IN A SHAMEFUL first, the NSW Government is moving to scrap a national park.
The Nationals MP for Murray, Austin Evans, has given notice of a new bill in the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Evans wants to ‘de-gazette’ the Murray Valley National Park and open up the globally significant river red gum forests of the Riverina for logging.
The Murray Valley National Park is a 41,000 hectare national park and “part of the largest continuous river red gum forest in the southern hemisphere and an important and unique ecosystem”. It contains over 60 threatened animal species and 40 plant species and contains a Ramsar listed wetland.
National parks are a magnificent environmental asset visited by millions of nature lovers every year.
Never before has a NSW national park been stripped of its protected status.
This is a deeply disturbing development and people across NSW will be shocked to hear that national parks are now at risk.
Under pressure from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmer’s Party at the recent Murray by-election Mr Evans has stated that he would be working hard to “get rid of these national parks.”
If the Berejiklian Government succeeds in scrapping the Murray Valley National Park then no national park is safe.
With the weakest environment minister in NSW history, it is clear that National Parks are under sustained attack. This action comes on top of the law passed this week that will allow the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park to be flooded by raising the Warragamba Dam wall.
This is a new environmental low for the Berejiklian Government.
— Penny Sharpe, Shadow Minister for the Environment
IMAGE: River Red Gum on the Murray River. (Darryl Leach, Dreamstime)