Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Kosciuszko, our largest national park, is already developed enough

NSW Government plan[1] to spend $27 million to build 46km of new cycling and walking paths through the fragile alpine ecosystems in the iconic Kosciuszko National Park should not proceed.  No detailed an environmental impact assessment and public review is planned for these projects.

“To complete this project the government will disturb more than six hectares of fragile ecosystems that are highly sensitive to disturbance,” Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness said.

“The Snowy already has an extensive network of walking and cycling trails that have caused erosion and encouraged weeds.

“The under-funded National Parks and Wildlife Service does not have money enough for toilet paper (see picture) and is unable to effectively deal with feral horses, and more park development will only make matters worse.  Only last month was there a proposal to remove 33 rocks in the national park for ski slope grooming at Perisher in the habitat of the vulnerable Broad-toothed Rat, and now this development.

Mr Muir said Mr Barilaro’s claim that these new tracks will lead a tourism employment bonanza raises many questions.  “Will exclusive private camping facilities be proposed some time later along these tracks, or even in the remote Pilot Wilderness?” he said.

“Park development in the sensitive alpine region is to start by October 2018.  There’s no time for an adequate environment impact statement, public comment and review process, just like the exploration drilling and roading undertaken for Snowy 2.0.  Kosciuszko is becoming more like a “Wild West Show”, than a professionally managed national park”, he said.

“This proposed taxpayer-funded tourist industry development of the national park has all the hallmarks of the other poorly managed infrastructure projects all over NSW.”

“The NSW Government has forgotten that national parks are regulated by due process for the benefit of nature and the people, not profits.  Money and jobs comes as a wonderful bonus, but should not dictate park management, particularly in over developed subalpine areas and never in wilderness”, he said.

 

[1] MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BOOST FOR KOSCIUSZKO, 17 April, Media Release by John Barilaro, Deputy Premier and Gabrielle Upton, Environment Minister.

Copyright - The Colong Foundation for Wilderness Ltd

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