Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

2017 Media Releases

Posted: 21 December 2017
“The feasibility study for the Snowy 2 pumped-hydro scheme reveals cost an estimated cost of $3.8 to $4.5 billion*, and that’s without the cost of the required major electricity transmission network upgrade.  The real cost is likely to be double this feasibility estimate, to which you then must add the signifcant harm that will be done to Kosciuszko National Park.  This very expensive,  national park damaging proposal should not proceed,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Due diligence - Missing In Action
Posted: 27 November 2017
Yesterday (Sunday Nov 26, 2017) 150 people from Lithgow, Blue Mountains and Sydney gathered near Dobbs Drift, Lithgow to celebrate the Gardens of Stone region.  Their message was that Lithgow needs to reserve 39,000 hectares of internationally significant bushland if it is to grow its tourism industry.  This they demonstrated by unfurling two giant banners below a huge pagoda that overlooks Lithgow that they have called “Sphinx Pagoda”.  Its mystery - why does Lithgow oppose conservation of its internationally significant pagoda bushlands???
Posted: 6 November 2017
The politically-connected Manildra Group has had its proposed Invincible mine recommended for approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment on Friday last week.  If approved, open-cut mining would turn a visually prominent part of the publicly-owned forest land in Gardens of Stone region into a moonscape.  The proposal is really just a foot in the door bid to get a larger open-cut mine going.
Posted: 2 November 2017
Lithgow on the western edge of the Blue Mountain is currently drinking “mine water” from the Clarence Colliery that sits on Newnes Plateau above the town.  Despite Environment Protection Authority (EPA) assurances, the mine’s environmental monitoring data indicates that nickel and lead levels in the mine water exceed the recommended limits set by Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Posted: 12 October 2017
4natureNature Conservation Council of NSWBlue Mountains Conservation SocietyThe Colong Foundation for Wilderness The NSW Parliament passed overnight a regressive law to wipe away findings of the NSW Court of Appeal, allowing the continued operation of the Springvale coal mine and locking in pollution for developments in Sydney’s drinking water catchment.
Posted: 11 October 2017
Environment groups welcomed Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s statement last night to uphold water pollution standards set by the Appeal Court of NSW. 
Posted: 9 October 2017
“Lithgow Council and Centennial Coal have obtained the willing support of the NSW Government to ensure that big coal mines can continue to pollute Sydney’s drinking water with mine water,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Phoney Crisis
Posted: 3 October 2017
MEDIA RELEASE “Colong Foundation’s peace plan[1] is still on the table but action is needed,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.  Lithgow’s potential tourism industry will be stifled if the outstanding heritage values in the surrounding Gardens of Stone region suffer more decades of damage.  Like climate change, this likely scenario can still be avoided.
Posted: 3 October 2017
The Gardens of Stone Alliance Blue Mountains Conservation SocietyColong Foundation for WildernessLithgow Environment Group MEDIA ALERT                          Local environmental groups are urging the NSW Government to provide a much-needed boost to the Lithgow economy by reserving 39,000 hectares of internationally significant bushland that is critical for the region's growing tourism industry.
Posted: 13 September 2017
“The narrative that conservationists want to close the Mt Piper Power Plant near Lithgow, leading to a million households freezing to death in the dark is misleading nonsense,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. “The only thing that’s diabolical# about Mt Piper’s situation is the misrepresentation about what conservation groups are trying to do,” he said.
Posted: 30 August 2017
“The operating rules for Snowy Hydro 2 pump storage will no doubt require large amounts of exclusively stored water for power generation during droughts, even if the farmers downstream miss out on their allocations,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 2 August 2017
“The orders made by the NSW Court of Appeal today are a trigger for the parties* to sit down and negotiate,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 2 August 2017
Conservationists today welcomed the 4nature conservation group’s successful legal bid that overturns the approved extension to the Springvale underground coal mine near Lithgow.  Conservation group 4nature won its case in the NSW Court of Appeal, overturning the original decision in the Land and Environment Court that ruled in favour of Centennial Coal who operates this mine. Environment groups wish to stop the mining giant from dumping millions of litres of polluted water into the Coxs River, a major tributary of Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main water supply.
Posted: 28 July 2017
“The final report on the two year horse riding in wilderness trial has been released this week by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Few riders accessed wilderness during the trial, it was a flop.
Posted: 14 July 2017
“Today Justice Robson of the Land and Environment Court handed down a million dollar fine to Centennial Coal for its coal fines pollution of a ten kilometre reach of the Wollangambe River in Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 21 June 2017
“The Planning Assessment Commission approval yesterday of the Springvale Mine Water Treatment Plant is welcomed by environment groups.  It will remove Centennial Coal’s toxic pollution from the Coxs River that is part of Sydney’s drinking water supply and flows through the World Heritage Area,” said Madi Maclean President of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society.
Posted: 30 May 2017
                     Joint Media Release 4nature The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Lithgow Environment Group Blue Mountains Conservation Society NSW Nature Conservation Council The 4nature environment group is back in court tomorrow (Wednesday, May 31) trying to stop mining giant Centennial Coal dumping millions of litres of polluted water into the Coxs River, a major tributary of Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main water supply.
Posted: 10 May 2017
A decision on a new Springvale mine[1] extraction plan was published today that constrains mining to just two longwalls panels of coal.
Posted: 8 May 2017
Media Release - Blue Mountains Conservation Society and the Colong Foundation for Wilderness ​
Posted: 4 May 2017
The Gardens of Stone Alliance* Wins Heritage Award The "Gardens of Stone: In Focus” photographic exhibition held in September 2016 at the University of Sydney Law School won this year’s NSW National Trust’s Advocacy Award for an outstanding campaign. “This award is further evidence that the Gardens of Stone reserve proposal is a highly valued place in NSW and must be fully protected”, said Keith Muir, Alliance member and Director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.  
Posted: 2 May 2017
“As expected, the proposed Western Sydney Airport is uneconomic and its construction would require a major government subsidy,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness revealed.
Posted: 28 March 2017
The environment in NSW has suffered significantly in the two years since the Coalition was re-elected in March 2015, a review of the government’s performance by leading environmental groups has found. “Our analysis shows the Coalition has been bad for the environment on several fronts,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said. “It has weakened land-clearing laws, failed to protect farms and wildlife from coal and gas, subsidised native forest logging, reduced funding for national parks, conservation and research, and undermined the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Posted: 21 March 2017
“The draft Blue Mountains Destination Management Plan on public exhibition turns its back on the ‘City within a World Heritage National Park’ vision to spruik inappropriate development of national park land the likes of which hasn’t been seen for fifty years,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 16 March 2017
“The Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg should commit to a Federal Inquiry into the proposed two billion dollar pumped hydro scheme located in Kosciuszko National Park,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 27 February 2017
“The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) must restore the popular Wollangambe River to health by requiring Centennial Coal to eliminate metal, salinity and pH pollution from its mine water discharges at Clarence colliery,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.
Posted: 22 February 2017
Making coal-fired power generators pay the full cost of the environmental harm they cause would be an effective way of bringing forward their closure, the Colong Foundation for Wilderness Director Keith Muir will tell a Senate inquiry today. “Requiring power generators to pay the full cost of all sources of pollution and environmental damage will reduce what are effectively subsidies for coal-fired power until other policy measures are implemented,” Mr Muir said.
Posted: 27 January 2017
“The ranges at the Southern Highlands Shooting Complex are bare earth, with poor lead management and faulty geometry making them unsuitable and dangerous to use.  The ranges receive little use because of these serious faults and should not be upgraded but removed, and Bargo State Conservation Area reinstated,” said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

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