Leave Radiata Plateau Wild
Leave Radiata Plateau Wild  (Robert Linigen) - now bought by the NSW Government
Blue Mountains Conservation Society
Our mission is to help conserve the natural environment of the Greater Blue Mountains
and to increase awareness of the natural environment in general.
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December edition
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Current Campaigns & Events

See more on our Campaigns and Events webpages.

Recent Society Submissions & Letters

See more on our Submissions webpage.

Blue Mountains Bushfires & Air Quality
Ruined Castle Bushfire Ruined Castle Bushfire and Gypsy Lady
with the Three Sisters on the right  (Alan Page)
The Ruined Castle bushfire in the Upper Blue Mountains has burnt more than 7,000ha.

NSW bushfires can be tracked at Fires Near Me. This is the information residents should monitor and act on.

In addition, there's Digital Earth Australia Hotspots which is a national bushfire monitoring system that uses satellite sensors to detect areas producing high levels of infrared radiation. Here's a user guide for the hotspots website gratefully prepared by Margaret and Nathaniel Baker.

The smoke from this and several other fires in the Greater Blue Mountains can be a health hazard.

Air quality stations were installed in Lithgow, Katoomba, Wentworth Falls and Springwood in May 2019. The project is known as KOALA Blue Mountains (Knowing Our Ambient Local Air-Quality) and shows the quality of air in those locations.

Extinction Rebellion logo
Many of our members are participating in the Extinction Rebellion.

This article in The Age newspaper explains why.

For more information, go to our Climate Change webpage.

Mick Dark Talk
Dr Joëlle Gergis presented the 2019 Mick Dark Talk on 15 November.

Photos of the evening can be viewed here.

Great Western Highway Duplication - Blackheath
Transport for NSW
is holding a meeting
regarding the GWH upgrade

Blackheath Community Hall
6pm Tuesday 10 December

Double B Coming our way?
Proposals for the duplication of the Great Western Highway (GWH) have now been released by the Roads & Maritime Services (RMS).

Information Sessions have begun - see below.

The Transport for NSW website's Have Your Say Facility closes on Monday16th December.

As reported in the Gazette plans to duplicate the highway between Katoomba and Lithgow have been revealed and involve tunnels, bridges and no encroachment on the National Park.

Under the proposals released by the RMS on November 7:

Information Sessions have started.

More information is in this RMS flyer.

Here's a statement from the Blackheath HWY Action Group website

None of the NSW State Government's four options are acceptable to Blackheath. All of them would destroy forever the village atmosphere of our town. Their short term strategy would allow for monstrous vehicles on a four lane (plus) highway to move through/under Blackheath and all the towns and villages of the Blue Mountains.

We need to shout this out!

For more information, go to the Blackheath HWY Action Group website.

Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
by Judy, Peter and Kate Smith
Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
This new book describes the World Heritage Area’s environment and fauna habitats.

The status, local distribution and ecology of each of the 432 native fauna species recorded in the area since European settlement are detailed. This remarkable fauna includes 68 mammal, 254 bird, 74 reptile and 36 frog species. A checklist summarises the local distribution of each species.

Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area contains over 200 colour photographs taken by Peter and over 20 illustrations of selected animals by Kate.

A few animals are now gone from the Greater Blue Mountains and are known only from the writings of early explorers and travellers or from traces left in skeletal remains.

A growing number of local fauna species, at last count 73 species, are considered to be threatened. See the Society's Threatened Species webpage.

This 172 page book is available from the authors (smitheco@ozemail.com.au) or from bookshops throughout the Blue Mountains.

Here's more information.

Leave Radiata Plateau Wild

Radiata Plateau has been bought by the NSW Government

Radiata Plateau Radiata Plateau from the Megalong Valley  (Alan Page)
The NSW Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean, has announced the NSW Government’s purchase of Radiata Plateau for incorporation into the national park system.

Here's -

  * Minister Kean's media release

  * Sydney Morning Herald article

  * Blue Mountains Gazette article

We are absolutely delighted by this news and would like to congratulate Minister Kean on his decision to purchase the Plateau for inclusion in the national park system, thus safeguarding its future.

This landmark decision is a major win for the environment, and for the Blue Mountains community.

It has been the strong community and environmental support that has maintained the pressure on the Minister and we would like to thank everyone who participated in Leave Radiata Plateau Wild: writing letters, attending rallies, participating in videos, hanging banners and placards, and so much more, to advocate for the protection of this unique area. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

Thank you!

For more information visit our Leave Radiata Plateau Wild website.

Katoomba Airfield Lease
cartoon courtesy of Greg Gaul cartoon courtesy of Greg Gaul
Katoomba Airfield is a public land inholding in the Blue Mountains National Park sitting above the Grand Canyon and Grose valley.

There is a long history of agreement from Blue Mountains City Council, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Crown Lands that the airfield should be incorporated into the Blue Mountains National Park with continued use for emergency purposes.

Instead the Dept. of Industry is considering granting a commercial lease over the airfield to a private aviation tourism company for things such as helicopter scenic flights.

A petition with over 12,000 signatures has been presented to state parliament and was discussed on 1 August.

The public submission period closed on the 4 August with over 1,500 submissions being received by the Dept.

At its 27 August meeting, the Blue Mountains City Council voted against a commercial lease.

The final decision will be published here.

For more information, visit our Katoomba Airfield Lease webpage or that of the Katoomba Airfield Community Group.

Site clearing on Bodington Hill
for ‘Flora and Fauna Park’
Land Clearing Land Clearing  (courtesy Blue Mountains Gazette)
Earlier this year, up to 4ha of native vegetation and trees was clear-felled on Bodington Hill, Wentworth Falls (next to Dillinger’s Nursery).

This is the site of the controversial ‘Flora and Fauna Park’ which was the subject of a major community campaign opposing the development 30 years ago. "The Croc Park".

The developer told the Blue Mountains Gazette that the plan is for a $30 million dollar "five to six star" wildlife park development with 40 hotel rooms,

Here's more information on this, the "Zombie DA" that underpins it and the Society's actions.

Destination Pagoda
Lost City Lost City  (Henry Gold)
Our Destination Pagoda movie was shown to a full house at Mount Vic Flicks on 2 July.

We are now reviewing options for the next screening.

To support the Destination Pagoda vision for a Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area, write a letter to the Hon. Paul Toole, Member for Bathurst and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, seeking his support for our detailed reserve establishment plan called Destination Pagoda. Mr. Toole’s electorate includes the Gardens of Stone unprotected area.

Here's how to send a letter.

It's very important that Mr. Toole hears from supporters on this proposal. The proposal is at a critical time.

Destination Pagoda proposes a world class tourism and conservation reserve on Lithgow’s doorstep. A new reserve, called the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area, will complete Myles Dunphy’s visionary 1932 Blue Mountains National Park scheme.

A key design element of Destination Pagoda is the creation of low-key visitor opportunities close to Lithgow beside upgraded existing road access linked to the town. The gentle plateau terrain with its distinctive pagoda rocks contain many sites for a variety of family-suitable, low-key visitor facilities that combine to give Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone great potential to attract visitors interested in experiencing nature.

The beauty of the Destination Pagoda scheme is that new visitor facilities can be established beside pagoda landscapes of great scenic beauty around Lithgow that are need of restoration and rehabilitation, while more remote, pristine landscapes are protected.

The forests next to Lithgow are amongst the most diverse in NSW and contain 84 threatened plant and animal species, including the Blue Mountains Water Skink and Giant Dragonfly, as well as 16 rare and threatened communities. They deserve effective conservation management by the NPWS.

Visit our Gardens of Stone webpages.