Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Film industry wants environmental controls ditched under new Iemma law

Nature Conservation Council
The Wilderness Society
National Parks Association
The Colong Foundation for Wilderness,
Total Environment Centre
Blue Mountains Conservation Society

Legislation that protects national park areas from being damaged by the movie industry is set to be overridden by a new law (Filming Related Legislated Amendment Bill) that was quietly introduced into the NSW Parliament last week, environmentalists said today.

”It appears that the movie industry has secretly negotiated a new deal with the Iemma Government. The film industry's Bill creates a presumption of approval for filming in national parks that will tie the Environment Minister's hands and weaken environmental regulation,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

Environment groups are outraged by amendments currently before Parliament that will grant open slather access to national parks for film makers. The legislation flies in the face of the peace deal brokered in 2004 following a court decision that ruled invalid an approval to film a Hollywood blockbuster, ‘Stealth', in the Grose Wilderness,” said Andrew Cox, executive officer of the National Parks Association.

A legislated presumption of approval for filming in national park areas is a direct attack on the nature conservation purpose of national parks. We need to treat national parks and nature reserves carefully; they are not film sets made of cheap, disposable materials for action and adventure movies, said Tara Cameron, President of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.

“Large-scale productions can cause big impacts and National Parks need to be protected. The bigger the film the more arrogant and pushy these operations tend to be”, Jeff Angel , Director of the Total Environment Centre said.

“The Film industry and the government have not bothered to consult with environment groups despite major protests and litigation to defend wilderness in the past,” Mr Angel.

“A better approach would be for the film industry to work with conservation groups to ensure that national parks are protected,” he said.

For more information contact:

Keith Muir: w (02) 9261 2400; 0412 791 404
Andrew Cox: w (02) 9299 0000; m 0438 588 040)
Jeff Angel: w (02) 9261 3437