Masked Devils Masked Devils  (Alan Page)
Our mission is to help protect, conserve, and advocate for, the natural environment of the Greater Blue Mountains.
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October 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.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Although the Society has recommenced its bushwalking and other activities, a close eye is being kept on the pandemic. NSW Government Guidelines are being observed.

For further information about COVID‑19, please refer to the NSW and Australian Government websites -

NSW Health website   &   Australian Government Health website


How Are Our National Parks Recovering
After The Unprecedented Fires Of‑2019‑20?
- zoom talk Sunday 1st Nov. - details below -
Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby  (Ian Brown)
The 2019‑20 fires burnt over 65% (698,000 hectares) of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Over 116 million animals, birds and reptiles were impacted.

Across Australia an unimaginable almost 3 billion native vertebrates were impacted (143 million mammals●2.46 billion reptiles●180 million birds ●51 million frogs)

Hear from National Parks and Wildlife Services Director for Blue Mountains, David Crust on what NPWS is doing to assist recovery in our national parks.

NPWS are facing multiple challenges from the fires, the following heavy rains and preparing for future fire seasons.

In this time of COVID the Society will hold a number of online talks.

When:  4pm Sunday 1 November (one hour)

Register here:  gos@bluemountains.org.au - You will receive a ZOOM Link before the day.

Please submit your questions by 30 October at: gos@bluemountains.org.au


Goodbye Lachlan Garland - environmental warrior
Lachlan Garland Lachlan Garland  (Alan Page)
The Blue Mountains community is mourning the recent passing of well known local environmental advocate Lachlan Garland.

Lachlan was a passionate, committed and hardworking volunteer dedicated to defending and conserving the beautiful Blue Mountains environment, as well as actively campaigning on national environmental issues.

Lachlan was a long standing member of the Society and held various roles on our Management Committee, notably President (2011, 2012 and 2019), Membership Secretary and National Parks Officer, as well as being an active member of the Land Use Subcommittee.

Here's the Gazette article.

Here's the full version of our obituary.


Katoomba Airfield
- lease decision being reconsidered -
Helicopters of the Grose Wilderness Is this the future of the of the Grose Wilderness?
The Society was disturbed to read in an email from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE – Crown Lands) sent to a Blue Mountains resident in August this year, that it is intending to -

"make a fresh decision on whether or not a lease should be granted" to Fly Blue Management Pty Ltd for the establishment of a commercial recreational aviation hub at the airfield."

The reason given -

"The review found that the mandatory steps in the consultation process were followed, but found that the outcomes of public meetings, stakeholder meetings, drop-in community information sessions and consultation with government agencies were not adequately captured in the ‘Summary of Consultation Outcomes’ document."

The review referred to above was requested by the Secretary of the DPIE after the lease proponent complained to the DPIE regarding the fairness of the community consultation in the decision to refuse their lease application. The Commissioner of Crown Lands was tasked with carrying out the review of the consultation process up to but not including the decision itself, with a view for possible improvements in future consultations and decision-making.

Here is the Commissioner's Report.

And in an email from Crown Lands to another resident –

“A further report “(Addendum to the Summary of Consultation Outcomes’) has been prepared to consider the further information that could have been included in the outcomes document. This report will be published on the Department’s website.
The decision regarding the lease application will be made after feedback from the proponents and will include consideration of the ‘Addendum to the Summary Of Consultation Outcomes’ report.
To the extent that feedback from Fly Blue will present any argument that could materially alter the prior decision, this will depend on what response we receive”

This addendum document has now been published on the Crown Lands website and is provided here.

However, no indication of the department’s intention to reconsider the lease decision can be found on their website. Nor are the community being asked to comment further.

No Scenic Flights Banner
The proposed lease attracted 1,582 written submissions during the public consultation period ending 4th August 2019, with more than 85 per cent opposing it.

A petition with 12,200 signatures was presented to state parliament and was discussed in the Legislative Assembly on 1 August 2019. The petition asked -

"the Legislative Assembly to incorporate the Katoomba Airfield into the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area to be managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as an emergency airfield".

This was the position of the Society in their submission to the DPIE – Crown Lands and has been the Society’s position since the 1990s.

In June 2020 the Society sent a letter to The Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, echoing this petition and asking for the airfield to be incorporated into the surrounding national park. No reply has yet been received.

In early September 2020, the Society sent a letter to The Secretary of the DPIE, Mr Jim Betts, requesting clarification around reconsideration of the lease decision, with no response to date.

In a August 10 Gazette article, mention was made by the lease proponent that “the department had had the company’s business plan since January 2019”. However the plan has never been made public, especially the number of flights per day. Only the intended inbound and outbound flight paths were disclosed at the department’s drop-in community consultation sessions in June 2019. These flight paths indicated areas impacted would include the Megalong & Kanimbla Valleys, Shipley Plateau, Mt Blackheath, the upper Grose Valley including Fortress Ridge, Lockley’s Pylon and The Blue Gum Forest. A flight path over Lake Woodford would enter the Grose Valley and on to the airfield from the east.

A September 8 Gazette article quotes The Society’s President, Ms Tara Cameron stating “it appears that the future of Katoomba Airfield will now be decided on again, but this time unfairly without community input”.

The Society has very recently written to the Minister for the Environment, Matt Kean, requesting the opening of discussions between Crown Lands and NPWS for the incorporation of the airfield into the national park estate. We look forward to a positive response to our correspondence.

We don’t know when Crown Lands will deliver a decision following the lease decision reappraisal and consequently we continue to encourage all those with concerns to write to :

Please send a copy to our local State member of Parliament, Ms Trish Doyle, at bluemountains@parliament.nsw.gov.au or 5 Raymond Rd Springwood NSW 2777

It would also assist to send a copy to :

Some worthwhile points to make are:

More information will be provided as it comes to light.


The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan
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.


NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry
Old Man Banksia Mt. Hay Road - March 2020  (Alan Page)
(click the image to see a larger version)
The NSW Government has commissioned an Independent Inquiry into the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season.

Here's the Society's submission to the inquiry.

Our submission includes twenty recommendations that range from

Contributors to the submission included Peter & Judy Smith, Ian Brown, Ian Baird, Margaret Baker and Madi Maclean.

Submissions closed on Friday 22 May 2020.


Bushfires
Old Man Banksia Old Man Banksia  (Alan Page)
(click the image to see a larger version)
Our Bushfires webpage contains a detailed analysis of the bushfires and their impact on the Greater Blue Mountains - including maps, an assessment of areas burnt and the loss of wildlife. This analysis was prepared by Peter Smith.

Initial information on recovery and What You Can Do is there, plus some articles on Firefighting written by Ian Brown.

We have also gathered credible articles and provide links to these.

All the bushfire information that was on the home page, is now on this webpage.



© 2020  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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