NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION OF NSW INC. (NPANSW)
PO Box A96, Sydney South NSW 1235 Ph: (02) 9233 4660 Fax: (02) 9233 4880
Some media releases up to 1 July 1997.


19th May

QUEENSLAND WATER MINISTER SNUBS NSW RIVER CRISIS MEETING
Outstanding Narran Lakes Wetlands Threatened

The National Parks Association of NSW today raised the question whether the Queensland Minister for Water, Mr Harold Hobbs, was snubbing the governments and people of NSW, Victoria and South Australia and avoiding environmental scrutiny by his decision not to attend tomorrow's critical meeting on the health of the Murray Darling River System.

NPA's Executive Officer, Noel Plumb said, "Queensland has a responsibility to protect the river system from irresponsible exploitation by the irrigation industry but Mr Hobbs is avoiding the peak meeting with other water ministers. He is apparently too busy preparing for an overseas trip next week to attend!", said Mr Plumb.

"Is it because he is reluctant to confront the NSW and other Ministers in the important Murray Darling Basin Commission forum?"

Critical issues arising from Queensland's enthusiasm to encourage expansion of irrigation ventures, particularly cotton, in the headwaters of the Murray Darling system are on the table for discussion at tomorrow's Murray Darling Basin Commission meeting at Albury. This is the key forum for the Water Ministers to work out equitable and responsible measures to protect and enhance the health of the Murray Darling River System.

Queensland's actions are at odds with the need to cap new water extraction so as to halt further decline of the Darling Murray River System's health.

Mr Plumb also said, "One of the key issues is the long term health of the tributary Narran Lake system, in the upper part of the Darling Murray just across the border from Queenslandwhich is is under serious threat from Queensland irrigation development upstream."

"The Narran Lakes system is of outstanding heritage significance - both to the Aboriginal peoples of the area and as a wetland habitat and site for native and migratory water birds. The region supports important pastoral properties. The Narran Lakes are on the Register of the National Estate. They are listed in the Australian Wetlands Directory as meeting the requirements as a site of international importance under the Ramsar Convention and this gives Australia a further responsibility for protection."

"All these values stand to be seriously affected by irresponsible upstream water diversions. If Queensland refuses to face its responsibilities to protect the Murray Darling, we call on NSW and the other States to approach the Commonwealth for a combined strategy to stop this nonsense."

For comment please ring: Noel Plumb 018 975 075
A briefing paper on the Narran Lake Wetlands (2 pages) is available on request.


Issued to the press on 30 May, yes we know that someone forgot to put this notice on the page until too late for the meeting. However the arguments are still valid and no doubt will still be needed fro a while yet. The NPA's position is quite simple: land in its natural state that has been given preferential treatment, i.e. granted freely or exempt from rates etc., due to its use for necessary public purposes like education, defence, quarantine, church etc. should be returned to the public for the conservation of nature when no longer needed for that original purpose.

Critical Meeting on Future of North Head - Public Urged to Attend

Community and environment groups forming the North Head Alliance today urged the public to attend the critical meeting on Tuesday evening 1 July to consider the future of North Head, its endangered bandicoot colony and its other irreplaceable natural and historic values which are all threatened by development pressures. (Meeting is 8 pm Tues. 1 July 1997 at Kangaroo St. Hall, Manly - off Raglan St)

"Only public support can stop the shortsighted and the greedy from bulldozing the bandicoots, bulldozing North Head and bulldozing our heritage", said Noel Plumb Executive Officer of the National Parks Association. "People who attend this meeting can ensure that Manly Council, the State Government, Federal Government, the Catholic Church and other North Head property owners get a clear message on the community's concern about the bandicoots and every other aspect of North Head's future."

Chris Thomas of Save St Patricks Estate Action Group said " We have asked prominent people from all sides of the debate to talk to the meeting, including Dr Tim Flannery of the Australian Museum, Tom Uren-Cabinet Minister turned environmentalist, NSW Planning Minister Craig Knowles, Father Brian Lucas of the Catholic Church and Jeff Angel, Director of the Total Environment Centre and Dr Peter Macdonald, MP for Manly."

"The community has an opportunity on Tuesday night to put up their vision for North Head We have a choice and a responsibility but I am sure that we don't want an ill conceived 'convert to cash' vision for this precious and irreplaceable part of Sydney."

Doug Sewell of the Manly Joint Precinct Working Committee said " Only a well thought out planning scheme that looks at North Head as a whole, has genuinely involved the community and clearly addresses the need to protect the natural and historic values will be acceptable. The present muddle of self interest and foot dragging will not safeguard the bandicoots, the landscape or our heritage buildings. Now is the time for the community to demand a clear vision for North Head that will protect all of its values."

For further comment or interviews with speakers: Noel Plumb 9233 4660 or 018 975 075, Chris Thomas 9230 3804(b) or 9977 3314(h) Doug Sewell 9977 6600


22nd June
Critical Meeting on Future of North Head - Public Urged to Attend

Community and environment groups forming the North Head Alliance today urged the public to attend the critical meeting on Tuesday evening 1 July to consider the future of North Head, its endangered bandicoot colony and its other irreplaceable natural and historic values which are all threatened by development pressures.

(Meeting is 8 pm Tues. 1 July 1997 at Kangaroo St. Hall, Manly - off Raglan St)

"Only public support can stop the shortsighted and the greedy from bulldozing the bandicoots, bulldozing North Head and bulldozing our heritage", said Noel Plumb Executive Officer of the National Parks Association. "People who attend this meeting can ensure that Manly Council, the State Government, Federal Government, the Catholic Church and other North Head property owners get a clear message on the community's concern about the bandicoots and every other aspect of North Head's future."

Chris Thomas of Save St Patricks Estate Action Group said " We have asked prominent people from all sides of the debate to talk to the meeting, including Dr Tim Flannery of the Australian Museum, Tom Uren-Cabinet Minister turned environmentalist, NSW Planning Minister Craig Knowles, Father Brian Lucas of the Catholic Church and Jeff Angel, Director of the Total Environment Centre and Dr Peter Macdonald, MP for Manly."

"The community has an opportunity on Tuesday night to put up their vision for North Head We have a choice and a responsibility but I am sure that we don't want an ill conceived 'convert to cash' vision for this precious and irreplaceable part of Sydney."

Doug Sewell of the Manly Joint Precinct Working Committee said " Only a well thought out planning scheme that looks at North Head as a whole, has genuinely involved the community and clearly addresses the need to protect the natural and historic values will be acceptable. The present muddle of self interest and foot dragging will not safeguard the bandicoots, the landscape or our heritage buildings. Now is the time for the community to demand a clear vision for North Head that will protect all of its values."

For further comment or interviews with speakers: Noel Plumb 9233 4660 or 018 975 075, Chris Thomas 9230 3804(b) or 9977 3314(h) Doug Sewell 9977 6600


This one is a media alert 1st July

Hong Kong to China ? - North Head To The Developers?
North Head Landscape and Bandicoots at Risk, Public Rally 1 July 1997

Speakers:

Questions:

What is the vision for North Head? Be there to hear the answers!
8 pm Tuesday 1 July 1997, Kangaroo St Hall, Manly (off Raglan St)

For interviews with organisers or speakers
Noel Plumb - Executive Officer NPA 018 975 075
For photo opps, setting up TV cameras, etc.


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