Labor pledges to further build the NSW National Parks Estate – as World Parks Congress gathers in Sydney

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As the once in a decade World Parks Congress convenes in Sydney, NSW Labor Leader John Robertson and Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley have today committed to major additions to the New South Wales national parks estate under a future Labor Government – and challenged the Liberal and National Parties to match Labor’s commitments.

“Today I issue a formal Declaration of Labor’s Commitment to Building the New South Wales National Parks Estate,” Mr Robertson said.

“Labor is committed to building a fully comprehensive, adequate and representative public reserve system in New South Wales.”

In releasing the Declaration, Labor has outlined its priorities for additions and extensions to the state’s national parks – while noting that the job of building the public reserve system in New South Wales is incomplete.

These priorities include:

  • unrepresented ecosystems and habitats, particularly those most under threat from climate change, future development pressures or loss of natural river flows
  • wetlands, floodplains, lakes and rivers
  • critical landscape corridors which facilitate the daily and seasonal movement of animals across the landscape
  • lands within important water catchments
  • culturally important places with aesthetic, historic, scientific or social value, with particular focus on places of cultural importance to Aboriginal people

“Labor in government added 3.07 million hectares of land to the national parks estate between 1995 and 2011. To date, the current Coalition Government has added only 51,490 hectares of land to the national parks estate since coming to office in March 2011,” Mr Foley said.

“At this rate, it will take this government 228 years to match what Labor did in sixteen years.”

The Declaration also makes clear that Labor is opposed to commercial logging, amateur hunting and grazing of hoofed animals in our national parks estate.

These activities are incompatible with the management of public reserves for the conservation of our native flora and fauna, and will not be allowed to occur under a New South Wales Labor Government.

“We celebrate the conservation achievement of the New South Wales national parks system,” Mr Robertson said.

“We pledge to build on the work of former New South Wales Labor governments and commit a future Labor Government to enhance this network.

“We challenge our political opponents to match the commitments that Labor makes in this Declaration.”

National Parks Declaration