Dear Minister Kean
Radiata Plateau – the missing piece in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
We suggest you open your letter with a sentence about your interest in the Blue Mountains environment. For instance
I live in the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains is important to me because….
I am a frequent visitor to the Blue Mountains and the areas is important to me because...
I have a keen interest in the Blue Mountains environment because….
Radiata Plateau is privately owned and is accessed via Pulpit Hill Road, Katoomba, and forms part of the southern Blue Mountains escarpment. It is approximately 300 ha in size, and is currently undeveloped.
I am calling on you Minister Kean to make a landmark conservation decision as newly appointed Minister for the Environment and purchase Radiata Plateau for inclusion in the national park system. The Plateau has just been recently listed for sale on the open market. Urgent action is required - the time to act is now before the opportunity to purchase the Plateau is lost forever. The Plateau needs to be in public ownership to safeguard its biodiversity and heritage values and ensure ongoing public access.
The Plateau is important to me because …
Here is an opportunity to make a personal statement about why the Plateau is important to you and why you want to see the Plateau conserved.
You may want to include some of the following points in your letter.
If you visit the Plateau currently you should include this as well. For instance do you bushwalk, birdwatch, rockclimb or mountain bike on the Plateau? Do you enjoy the scenic views to the Plateau from Cliff Drive or from the Plateau itself?
Or are you a local resident who maybe directly impacted by any future developments??
Or would your local business be impacted if the Plateau was inappropriately developed or if public access was disallowed?
The Plateau has been owned by the transcendental mediation group - Maharishi’s Global Administration Through Natural Law – since the early 1980s. Major developments, including a large conference centre (in the 1990s) and three residential buildings (in 2016), have been proposed by the current owner in the past.
None of these development proposals have proceeded and the Maharishi Board has now decided to sell the property on the open market. I am concerned that while the majority of the Plateau is zoned environment protection, which prohibits intensive development such as residential housing and tourism, some areas are zoned to allow these types of developments. I believe that any private development on the Plateau threatens its values, including loss and fragmentation of native bushland, and will limit ongoing public access. The Plateau remaining in private hands would also leave it vulnerable to re-zoning applications by speculative developers to allow more intensive development.
I understand that the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have recently assessed the property for possible acquisition and inclusion in the national parks system. While the NPWS have been in contact with the current owners, unfortunately no firm offer to purchase has been forthcoming.
I am making an urgent plea that you as Minister for the Environment use your discretion to prioritise the purchase of Radiata Plateau. The Plateau is available to purchase now, and there is a willing vendor whose preference is to sell to the NSW Government for the area to be reserved for conservation and public access. This maybe the last chance to acquire the Plateau – we urge you to make a defining and landmark conservation decision and leave a lasting legacy for the NSW community.
Please add any additional points you wish to make here
Please include your name, address, signature and date