Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

2006 Media Releases

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.
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.
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.
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.

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