Gardens of Stone Gardens of Stone NP  (Ian Watson)
Our mission is to help protect, conserve, and advocate for, the natural environment of the Greater Blue Mountains.
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December edition
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COVID-19.  Society activities have recommenced. NSW Government Guidelines are being observed.

Current Campaigns, Submissions & Events
 NPWS Draft Cycling Policy
 Don't Raise Warragamba Dam
 Penrith Lakes Helipad
 Helping our Gang-gang Cockatoos
 Gardens of Stone SCA announced
 Katoomba Airfield Lease Refused
 No Zoo/Hotel at Bodington Hill
 The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan
 Climate Action Now
 Clarence Colliery discharge of into GBMWHA
 Cracking damage to Mugii Murum-ban SCA
 Coal exploration licences adjoining GBMWHA

See more on our Campaigns, Submissions and Events webpages.

NPWS Draft Cycling Policy is on display for comment
Submissions close on Monday 31 January

NPWS' Draft Cycling Policy together with a Draft Cycling Strategy are on public display for comment closing on 31 January. This is a state wide policy. It is disappointing that the display period has not extended beyond the holiday period.

You can read the Policy and make a comment on the Draft Policy here.

The NSW National Parks Association has some information plus a Guide on their website.

NPWS Cycling Strategy courtesy of NPWS

Don't Raise Warragamba Dam
2,067 submissions were received
only 2% supported the proposal

Dam March June 2019 Dam March June 2019  (Alan Page)
In 2018, the NSW Government passed legislation to allow the flooding of World Heritage listed national parks by raising the wall of Warragamba Dam.

If the dam wall is raised, 4,700 hectares of World Heritage listed National Parks and 1,800 hectares of declared Wilderness Areas will be forever scarred from sedimentation, erosion and invasion of exotic plants.

Raising Warragamba Dam will inundate 65 kilometres of Blue Mountain's wild rivers.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released on 29 September 2021.

Submissions closed on Sunday 19 December.

Here's more information about the NSW Government's proposal to raise the dam wall

New joy flight threat to Mountains
Submissions closed on Friday 3 December
Sydney Helicopters Sydney Helicopters  (courtesy of NSW DPIE)
The development of a Helipad within the Penrith Lakes scheme could spell disaster for the Blue Mountains’ World Heritage National Parks.

The Helipad is to be built alongside a new film production precinct, golf course and tourist accommodation as part of the development of Penrith Lakes and would allow Sydney Helicopters to offer joy flights as well as film and photography services.

Very little is known about the broader impact of the development as the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is focused on the immediate surrounds of the development, rather than the areas being flown over.

Here's the Society's submission.

What we know:

This is separate to the Katoomba Airfield campaign and will potentially have a devastating impact on the peace and tranquility of the Mountains.

Main concern:

Gaga about Gang Gangs?
Helping our Gang-gang Cockatoos
Gang-gang Cockatoo Gang-gang Cockatoo (male)  (Alan Page)
Birdlife Australia is working on setting up a Citizen Science project on Gang-gang Cockatoos in the Blue Mountains (and five other locations).

We know that Gang Gangs have been heavily impacted here in the Mountains from the 2019-20 fires.

Birdlife Australia's report in 2020 found that 85% of the area of occupation for Gang-gang Cockatoos in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area was burnt.

Birdlife Australia's looking to identify people who own gardens or rural properties and who would be interested in participating in their Citizen Science project.

They are also interested in finding any schools who might be interested.

You can learn more about it here and register your interest.

Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area announced

Lost City Lost City  (Henry Gold))
The Society is overjoyed at the creation of a Gardens of Stone state conservation area plus additions to Gardens of Stone and Wollemi National Parks.

The decision transfers into the national park estate the 31,500 hectare Newnes, Ben Bullen and Wolgan state forests, an area of spectacular pagoda landscapes, cliffs, waterfalls, woodlands and flowering swamps.

The Society acknowledges this as Aboriginal land, Wiradjuri country. and pays respects to the traditional custodians of this land.

This has been a long journey going back to Myles Dunphy’s vision for the Greater Blue Mountains. The name, “Gardens of Stone”, was first used by renowned environmentalist, Haydn Washington.

The Society has been involved in the campaign for over twenty years. The Gardens of Stone Alliance, made up of founding members Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Lithgow Environment Group and Blue Mountains Conservation Society, has been the organising force of the campaign since 2006.

Here's the NSW Government's media release.

GoS SCA announcement Gardens of Stone Rally in 2017  (Henry Gold)
The Society wishes to thank all our members and supporters. You have helped make this happen through raising awareness, signing petitions, submissions, letters to government and supporting our public events.

We would like to recognise some key Society members: Brian Marshall, Ian Brown, Karen McLaughlin, Peter Green, Janine Kitson, Yuri Bolotin, Joel Robinson, Thomas Ebersoll, Tara Cameron and Madi Maclean.

And our Gardens of Stone Alliance partners: Keith Muir of Colong Foundation; Julie Favell, Chris Jonkers and Richard Stiles from Lithgow Environment Group.

We acknowledge the long-term support of National Parks Association and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, now an Alliance member.

We would like to thank the parliamentarians who drove this proposal:

GoS SCA announcement Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area
Madi Maclean, Julie Favell, Chris Jonkers and Keith Muir
(photo courtesy of Dean Sewell/The Guardian)
It has been a roller coaster ride!!

In 2012 the Planning Assessment Commission for the Coalpac open cut mine recognised that: “the highest and best use of the area is for conservation purposes”. Nearly ten years later we’ve got there!

The next step is the establishment of the new SCA which brings with it professional park management of the area and consultation on the proposals.

The Society looks forward to the establishment of what will be an exciting new conservation area for the Greater Blue Mountains centred on Lithgow.

The Society will continue its work protecting and defending our natural environment with your support.

Katoomba Airfield Lease Refused
no heli-tourism
On 22 October 2021 the application by FlyBlue for a lease to operate a commercial airfield, including helicopter flights, was refused.

The company’s temporary licence to access the site will also be revoked and it will be required to vacate the site within 28 days.

The site will remain open to emergency services.

Here's the NSW Government's announcement.

Here's our Katoomba Airfield Lease webpages.

Bushfire Inquiries and Climate Plan

The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements and the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry have concluded. Here are their reports (all documents are around 18MB each) -

And here's the Society's submission to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry.

Our Bushfires webpage (updated in May 2021) contains a detailed analysis of the 2019-20 bushfires and their impact on the Greater Blue Mountains - including maps, an assessment of areas burnt and the loss of wildlife. Information on recovery and What You Can Do is there, plus some articles on firefighting.

Emergency Leaders logo Climate Council logo
In June and July, the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) hosted Australia’s first virtual bushfire and climate change summit to coordinate a national response to the Australian climate and bushfire crises.

The 2020 National Bushfire and Climate Summit brought together hundreds of participants from across the country and the world to share their experiences, and to formulate recommendations to address the worsening risk of devastating bushfires fuelled by climate change.

The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan is the culmination of that effort.

The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan provides a broad plan and practical ideas for governments, fire and land management agencies and communities to help us mitigate and adapt to worsening fire conditions.

The plan’s 165 recommendations include many measures that can be implemented right now, to ensure communities are better protected.

The experts agree: We must tackle climate change and worsening extreme weather by urgently phasing out fossil fuels.

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society participated in this summit and endorses this plan.

An ad for the plan appeared in The Australian on 1st August.

bushfire ad banner

Climate Action Now
- changes you can make -
Climate Action Now Flyer
Climate Action Now Flyer
(click the image to download the flyer)
Australia has the highest emissions per person of any OECD country.

Government and business action is crucial in addressing climate change, but our personal actions also make a difference.

The Society has prepared a Climate Action Now Flyer that details the changes you can make to -

We also encourage you to Raise Your Voice On Climate Change by -

We acknowledge Katrina Shields, Zero Emissions Byron, who inspired production of this flyer.

© 2022  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land
– the Darug and Gundungurra people –
and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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