Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Push to develop the Nepean’s foreshores and our national parks

“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.

“Cr John Thain and the NSW Government must see the world very differently to me. I had the idea that parks were for people, quiet enjoyment and nature conservation, not commercial developments and financial returns,” said Mr Muir.

“This push for commercial development on public parkland is not limited to the Nepean River’s foreshore.  The Colong Foundation has expert legal advice stating that the National Park Bill being introduced into Parliament this week could see Darling Harbour-style commercial facilities in our National Parks,” he said.

“We cannot allow our political leaders to sell parks for the sake of commercial opportunities,” Mr Muir said.

“The people created our much-loved National Parks and by casting their vote wisely, local Penrith residents can help protect these wonderful spaces for future generations”, he said.

“The Colong Foundation for Wilderness is asking Penrith and Blue Mountains residents to consider the impact of the NSW Government’s Bill to allow exclusive, private development in National Parks when casting their vote in the Penrith by-election on 
June 19,” Mr Muir said.

“The NSW Government's proposed Parks development Bill shifts the focus of National Parks from conservation, potentially allowing high-impact commercial developments, such as resorts, restaurants, private universities, sporting facilities, fast-food outlets and other developments that would damage our National Parks,” said Mr Muir

“The Colong Foundation believes the Parks development Bill poses a significant risk to the environment and wildlife of the state’s National Parks”, he said.

“The proposed Bill is essentially a bid by the tourist industry to secure exclusive occupation rights over our National Parks,” Keith Muir said.

Contacts: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 0412 791 404 (mob) 
See page 6 of expert legal advice http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/tourism/Robertson%20-%20NP%20tourism%20Bill%2011%20May%202010.pdf