NSW environment groups have welcomed the NSW Opposition’s commitment to create a Dharawal
National Park about 65km south‐west of Sydney, if it forms government following the State election in March.
Following a hard‐fought campaign by local conservation groups, Illawarra Coal announced in
October 2010 that it would not mine under the Dharawal State Conservation Area as part of BHP
Billiton’s Bulli Seam Project. The Opposition’s proposal to convert the Dharawal SCA to a National
Park would protect the area permanently from longwall coal mining.
“The establishment of Dharawal National Park would be an outstanding outcome for an area
containing such rich natural diversity ranging from eucalypt forests, freshwater creeks and wetlands
of national importance,” said National Parks Association Executive Officer Kevin Evans.
“The Dharawal State Conservation Area is home to more than 200 native species, including some of
the state’s most vulnerable species such as the Powerful Owl, Eastern Pygmy Possum and
“We are very pleased with plans for securing the future of such an important, largely undisturbed
conservation area,” he said.
“We look forward to more enlightened environment policies from the Coalition and note the new
park should be gazetted without a depth restriction in order to protect it from mining,” said Total
Environment Centre Executive Director Jeff Angel.
“We welcome the Opposition’s commitment to protecting Dharawal from the impacts of longwall
coal mining,” said Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke.
“NSW’s leading environment groups have called on all parties contesting the NSW election to
protect our natural environment by building a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve
system across the state. We see the Dharawal National Park proposal as an important step towards
better conservation in Sydney’s drinking water catchment and beyond,” he said.
Joint media release: Nature Conservation Council of NSW, National Parks Association, Total Environment Centre, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and The Wilderness Society.
Read more in the article O'Farrell shuts out mining colossus by Ben Cubby and Sean Nicholls (SMH, 8 January 2011).