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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

PM ‘short-sighted’ on national parks

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Sunrise at Warrumbungle National Park. Image R Scott/DECC, from ‪environment.nsw.gov.au
Sunrise at Warrumbungle National Park. Image R Scott/DECC, from ‪environment.nsw.gov.au

The National Parks Australia Council (NPAC) says it is extremely concerned that PM Tony Abbott ‘so readily disregards the true value of national parks’.

The NPAC was responding to Mr Abbott’s comments to a timber industry dinner in Canberra last Tuesday that. ‘We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked-up forest.’

NPAC president Michelle Prior said, ‘While occupying less than eight per cent of Australia, national parks are a major drawcard in the annual $23 billion nature-based tourism industry.

‘As evidenced by substantial research, access to the natural environment also contributes significantly to health and wellbeing.

‘National parks are critical to conserving our unique biodiversity, and in fact, appear to be the only effective strategy in saving the 70per cent of Australia’s threatened species in decline.

‘Additionally, national parks deliver other services, such as protection of urban water catchments and climate amelioration.’

CEO of the National Parks Association of NSW Kevin Evans said, ‘Australia’s national parks are not only a national achievement, but a legacy for the future. The majority of Australians citizens value and appreciate national parks.

‘Unfortunately, the prime minister is out of touch with contemporary opinions and knowledge.

‘National Parks are not “locked up” – they have the most generous form of land tenure available, being publicly available to all.

‘However, since inception, national parks have experienced competition from economic interests, and [are] sought after as highly prized public lands for private gain.

‘National parks are the last bastion for conservation. However, these critically important areas, have recently been beleaguered by an extensive variety of external threats – grazing, logging, tourism construction, hunting, prospecting, motorised recreation.

‘In particular, national parks are increasingly coming under attack from the governments that created them in the first place.’


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3 COMMENTS

  1. What’s next? Razing historic homes, public sculpture, art galleries and other edifices for home unit development? Don’t vote LNP or Labo(U)r at either a State or Federal level. They are both as bad as each other. Politics in Oz has gone to the dogs. Ahaa! That’s it! Let’s form the Oz Dogcatcher Party and get rid of the rough metal files we call pollies. Nah! Just vote for another party of your choice. But don’t waste you say by not voting at all. We must keep Australia democratic forever.

  2. Exactly the same remarks were made on Howard, Rudd and Gillard which proves that it is not they themselves but on orders of the corporations. What government, it does not exist.
    Apropos, I am not a fan of Abbott I feel sorry for him to be a puppet.

  3. ‘In particular, national parks are increasingly coming under attack from the governments that created them in the first place.’ And you should ask yourself why?

    Part of the reason could well be that National Park managers have been far too unwilling to countenance activities that pose little if any risk to the inherent values of the parks they are managing and in the process have alienated large sections of the community – hunters, fishers, dog walkers, adjacent farmers, campers, Four wheel drivers etc etc.

    For many people National Parks have become synonymous with over-the-top restriction – you can’t camp here, you can’t walk there, you can’t light a fire there, you can’t pick that flower (even though it is a weed), you can’t have that dog, you can’t fish in that spot, you can’t shoot that animal (even though it is a pest), no we won’t build a fence to stop the kangaroos invading your farm……………….

    When National Park’s managers and supporters get a little more realistic about focussing on the factors that really pose a risk to biodiversity and the values of the Parks and embrace the concept of multiple use just a little bit, they might just find that the wider community and politicians are a little less antagonistic towards them.

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