DEVELOPMENT ADJOINING THE NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ESTATE
NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION of NSW Inc.
Policy No: 11, 7 September 1991
Introduction | Definitions | Policy
The National Parks Association of NSW (Inc.) seeks to protect the integrity of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Estate by minimising the potential impact on the Estate of any development adjacent to it.
Development, in this policy, means any work of man, whether manifested by physical change from the natural conditions or with the potential to do so, and thus includes all forms of building, clearing, soil disturbance, draining, road and track making, and subdividing whether physically developed or not.
Adjoining, in this policy, means situated where there is potential for an adverse impact on the NPWS estate, including the entire catchments of streams which enter or border the Estate
The history of reserves dedicated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act abounds in instances of unwanted changes to the natural conditions brought about by actions upon land outside the National Parks and Wildlife Estate. For example:
* Siting of the Fairmont Resort in Leura overlooking the Blue Mountains National Park, highly visible from the Parks, and effluent pollution of streams within the National Park.
* Coastal mineral sands mining, both adjoining and within future national parks and nature reserves in the 1960-80s, leading to widespread invasion of reserves by Bitou Bush.
* Coal processing near Wollongambe Creek, Blue Mountains National Park, which caused pollution of the creek when a retaining dam collapsed.
* Dumping of sewage on a small plateau above Kangaroo Creek, a regular practice in the 1950s until stopped by protest (Royal National Park).
* Increasing urban development of Cowan Creek catchment, polluting the creek within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, with banks of detergent foam, street run-off and weeds.
* Increasing sewage pollution and siltation of Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve (Central Coast) due to burgeoning urban development.
1. Local Plans
Where there is potential for an impact on the NPWS Estate, local environment plans, regional environmental plans, interim development orders, and any other development plans, together with any relevant amendments, should be subject to the consent of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
2. Environmental Impact Statement
Any new development situated within a catchment of, or within 5km of, the National Parks and Wildlife Estate, should be subject to an environmental impact statement under Environment Planning and Assessment Act. The consent of the NPWS, with the concurrence of the Department of Planning (or its equivalent) should be obtained before such a development can proceed, and the NPWS should not give it consent for reasons of political expedience but only if satisfied that environmental impact will be minimal. The requirement for an EIS should of course, apply to subdivisions, whether physically developed or not.
Development should not be permitted where it would cause any form of pollution, including the formation of unnatural drainage lines or unnatural levels of water run-off, within the NPWS Estate.
4. Visual Intrusion
Developments viewed from within the NPWS Estate should be as unobtrusive as possible.
5. Noise Intrusion
No development should be permitted which is likely to produce noise at an unacceptable level at any place within the NPWS Estate.
6. Road Access
No new road access to a development should be provided or permitted through the NPWS Estate, or through proposed reserves under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
7. 8b Lands
Development of lands zoned 8b or equivalent (e.g. zone 6c, Myall Lakes Area Plan, 1975) should not be permitted unless consented to by the NPWS with the concurrence of the Department of Planning or its equivalent.
A developer should be required to take environmentally benign steps to prevent the introduction of, or an invasion by , exotic plants and/or animals into the adjoining NPWS Estate.
Where such an invasion in fact occurs, from an adjoining new development, the exotic species should be totally removed at the expense of the developer, using methods which are acceptable to the NPWS, over a time period considered reasonable by the NPWS.
9. Dependence on the NPWS Estate
The NPWS Estate should be managed for its natural values, not to ensure the financial viability of recreational or tourist developments. Where park visitation is markedly increased due to an adjoining development, controls imposed by the NPWS should be tightened sufficiently to keep impact within acceptable bounds. Where such extra management becomes excessive, fees should be collected from the visitors.
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