricity price-hike in New South Wales. But the mine’s approval would destroy a sensitive pagoda landscape in the Gardens of Stone region.
Posted: 3 June 2014
“The report into our drinking water supplies by our Chief Scientist, Prof. Mary O’Kane, is a disappointment. The report failed to organise and present existing data on water losses, pollution, cliff falls, the swamp damage, cracked stream beds and Aboriginal heritage ruined,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 27 May 2014
Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council Lithgow Environment Group Centennial Coal has unveiled plans for two massive longwall projects that would pollute Sydney’s drinking water supply and undermine more than 5,000 hectares of forest and pagoda rock formations in the Newnes State Forest, north of Lithgow.
Posted: 17 April 2014
“A 11,000 hectare wilderness addition Gazetted today will help protect Sydney’s drinking water supplies from coal mining and coal seam gas retraction. We congratulate Environment Minister, Robyn Parker and the Member for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell for this added protection,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “This wilderness declaration significantly adds to protection of the Nattai National Park, which is restricted to 60 metres depth and does not give full protection,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 9 April 2014
Yesterday the Minster for Environment and Heritage, Robyn Parker announced horse trails through wilderness areas in the Deua, Monga, Kosciuszko and Mummel Gulf National Parks for a two year trial. Yet Minister Parker has apparently done nothing to properly investigate vandalism that the Colong Foundation for Wilderness alleges was caused by horse riders and her staff in the lead up to this trial.
Posted: 3 April 2014
Colong Foundation for Wilderness Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nature Conservation Council Lithgow Environment Group Environment groups are outraged that a company under administration has lodged an application to restart and expand a coal mine in the Gardens of Stone near Lithgow that is very similar to a project that has been rejected already by state planning bodies.
Posted: 8 March 2014
Raising the wall of Warragamba Dam by 23 metres to reduce downstream flooding -- as recommended in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review -- would lead to the destruction of some of the most heavily-protected wilderness areas in Australia, yet still fail to eliminate the flood risks for western Sydney communities.
New Coalpac open-cut proposal threatens the Gardens of Stone region and the amenity of Cullen Bullen
Posted: 4 March 2014
“Coalpac, a mining company under administration, has today lodged a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act*, 1999 to mine over 300 hectares in the Ben Bullen State Forest, next to the Cullen Bullen township. Coalpac claims its new proposal does not need to be regulated under Federal environmental laws, despite its last proposal being over the same area that was opposed by a Planning Assessment Commission and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 3 March 2014
The National Parks and Wildlife Service last month placed on public exhibition a bike plan to allow for the construction of bike trails and further commercial use in Kosciuszko National Park. The Colong Foundation for Wilderness believes that this proposed plan is illegal as it contradicts the management principles for national parks* that are enshrined in law. These principles require that visitor use proposals be compatible with the natural values of the park.
Posted: 20 February 2014
“Tasmanian has some of the largest and most intact national parks in Australia but it does not have a Wilderness Act to protect these areas. Yesterday’s policy announcement by the state’s Liberal Opposition for more tourism development in national parks is going in the wrong direction. Now more than ever, Tasmania needs to protect its most endangered and precious asset, its outstandingly beautiful wilderness”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 23 December 2013
“Everyone who visits the oil shale ruins at Mt Airly will immediately fall in love with its delightful artefacts and spectacular setting. The ruins at Airly eloquently express the organic genius and determination of its past inhabitants, who struggled with adversity and hardship, and lived close to the earth.
Posted: 19 November 2013
“The NSW Government has only partially blocked the Shooters and Fishers Party, and other hardliners plans to push back conservation gains with its response to the Public Lands Inquiry that was released today. The Government’s stance will also not please the bullet and hook mob whose demand for logging in North Coast national parks was rejected,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 5 November 2013
“Today’s joint Premier and Prime Ministerial announcement for developing a one stop shop for expedited environmental approvals is a revealing faux pas regarding the streamlining Federal environmental assessment. Development proposals won’t be subjected to an independent determination process, but a predetermined ‘rubber stamp’ approval process,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 31 October 2013
“Claims in today’s Daily Telegraph that the property owned by Brad Hazzard’s Chief of Staff overlooks the Coalpac open-cut mine proposal are wrong. Ms Kath McFarlane’s property faces north away from the mine and overlooks a national park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 25 September 2013
“Biodiversity Offsets are meant to deliver conservation outcomes that would not otherwise occur. The Coalpac open-cut proposal north of Lithgow has, however, proposed existing publicly owned and protected land as biodiversity offsets,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 2 September 2013
“Yesterday the Sunday Telegraph broke the news that Premier Barry O’Farrell had appointed a Cabinet Subcommittee headed by Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner to ‘solve the problem of why vital coal and gas projects are not being approved’ (page 26),” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 16 August 2013
“The three reserve gazettals today are all good dedications, each in a different way, but all contribute to an improved conservation outcome for NSW,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said. “The largest reservation, Warrambool State Conservation Area, adds to a poorly reserved landscape known as the Darling River Plains Bioregion, which was almost unprotected before today’s reservation. We congratulate Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, for this 12,298 hectare addition to the reserve estate,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 29 July 2013
“The NSW Government today introduced a draft planning policy to facilitate mining development. If adopted the policy, which is on public display for two weeks, will make the significance of the mineral resource the principle consideration when considering a new mining proposal,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed. “The NSW Government’s Mining Department# will decide what a significant resource is, so the fate of mining proposals will be determined by pro-mining government bureaucrats,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 23 July 2013
“Last Saturday Environment Minister Robyn Parker issued a media release about a new fund to compensate losses to threatened species habitat caused by development. Apparently accreditation is to be sought for this offsetting process under the Federal environmental laws,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 June 2013
“The small band of horse riders demanding access to remote wilderness under the NSW Government’s Strategic Directions report has now shown their true colours. They have chosen bright orange spray paint to mark the horse riding trails carved through the wilderness,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 15 May 2013
“The only way for the NSW Government can avoid a high-profile public shaming is to reject ALL the recommendations of the Public Lands Inquiry report released today”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Sydney will host the World Parks Congress in November 2014 – an important conference held only once in a decade. As things stand, many foreign delegates to this Congress will be pouring scorn on the NSW Governments for failing to defend national parks from attack by the Shooters and Fishers Party”, said Mr Muir.
Posted: 13 May 2013
Joint media release:The Wilderness SocietyNational Parks Association of NSWNature Conservation Council of NSWThe Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd Four of the state’s leading conservation organisations have called on the O’Farrell government to reject the recommendations of the upper house inquiry into public lands  to allow logging in national parks and place a moratorium on new conservation areas.
Posted: 21 March 2013
“Approval of the Coalpac open-cut expansion plan would be the death knell for electricity generation using coal sourced from underground mines in the Lithgow Region. The consequence of such a decision would be devastating, as it would see extensive strips of beautiful escarpment scenery turned into heaps of rock waste,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 18 March 2013
“Coalpac’s revised open-cut coal mine proposal at Cullen Bullen north of Lithgow now looks like a plate of spaghetti. The new plan, received by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure last week, is to open-cut mine the last thin strips of coal remaining along the hill slopes below a complex of cliff lines running off the Great Dividing Range, causing maximum damage to public forests for the least benefit,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 28 February 2013
“Premier O’Farrell’s decision to investigate the Game Council will no doubt reveal more dirt on the Game Council. It is a public agency that confuses the administration of Government policy with political campaigning for hunting, including in our national parks,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 28 February 2013
“Prime Minister Julia Gillard needs to take a ‘rain check’ before funding a giant dam that would flood 118 kilometres of wild rivers in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The environmental assessment of flood management options for the Hawkesbury-Nepean River has already been announced by the NSW Government and the Prime Minister should not pre-empt due process,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.
Posted: 15 February 2013
The NSW Government may allow children as young as 12 to hunt in national parks, perhaps using bows and arrows or muskets. This surprise development has emerged from amongst leaked outcomes of a meeting held yesterday between officers of the Office of Environment and Heritage and those of the Game Council.
Posted: 14 February 2013
“Large dams have not been built in NSW since the 1980s because they are inappropriate, expensive and environmentally damaging,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said. “The dam proposals leaked by the Federal Opposition today have been around for generations and most have been repeatedly rejected by economists, hydrologists as well as conservationists”, Mr Muir said.
Posted: 21 December 2012
A Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) report released today has recommended against a large open-cut mining proposal in a scenic gateway area that is part of the Gardens of Stone in the western Blue Mountains. The proposal would have destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of public forest beside the Castlereagh Highway about 30 kilometres north of Lithgow,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The PAC decision is the best Christmas present the Blue Mountains could have received,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 13 November 2012
“A former National Party MLC, Mr Richard Bull, will be an independent facilitator for trial grazing in river red gum national parks Minister Robyn Parker announced today. The announcement comes hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of horse riding trials in five wilderness areas”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 7 November 2012
“Horse riding in declared wilderness areas is illegal and the only thing sustainable# about it is the degradation it causes to these pristine areas,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Under an old (2006) Memorandum of Understanding between horse riders and the NSW Liberal Party and the NSW Nationals, horse riding is being allowed into protected wilderness. This is a kick in the guts for the five wilderness areas affected, which will now become degraded by weeds and soil erosion,” he said.
Posted: 5 September 2012
“The tourism industry is playing the states off against each other to build more resorts in national parks. With our protected areas under attack across Australia, the 6th National Wilderness Conference later this month comes at a critical time,” Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, said today.
Posted: 8 August 2012
MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 8 August, 2012 “Centennial Coal has hoodwinked the Federal environmental regulator with its proposed trial mining at Angus Place, north of Lithgow. The trial mining seeks to increase the intensity of coal mining at the mine,” said Keith Muir, director, of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 2 August 2012
“Government plans to cut green tape would be counterproductive, and see businesses make costly blunders. And COAGs’ Taskforce on environmental deregulation is a monumental mistake,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The Emirates Wolgan Valley resort is held up by the right, including Mr Andrew Bolt, as an example of why Australia needs to cut green tape. Well actually, no Mr Bolt, it’s an example of what happens when you cut green tape, as this resort was the first approved under NSW’s notorious Part 3A planning law,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 31 July 2012
“Finally there’s a national environmental consensus, but it’s not a good one! The Council of Australian Governments has decided to cut state and federal environmental laws at the request of mining and development interests,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 17 July 2012
“Peter Cochran, the ex-National Member for Monaro, whose family runs a private commercial company ‘Cochran Horse Treks’ from Yaouk near Adaminaby and Khancoban on the west of the Kosciuszko National Park, wants access to wilderness. The Cochran family business would benefit from any trial that throws open alpine wilderness to horse riding,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 22 June 2012
National Parks Association of NSW Nature Conservation Council of NSW The Colong Foundation for wilderness Ltd Wildlife Information and Rescue Service Total Environment Centre The Wilderness Society The amended Game and Feral Animal Act provides enormous dangers for the future of the State's national parks, according to a coalition of environment animal welfare organisations.
Posted: 21 June 2012
“Last night saw new hunting legislation pass through the Upper House of the NSW Parliament and its passage into law is just a matter of procedure. Conservationists are now rapidly mustering their resources and will work with political parties, community and trade union groups to ensure there is no hunting in national parks,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 4 June 2012
“Environment groups and members of the local community have joined this protest today in support of the rangers and field officers who are taking industrial action to prevent hunting in our national parks,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 30 May 2012
“A deal between the NSW Government and the Shooters Party over electricity privatisation will see hunters using national parks for their distasteful blood sport. This is the most sickening political development in 40 years of nature conservation in NSW,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 April 2012
Blue Mountains Conservation Society The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd “Enhance Place’s report to the Federal Government committing to the “re-instatement of selected rocky outcrops” in its recent Pine Dale open-cut proposal for over 200 hectares of publicly-owned State Forest at Blackmans Flat just can’t be honoured.
Posted: 29 March 2012
Minister Parker’s River Red Gum Tourism Action Plan will see facilities in the new River Red Gum Reserves built before reserve management plans have even been exhibited for these parks. A Tourism Action Plan is no substitute for a reserve management plan. The reserve plans of management are a well proven method for considering visitor use within the context of conservation management needs.
Posted: 15 March 2012
“Yesterday Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke issued an approval to Springvale Colliery located near Lithgow. The approval had as its first condition a secondary approval process that could permit longwall mining under the best remaining Nationally Endangered peat swamps in the Gardens of Stone reserve proposal. The approval did not, however, require a transparent and public assessment process to help ensure any subsequent Ministerial decisions are properly made,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 14 March 2012
“Environment Minister Tony Burke has protected the best remaining intact nationally endangered swamps in the Gardens of Stone reserve proposal for the moment, but also offered the miners a further process that could permit longwall coal mining under them at a later date. It’s a decision in favour of conservation today, but could be reversed tomorrow, which is not the way to make decisions,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 21 December 2011
“Putting stock into our national parks would cause a pest management problem, nothing more. They would destroy native plants, prevent regeneration by eating young shorts, churn up the ground, pollute waterways and displace native fauna. For a national park, stock damage to native plants and animals are pest management issues.
Minister Burke must act to protect endangered swamps and correct a mining company’s misleading plans
Posted: 14 December 2011
“Environment Minister Tony Burke must act to protect the best remaining intact nationally endangered swamps on Newnes Plateau by refusing to allow longwall coal mining under them,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “In two mining proposals on exhibition under Federal environmental laws, Centennial Coal relies on a report that denies that longwall mining causes damage to swamps. These proposals to mine under the swamps on Newnes Plateau is likely to cause needless damage, and Minister Burke must stop it”, he said.
Posted: 27 August 2011
“In a surprising development, Lithgow council last week resolved to oppose Coalpac’s open-cut mining plans that would scalp 1088 hectares of scenic forests on both sides of the Castlereagh Highway north of the Mt Piper power plant. These forests are a scenic gateway to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area beyond, but if this open-cut mine were approved it would end up looking like the Gates of Hyades,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 16 August 2011
“The National Parks and Wildlife announcement this week of building mountain bikes tracks will divert limited funds needed for on-ground conservation work to the construction of facilities that damage park values. Bike riders have vast amounts of legal access to thousands of kilometres of park roads, including management trials.
Posted: 22 July 2011
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, of more Commonwealth protection for our National Parks during his address to the Sydney Institute. Ref: http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2011/sp20110720.html
Posted: 21 March 2011
“Today’s environment policy announcement is a missed opportunity that fails to build on Labor’s strong environment record. Labor’s climate policy is notably weak. This is a policy area where State Labor should distinguish itself sharply from the Coalition but instead has chosen to be a small political target,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 15 March 2011
“Labor’s 10 point plan is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough to address the enormous problems that can arise when coal and gas development is given development priority over almost every other land use in a region”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Labor’s Coal and Coal Seam Gas Plan doesn’t offer any variation of mining intensity or adaptive management, but does propose more feedback to government on mining development and regulatory tools, such as where it will ban mining,” he said.
Posted: 4 March 2011
Blue Mountains Conservation Society The Colong Foundation for Wilderness After a 30 year campaign, two dramatic plateaus (Genowlan Mtn and Mt Airly) in the Capertee Valley have been reserved as the 3,600 hectare Mugii Murum-ban State Conservation Area. This scenic and biologically diverse area is a key part of the Gardens of Stone reserve proposal and was initially proposed for intensive coal mining that would have caused the ground to collapse 1.8 metres, but the mining intensity has been wound back.
Posted: 7 January 2011
“Today’s announcement by Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell to make Dharawal a National Park is fully justified by the area’s values. The decision also clearly establishes the standing of the Shadow Environment Minister, Catherine Cusack in the Shadow Cabinet, and is supported by Shadow Industry Minister, Duncan Gay,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Mining operations must be made to operate so that the environment and society is protected”, he said.
Posted: 20 October 2010
“The credibility of National Parks and Wildlife review of its mountain bikes policy use has been severely damaged by the revelation that the facilitator for a series of forum held on this issue is closely aligned with the mountain bike lobby. The Colong Foundation for Wilderness has today called for the results from these public meetings to be thrown out and for National Parks and Wildlife to explain why it granted such a sensitive task to a mountain bike advocate and who is also involved in building tracks.
Posted: 14 July 2010
“Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett should intervene to ensure that the nationally endangered swamps on Newnes Plateau are actually protected before more are destroyed by intensive underground coal mining,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “At least three swamps on the Plateau have been severely damaged due to the longwall coal mining,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 24 June 2010
“The assertion that BioBanking agreements permanently protect conservation areas has been proven false by a coal mining proposal south of Sydney,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The very first BioBanking site in NSW, the 80 hectare St Marys Towers site at Douglas Park, is not safe. The BioBanking regime has failed its first test because it did not consider the negative impact of a large underground coal mining proposal by BHP-Billiton,” Mr Muir revealed.
Posted: 9 June 2010
Blue Mountain Conservation Society Colong Foundation for Wilderness “The NSW Government can be truly proud of its record in dedicating national parks. The acquisition of the 800th National Park, the 2,800 hectare Capertee National Park, creates a haven for endangered woodland birds. It will also be a fantastic holiday destination when opened to the public in a few months time,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 9 June 2010
ATTENTION: CHIEF OF STAFF, NEWS DESK, ENVIRONMENT WRITER “TONIGHT, Minister Frank Sartor plans to push a National Park development Bill through the NSW Parliament with bi-partisan support. The new law is about issue of leases and licences for park development and it will make it easier to cut holes in parks for exclusive private use,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 2 June 2010
“Labor candidate for Penrith, Cr John Thain has indicated he would be happy to see the transformation of the Great River Walk into a ‘mini-Darling Harbour’ (Penrith Star, 27 May). Turning a walk into some sort of mini-resort Disneyland on the flood prone Nepean foreshore makes no sense at all”, said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 2 June 2010
Minister Sartor’s National Park development Bill to be introduced into Parliament today seeks to shift the focus of National Parks away from conservation toward development. “The rebranded National Parks and Wildlife (Visitors and Tourist) Bill 2010 will, if passed, facilitate the issue of exclusive, private development rights in our National Parks,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Essentially, this Bill sets about regulating the privatisation of some of the best bits in our national parks”, he said.
Environment groups call for more protection for NSW’s "Bungle Bungles" - new Baal Bone mine plan risks Coxs River headwaters and the Wolgan Escarpment
Posted: 16 May 2010
Blue Mountains Conservation Society The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Lithgow Environment Group Blue Mountains environment groups believe that the sensitive northern areas of Baal Bone Colliery should be surrendered by Xstrata as part of the development proposal for mine completion and rehabilitation.
Posted: 12 May 2010
“Expert legal advice obtained by the Colong Foundation reveals that proposed new national park laws
Posted: 4 May 2010
"The Colong Foundation’s recently released report (The impact of coal mining on the Gardens of Stone) contains mountains of evidence on the damage being caused in a proposed Gardens of Stone reserve. The reserve proposal has been specifically configured to allow continued underground coal mining, provided the values of the area are protected,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.,
Posted: 27 April 2010
Imagine, New South Wales has its very own Bungle Bungle Range just 2½ hours from Sydney on the western edge of the Blue Mountains. It is a place of superlative scenery and tremendous botanical diversity. Today the Colong Foundation reveals that this little known wonderland called the Gardens of Stone may soon be spoiled if high impact coal mining is not curbed.
Posted: 1 April 2010
“The tourism master plan for Kakadu National Park launched by Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett on Tuesday promises ten long years of development for Kakadu National Park. This tourism development plan could cut the eyes out of Kakadu. Minister Garrett should be ashamed of this Plan, not celebrate it”, said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “More of Kakadu’s beauty spots and sensitive areas would be developed under this plan,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 15 March 2010
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness said that the Aerial Survey of Feral Horses in the Australian Alps released today is a wake up call for better control. The independent survey by Dr Michelle Dawson reveals that there are 7,700 feral horses in the Australian Alps. The numbers of feral horses in the high country have never been so high.
Posted: 6 November 2009
The Blue Mountains Conservation SocietyColong Foundation for WildernessNational Parks Association of NSWNature Conservation Council of NSWSutherland Shire Environment Centre
Posted: 29 October 2009
The proposal to expand the Mt Piper power plant identifies Springvale Colliery as the source for any additional water resources needed for the plant. A large diameter pipeline from that mine is being laid now, even though the power station’s expansion plans have yet to be approved.
Posted: 26 October 2009
“A deal between the NSW Government and the Shooters Party on the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill would see more hunters and their dogs using national parks for their distasteful blood sport,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The Government should reject the Shooters Party’s bullying and uphold their election promise not to allow hunting in national parks. The Government should support our national park rangers who continue do an excellent job on pest management despite the problems caused by hunters,” he said.
Posted: 22 October 2009
The Blue Mountains Conservation SocietyColong Foundation for WildernessHumane Society InternationalInvasive Species Council - AustraliaNational Parks Association of NSW
Posted: 2 October 2009
The current State Plan Review has proposed massive tourist development with weaker development control. The State’s oldest wilderness protection group, the Colong Foundation, fears this proposed strategy for NSW will target national parks and other environmentally sensitive areas currently protected by ‘red tape’.
Posted: 9 September 2009
Our national parks now confront the biggest attack on their nature conservation principles since the National Parks and Wildlife Act came into being in 1968. Plans for commercial development and blood sport threaten the very idea of national parks.
Posted: 31 August 2009
The Blue Mountains Conservation SocietyColong Foundation for WildernessHumane Society InternationalInvasive Species Council - AustraliaNational Parks Association of NSW
Posted: 27 August 2009
“The decision to put the new highway to the west off the Blue Mountains plateau down the existing road alignment using a short tunnel and ramp is may be the ‘least worst option' but will have major impacts on the local environment,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 10 August 2009
The Blue Mountains Conservation SocietyColong Foundation for WildernessInvasive Species Council - AustraliaNational Parks Association of NSWNature Conservation Council of NSW
Posted: 23 July 2009
Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Keith Muir, called on the Coalition Parties to confirm its opposition to mining in national parks, following proposals by Pangaea Resources to explore for coal seam gas in the Blue Mountains . “In 1990 the Coalition passed the National Parks and Wildlife (Mining Prohibition) Amendment Act that prevented the exploration and mining of national parks in NSW,” said Muir.
Posted: 25 June 2009
“The approval of Peabody's massive coal Metropolitan mine extension will allow coal mining under the stored waters behind Woronora Dam, so the mining boffins that have got it so wrong in the past, better have it right this time”, warned Mr Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 22 June 2009
“Today the Coalition parties made a strong stand for wildlife and national parks by opposing most of the Shooters Party proposed hunting legislation. They have taken the middle ground from the Government on this issue”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Outrage at shooter's plan for hunting in national parks, wildlife hunting and feral breeding programs
Posted: 11 June 2009
“Last week the Shooters Party introduced legislation into the NSW Parliament to allow hunting in national parks, and which would also allow native species to be hunted,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The Colong Foundation for Wilderness calls on all major parties to throw this wretchedly damaging the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment Bill out of Parliament into the gutter where it belongs”, he said.
Posted: 1 June 2009
“Today the Colong Foundation welcomes the announcement of a 119,000 hectare Yengo Wilderness, which expands the wilderness estate in NSW to over two million hectares,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 May 2009
Woronora and four other dams south of Sydney provide essential water supplies to Sydney and Wollongong but these supplies are imperilled unless the intensity of underground coal mining in the region is curbed.
Posted: 30 April 2009
Lithgow Council needs to consult with the public on the future of Hassans Walls, its biggest conservation asset. “Adequate public consultation on developments, such as recently approved mountain bike race track, is essential for public reserves, like Hassans Walls”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 1 April 2009
“ Newnes Plateau is a natural wonderland just to north Lithgow and from today it is safe from any further plans by the RTA to upgrade Great Western Highway ,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “ The Colong Foundation welcomes t he RTA's decision to throw out the Newnes option for the Highway upgrade because it was a too expensive and conflicted with Defense requirements at Marangaroo , near Lithgow ”, he said.
Posted: 29 March 2009
“Centennial Coal is making misleading assertions in regard to the damage caused by Springvale Colliery. A crack in the sandstone bed under East Wolgan Swamp that captures 7 megalitres of water a day with no detectible re-emergence of flow downstream cannot be described by the company as ‘ minor damage' .
Posted: 20 March 2009
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness today has welcomed the decision by the NSW Government to greatly strengthen catchment protection in the Southern Coalfield.
Posted: 1 March 2009
Joint Media Statement
Posted: 11 February 2009
“On Monday Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally approved six shooting ranges and car parking for 200 cars on 1000 hectares of former conservation reserve that adjoins the Heritage listed Nattai Wilderness, the first wilderness to be protected in NSW.
Posted: 12 December 2008
“Today, after eight years, a horse management plan for the thousands of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park and adjoining state forests has been released. The plan relies upon attracting feral horses into yards and trucking them out. This is slow and expensive method of control. NSW Government needs to remove feral horses more efficiently from its parks,” said Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 3 December 2008
Joint Media Statement Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Posted: 3 December 2008
“This morning's release of a final Tourism and National Parks Taskforce report that outlines how parks and wilderness will be developed for the commercial tourism industry, without a public comment and review period, sums up what's wrong with the NSW Government. We promise the Government a big fight over deregulation of national park and wilderness laws, having seen the disastrous results of deregulation of our planning laws,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 2 December 2008
“Today in the Herald we learn that pollution from Delta Electricity's Wallerawang power station has ‘killed' the Coxs River . Only last month, however, Springvale Colliery received an excellence in environmental management from Australian Mining for it's Water Transfer Scheme to the same power plant. The Scheme, which sucks 20 megalitres of water a day from Newnes Plateau for use in the power plant, is the main source of the contaminated water ,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 24 November 2008
“Newnes Plateau is a natural wonderland just north Lithgow but one of the RTA's Great Western Highway Upgrade options would see it cut in half. Five Mt Victoria to Lithgow route options are on exhibition for public comment till the 22 nd of December,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 November 2008
The Colong Foundation today condemned the NSW Mineral Council for awarding its top environmental prize to Peabody Coal for an experimental attempt to repair just one rock bar on the Waratah Rivulet south of Sydney . One such repair job does not prove the experimental glue technique is good enough for drinking water catchments and sufficient to wind back much stronger and proven protection measures.
Posted: 14 July 2008
“An environment group has called on the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) to withdraw its inappropriate Business Development tender document that was advertised in the Herald today. The tender aims to ‘identify new and emerging markets to increase … revenue in NSW National Parks’. It totally overrides the public consultation process for the Park Tourism Taskforce,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 10 July 2008
The Southern Coalfield Mining Inquiry Report released today is all about abandoning protection zones and adopting a more risk taking approach within our very essential drinking water catchments. “Sydney’s water supplies are more at risk from this day on, unless the Iemma Government wakes up to the tactics of the coal mining industry,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 11 June 2008
Nature Conservation CouncilThe Wilderness SocietyNational Parks AssociationThe Colong Foundation for Wilderness,Total Environment CentreBlue Mountains Conservation Society
Posted: 11 June 2008
Total Environment CentreThe Colong Foundation for Wilderness “The NSW Government must ban the mining of multiple coal seams in drinking water supply catchments to avoid catastrophic damage to these essential resources.
Posted: 3 June 2008
The Colong Foundation is disappointed that the Iemma Government has not raised coal royalties in today's budget in line with recent moves by Queensland. This may send a strong signal for miners to come and dig up NSW, but it will be at the expense of the environment.
Posted: 13 May 2008
“The NSW Government's plans to double the scale of the cloud seeding experiment in Kosciuszko National Park may cause more rain at the Mount Selwyn resort and kill off the endangered mountain pygmy possums. Legislation introduced by Steve Whan into the NSW Parliament last week seeks to extend the cloud seeding experiment into marginal snow areas where it is more likely to make rain, not snow,” warned Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 6 March 2008
The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) is to be congratulated for proposing the creation of wilderness reserves in Queensland, but park laws should not be rewritten to facilitate resort development in other park areas. Building resorts in national parks can never be design with nature.
Posted: 2 February 2008
“Deep splits, a metre wide, have opened up in the water supply catchment due to underground mine at the BHP-Billiton’s Dendrobium colliery. Unless mining intensity is greatly reduced, the currently proposed expansion plans for the Dendrobium mine should be rejected,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 30 January 2008
“BHP-Billiton’s Appin West Colliery has caused methane gas to bubble up in the Nepean River. Mining in Area 7 near the Nepean River commenced in November 2007 and has caused subsidence of the river bed. Yesterday a local conservationist and Rivers SOS spokesperson, Ms Caroline Graham, reported the emergence of flammable methane gas bubbles in the river, which is a sure indicator that the river bed beneath has been cracked,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 24 January 2008
“The NSW Government must reject BHP-Billiton’s bid to vastly expand its Dendrobium mine in the vulnerable water supply catchment behind Wollongong. The Dendrobium mine is damaging the Metropolitan Water Supply catchment beyond any sensible measure. The proposal announced on Monday is too big and damaging,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 14 December 2007
“The recent approval to mine coal under the fragile gravity fed Upper Canal places this critical water supply infrastructure at risk of damage and being shut down,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 12 December 2007
From what I heard this morning (ABC South East, 8.45 am) National Parks and Wildlife are about ready to cave in to the BUGs (Bush Users Group) vision of a managed herd of feral horses for Kosciuszko National Park. For national parks to concede to such an extreme demand during a public exhibition process would be a poor practice,” said Mr Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 6 December 2007
“Recent efforts to maintain horses in Kosciuszko National Park by the Bush Users Group, (BUGs for short), are completely over the top. BUGs have produced a form letter that claims National Parks' use environmental degradation as a ‘lame excuse' to justify its new draft horse management plan”, said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 30 November 2007
“Last night the NSW Government passed legislation that removed protection from a ten kilometre reach of the Nepean River at a time when BHP-Billiton has started coal mining in the same area ,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 5 November 2007
“Dr Nikki Williams, the NSW Minerals Council Chief Executive says “there's been no loss of water quality[i]” but the Sydney Catchment Authority[ii] disagrees.
Posted: 26 October 2007
“Minister for Lands, Tony Kelly, has become a real estate agent for the disposal of important high conservation lands protected from development and sale since the days of the Greiner Government. Unless the Premier intervenes at least 162 parcels of wilderness across the State will be sold for a pittance. The planned conversion of leasehold land to freehold title would compromise over 100,000 hectares of wilderness,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Strong restrictions on Capertee Helipad approval gives relief to local residents but not for wilderness areas
Posted: 27 September 2007
“Tuesday's Court approval of a helipad for joy flights at Capertee west of the Blue Mountains has placed strong restrictions on this noisy operation. Despite these restrictions, wilderness and national parks will be subjected to the greatest impacts,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The failure to protect wilderness areas and national parks from aircraft noise requires a legislative remedy to preserve the natural quiet in these precious areas,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 26 September 2007
“The Iemma Government needs to be held directly accountable for mining in the Southern Coalfield, which is in Sydney's most productive water supply catchments. Evidence released yesterday from the Southern Coalfield Inquiry reveals that Government agencies are reluctant to impose stronger mining regulation to protect these catchments,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 10 July 2007
“The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) Action Plan released today outlines how the tourist industry plans to exploit national parks, despite its stated concern for climate change,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The TTF Action Plan is a comprehensive strategy for the tourist industry to re-write park management for its own benefit,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 22 June 2007
“The recently released fifth plan of management for Kakadu National Park has removed a protection zone from a 475,000 hectare wilderness over Kakadu's ‘Stone Country'”, said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The new plan of management removes all the previous zoning controls, including those over the park's extensive wilderness area. The plan provides no explanation for these changes,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 8 June 2007
Combined Media Release Following final approval being granted yesterday for the controversial Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort near Lithgow, environment groups cautiously praised final conditions placed on the development and undertakings made by the Emirates.
Posted: 28 May 2007
“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness congratulates the Iemma Government rejection of $20 million detailed study of the Bells Line Superhighway. Two expert studies have already determined that this proposal is very environmentally damaging and totally uneconomic # . The amount of money proposed certainly would have taken the road scheme to the development application stage, which would have been very worrying,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 May 2007
Following final approval being granted yesterday for the controversial Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort near Lithgow, environment groups cautiously praised final conditions placed on the development and undertakings made by the Emirates.
Posted: 14 May 2007
“Former Environment Minister and Federal candidate for Macquarie Bob Debus should not criticise environment groups for defending national parks (Lithgow Merc 8-5-07). T he Colong Foundation for Wilderness and the National Parks Association of NSW oppose the precedent of the Emirates resort development in a Blue Mountains' World Heritage listed national park. If built, it will be the first Australian resort to be moved into a national park after its initial approval.
Posted: 24 April 2007
“By the end of this week citizens of NSW will see either a greener government with natural resources regulation retained by the Environment Minister Phil Koperberg or a reversal of Premier Iemma's original departmental arrangements in favour of Resources Minister, Ian Macdonald,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. While Premier Iemma has been away, resource interests have been manoeuvring for a return of resource regulation to the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald MP,” said Mr Muir.
Posted: 23 April 2007
“Frank Sartor is doing a poor job by approving the Emirates’ resort without first requiring the developer to produce a document showing its location in the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The general public does not know that the resort was proposed within the national park,” Mr Muir said. “If the Wolgan Valley resort is built, it will be the first resort in a Blue Mountains National Park,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 21 March 2007
The responses to an environment group questionnaire reveal that the NSW Labor remains committed to wilderness protection, while the Liberal and National Parties are no longer interested in the issue. “Labor's responses to our questionnaire outline an on-going commitment to further protection for our remaining large, intact natural areas (wilderness). The Coalition, on the other hand, didn't bother to reply,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 20 March 2007
“Centennial Coal is sucking the lifeblood out of Newnes Plateau. Everyday 37,250,000 litres are pumped from the Clarence, Angus Place and Springvale mines that operate under the Plateau # . Over then next few years I predict that the Nationally Endangered Shrub Swamps on the Plateau will die back due to loss of groundwater,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 March 2007
Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam's environment policies have been analysed by environment groups before the state election this weekend and both have lacked the vision and leadership required to confront major issues like climate change and water shortages. The Greens and Democrats scored strongly, while the major parties' showing was very poor.
Posted: 15 March 2007
“ All major political parties support an expanded Gardens of Stone Reserve in the western Blue Mountains, giving a significant boost to the push toward protecting this outstanding natural area. This support is great news for the people of the Blue Mountains and Lithgow regions who will benefit from enhanced tourism and recreation,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 14 March 2007
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness welcomes the Coalition Parties new plans for environment protection. “Today’s new announcements of further funding of wildlife linkages, pest species control in national parks, residential smart metres to reduce energy use, a solar power station for Outback NSW, and the encouragement of LPG and hybrid vehicles are all good news. But as the funding comes from the sale of the NSW Waste Service, a government asset, this enhanced support for the environment will not be on-going,” said Keith Muir, director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 9 March 2007
There is no doubt that nature conservation is the Iemma Government's strongest suit. The Government has moved forward on broad agenda, which would surely become significantly narrowed if the Coalition Parties under Peter Debnam were to gain office on March 24 th . That said, the hard issues, like fixing the planning laws to give certainty for threatened species, outlining future plans for wilderness protection and further winding back of carbon emissions did not feature in Mr Iemma's environmental announcements today,” said Mr Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 March 2007
“Both the Labor Government and Coalition Parties have proposed an inquiry to address the impacts of coal mining in our water supply catchments. This is despite the fact that these damaging mining operations were approved by previous Planning Inquiries,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. The last major inquiry into coal mining legitimised very serious damage to our water supply catchments and set the current environmental standards for mining in these areas under subsidence management plans,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 7 March 2007
The first longwall panel at BHP Billiton’s Appin 3 mine started in October last year but has already cracked the bed of the Upper Cataract River. The river carries an average 7% of Sydney’s water supply. The river from the Cataract Dam to the Broughton’s Pass Weir operates as an open canal conducting water from the dam on its way to the Prospect water treatment plant.
Superhighway plan demonstrates no leadership for protection of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Wilderness
Posted: 19 February 2007
Last week Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam announced the Coalition’s support for priority construction of the Bell Line superhighway proposal. This announcement greatly increases the risk that this damaging and expensive proposal could be built. “Labor should now show leadership and commonsense by rejecting the Bells superhighway proposal. Its finger pointing at unfunded promises is just quibbling on the sideline,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 12 February 2007
Both Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, and Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, have allowed the Emirates to promote and exhibit their 6-star Wolgan Valley resort proposal without explaining that it is now located in the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park.
Posted: 19 December 2006
“The severe damage to Waratah Rivulet by intensive underground coal mining has compromised its ability to collect and transmit drinking water to Woronora Dam. The Rivulet represents a third of the catchment of Woronora Dam that supplies the Sutherland Shire and Helensburgh with water,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The Iemma Government must show leadership and direct mine regulators to preserve the integrity of Sydney’s water supply catchments by restricting the intensity of underground coal mining in these areas”, Mr Muir said.
Posted: 18 December 2006
Colong Foundation for Wilderness has just received advice that the Emirates proposal to relocate their Wolgan Resort onto Wollemi National Park is illegal. “Our advice from the Environmental Defenders Office is that the proposed resort does not comply with the plan of management for the park and cannot be approved,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 11 December 2006
“The Blue Gum Forest, birth-place of the modern conservation movement, was badly damaged by the Grose fire on Wednesday the 22nd of November. If this precious forest was a row of houses, then there would automatically be a major investigation into how the fire was fought. The fact that this major loss of our natural heritage is only now becoming known is testimony to the prevailing attitudes of those controlled the media spin during this recent fire event,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Southern Coalfield Inquiry will be a Whitewash – fails to address threats to our drinking water supplies
Posted: 6 December 2006
“The damage caused to our drinking water catchments by underground coal mining will not be properly examined or prevented by the Inquiry announced today. I call on the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, to revise the terms of reference to make the threats posed to our drinking water catchments the key issue,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 4 December 2006
The Emirates have relocated their Wolgan Valley Resort proposal onto the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park. This is the first time a developer anywhere in Australia has moved a resort proposal from private land onto a national park during an environmental assessment review,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 3 December 2006
“Last week, Peter Debman announced a political deal with bush user groups that could end wilderness protection in NSW (Libs/Nats sign MOU, Debnam media release, 20 Nov). The Coalition is so desperate to win that they have thrown out a core environmental principle, protection of wilderness, and hope in doing so to secure a political benefit”, revealed Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 31 October 2006
“When Minister Debus leaves in March 2007 he could leave a big hole in the Iemma Government as far as environment policy is concerned. There is no substitute for experience and we hope that Mr Debus moves into Federal politics to advance the cause of protecting the environment, particularly on curbing climate change” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 September 2006
Plans to remove the 475,000 hectare wilderness zone from Kakadu National Park’s ‘Stone Country’ will be revealed at the Fifth National Wilderness Conference to be held at the University of Technology in Sydney over this weekend. “The new draft Kakadu plan of management offers no explanation for the proposed abandonment of all the current zoning controls,” said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 7 September 2006
Helen Gee will give a free public lecture this Friday night as part of the Fifth National Wilderness Conference being convened this weekend at the University of Technology in Sydney. The conference will celebrate the many wonderful wilderness areas that remain in Australia.
Posted: 16 June 2006
A peak environment group holds grave fears for the future of Kosciuszko National Park with yesterday’s release of a management plan that prioritises resort development and high impact recreation. These development opportunities contained in the plan ignore the fact that the alpine area of the Park is recognised as one of the most sensitive areas in Australia under climate change.
Posted: 2 June 2006
“Yesterday’s public notice proposing access to shooters in Newnes, Ben Bullen and thirty other state forests in NSW could lock out everyone else due to the risk of accidental shooting. The Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, seems to be determined to lock up even the most popular state forests for shooters, denying access to these areas for a wide range of recreational users”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 May 2006
“The Federal Minister for the Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, must reject the proposed removal of management zones in Kakadu National Park, including the wilderness zone. The fifth draft plan of management gives no explanation for the proposed abandonment of the zoning approach,” said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Interest groups come before conservation as new law cuts 1000 hectare hole in the Bargo State Conservation Area
Posted: 6 April 2006
“Never before have holes been cut in the national parks estate to accommodate the demands of political lobby groups. The National Parks and Wildlife (Adjustment of Areas) Act 2006, passed last night means that calls for parks to be revoked can be successful, not for development but for narrow interest groups”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Call to reinstate the Parks Service as the Department of Environment and Conservation sells World Heritage short
Posted: 31 March 2006
“The embattled Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) no longer vigorously defends national parks and World Heritage Areas from damaging development. I am stunned that DEC did not make a submission on the Newnes Junction sand quarry that is set to be the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area’s most dirty and noisy neighbour. Our environmental watchdog is incapable of effective action because it can’t properly separate its regulatory role from its role as a manager and defender of national parks”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 28 March 2006
“The 1000 hectare excision from the Bargo State Conservation Area cuts the eye out of that reserve, removing a fifth of its land area. The park excision before Parliament today is not to ensure some essential public purpose, but for a shooting complex. Once Governments start to hack out large chunks of parkland to accommodate the political pressures of the day, all parks are at risk,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 21 March 2006
"The giant sand quarry at Newnes Junction announced late yesterday by Planning Minister Frank Sartor must be in the least suitable site for sand mining within 300 kilometres of Sydney. The quarry sits tightly between the Newnes Junction village and the World Heritage area, making the village unliveable. It is the very site where sand mining was refused in 1996 because of possible damage to the national park and the water quality of the Wollangambe River”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 8 March 2006
“Minister Sandra Nori has introduced legislation into Parliament to excise ten square kilometres of pristine bushland from a water supply catchment for the so-called ‘Sydney International Shooting Centre’. Minister Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Sandra Nori says her proposal is good for nature conservation (ABC Illawarra 3 March 2006) but this is totally wrong”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 6 March 2006
“The NSW Government should pull back from making a bad precedent in political deal making. Using legislation to cut a very large hole in a public conservation reserve for a large shooting complex will prove to be a cynical and unnecessary exercise. Conservation reserves should be permanently protected and alternatives would exist that enable such facility to be better located elsewhere”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 19 December 2005
Lithgow City Council tonight will consider the controversial Capertee Heliport that council officers have recommended for approval in a report released last Friday evening. “Tonight we will see whether Lithgow Council has any sensitivity to community concern or if it is simply a rubber stamp for development. Nothing has been resolved with this proposal,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 29 November 2005
The announcement of an 11,000 hectares Chaelundi wilderness today is another step toward the protection of our precious wilderness estate. This wilderness, however, is just one of a number of backlog of areas that remain to be protected in NSW”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 28 November 2005
Today the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and the Colo Committee launched a new proposal to protect 40,000 hectares. The proposal, centred on the township of Lithgow, is called the Gardens of Stone.
Posted: 23 November 2005
A peak environment group today called on the NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, to disclose his Government’s “exclusive negotiation agreement” with Perisher Blue, a high profile leaseholder in the alpine region of Kosciuszko National Park. “The Colong Foundation has obtained a copy of Perisher Blue’s current lease and it does not allow the Company’s application for a major development in the Park.” said Ms Fiona McCrossin, Assistant Director of the Foundation.
Posted: 10 November 2005
Today’s announced superhighway scheme is an absurd attack on the precious Blue Mountains World Heritage Wilderness that the Carr Government fought so hard to protect in 2000.
Posted: 10 November 2005
“Spreading death to predators from the air in Kosciuszko National Park is a reckless action that will place endangered dingo and quoll populations at risk”, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “Instead of killing wild dogs, the National Parks and Wildlife should be reintroducing endangered pure-bred dingoes as a top level predator into Kosciuszko National Park in ecologically significant numbers,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 2 November 2005
Sydney has a voracious demand for sand and is set to consume increasing amounts of sand from Newnes Plateau and five other very environmentally sensitive areas. The Colong Foundation, however, proposes that offshore sand extraction should be considered as an alternative option in the Sydney Construction Materials Strategy currently being developed by the Department of Planning.
Posted: 26 October 2005
“The controversial plan to turn Newnes Plateau 125 kilometres west of Sydney into a sand pit will be discussed at Lithgow Council chambers today by stakeholders. It is expected that the media will again be locked out as was the case in June’, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. ‘Newnes Plateau is being advanced for sand mining development in front of five other alternatives. The proposals for Newnes threaten the adjacent World Heritage area, which would degrade the region’s most important natural resource’, he said.
Posted: 11 October 2005
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness today called on the NSW, Victoria and the ACT governments to reject a $15 million dollar plan by the Federal Government to make a World Heritage listing nomination of the Alpine National Parks contingent upon the creation of a cattle grazing and horseriding theme park. The Foundation called the plan a thinly veiled bribe to the Victorian government to retract its ban on cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park and throw cash at all three governments to push new horseriding trails through 1.6 million hectares of alpine parks in NSW, Victoria and ACT.
Posted: 9 September 2005
The new Draft Plan of Management for the Namadgi National Park is one of the best to come out of South East Australia for a number of years, said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Mr Muir said that “The draft plan leads to way toward better protection of the natural environment. It will help to foster appropriate nature-focussed recreation and conserve Canberra’s water resources, while facilitating co-management of the park by the local Aboriginal community.”
Posted: 4 September 2004
For the first time since the Carr Government was elected, the five peak NSW environment groups have come together to attack the Government's natural environment policies. They called on the Premier to urgently act to prevent his legacy becoming one of rivers pumped dry, ancient woodlands and forests lost, Crown lands flogged off and national parks mismanaged.
Posted: 24 August 2004
The decision announced this morning by the Minister for the Environment, Bob Debus, to reintroduce aerial baiting in the northern end of Koscisuzko National Park will help make the Tiger Quoll and Dingo become extinct. "We need carefully thought through wild dog management that protects Dingoes and Tiger Quolls; not this knee jerk extinction program," said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 17 August 2004
As the closing date for public submissions on the draft plan for Kosciuszko National Park nears, environment groups are concerned that the push for more horseriding in the park has ignored many important facts. "Horse riders make up just 5 per cent of the park’s users but they are one of the main causes of damage to the park", said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Posted: 16 August 2004
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness today accused the NSW Government of attempting to create four new resort nodes in Koscisuzko National Park. The new resort expansion nodes are Bullock's Flat, Sponars Chalet, Ski Rider and Mountain Retreat as listed in the Alpine Resorts Plan.
Posted: 4 August 2004
Two environment groups today condemned the NSW Government for failing to control feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park, that failure has led the ACT Government to construct a horse fence on the NSW border in Namadgi National Park in order to exclude NSW feral horses from entering the ACT. The fence cuts the Bimberi wilderness in half, and flies in the face of cooperative management.
Posted: 25 March 2004
"The final scene shoot out for the Stealth adventure film proposed in the Grose Wilderness of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is an attack on wilderness and the birthplace of the NSW nature conservation movement. Wilderness areas should not to be treated like a plywood film sets to be knocked around," said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 22 March 2004
Conservationists have asked the Federal Minister for the Environment, Senator Dr David Kemp, to call in the proposed Snowy Hydro cloud seeding experiment and ensure that it is subjected to environmental impact assessment. Unless Dr Kemp acts there will be no due process for environmental assessment. The experiment is being fast tracked through the NSW parliament, with the subjugation of six environmental laws, and will take place in Kosciuszko National Park, in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas in the nation ñ the Main Range.
Posted: 19 March 2004
The Snowy Mountains Cloud Seeding Bill, currently being considered by NSW Parliament, will allow cloud seeding in Kosciuszko National Park at times when 'increased precipitation is likely to fall as snow.' The NSW Government, however, has no great confidence in this experiment because the Bill seeks to prevent compensation claims for damages.
Endangered Species Sold Short on Cloud Seeding Too many risks and no public process Colong Foundation for Wilderness National Parks Association of NSW
Posted: 17 March 2004
The crisis over the Carr Government's handling of a cloud seeding proposal in Kosciuszko National Park deepened today with revelations that endangered species could be placed at risk, despite claims by the NSW Minister for Agriculture that it would not negatively affect the environment.
Stealth Movie Not Wilderness Friendly - The Grose Wilderness should not be used as a film site for an adventure movie
Posted: 15 March 2004
AFG Talons Pty Ltd, operating out of Fox Studios, proposes to film scenes for the adventure movie Stealth near Mount Hay in the Grose Wilderness.
Shadow Environment Minister Visits Proposed Newnes Junction Sand Mine Site Blue Mountains Conservation Society Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Posted: 7 March 2004
The NSW Shadow Environment Minister, Michael Richardson, enjoyed a picnic lunch with the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and the Colong Foundation for Wilderness at the proposed Newnes Junction quarry site, overlooking the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Cloud Seeding just an ad hoc response to global climate change rather than an effective plan for Kosciuszko National Park
Posted: 26 February 2004
With climatic change an increasing reality, the Carr government has proposed cloud seeding as a response to one of the first obvious consequences of this global crisis, citing "concerns about a shorter snow season" as one its primary concerns. The Colong Foundation today urges the government to develop long term climate change policies for Kosciuszko National Park and the state, and not to rely on ad hoc policy on the run to appease the ski industry.
Posted: 25 February 2004
"The announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Ian Macdonald regarding cloud seeding experimentation reveals that increased resource development, not nature conservation, is the Government's management priority in our largest national park," said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. "A similar cloud seeding research project was proposed in 1993 but was rejected following strong objections by the National Parks and Wildlife Service that claimed the proposal was incompatible with the parkís plan of management", said Mr Muir.
Posted: 23 February 2004
Road stability and safety will not be improved by giving the Roads and Traffic Authority ownership of the Alpine Way and Mount Kosciuszko Road in Kosciuszko National Park. "If passed through the Upper House of Parliament this week, the legislation removing roads from Kosciuszko National Park will lead to undesirable park development in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the State," said Mr Keith Muir, Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 23 January 2004
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness today urged the Carr government to stand firm on its commitment to a transparent review of the Kosciuszko Plan of Management in the face of threats of horseriders staging protests in the Park on Australia Day and later a possible march on Macquarie Street.