O'Farrell establishes inquiry into National Parks: River red gums and northern NSW forests at risk


National parks in NSW are under threat, with the O'Farrell Government initiating a parliamentary inquiry into conservation areas – with river red gum forests and northern NSW forests as their top targets.

Three government members and one Shooters and Fishers Party member have moved for the Upper House inquiry into national parks and public land management.

"I challenge Premier O'Farrell to categorically rule out any roll backs to national park reservations in NSW today," Shadow Environment Minister, Luke Foley said.

"The terms of reference for the O'Farrell Government's Upper House inquiry read like a hit list of national parks and conservation areas – with the river red gums and northern NSW icons at the very top.

"I have consistently predicted the O'Farrell Government would try to roll back river red gum national park protections and it appears this inquiry is being used to justify exactly that.

"In Opposition, the Coalition fought Labor's historic protections for the river red gum forests and northern NSW icons every step of the way.

"The former Labor Government protected more than 100,000 hectares of river red gum forest and wetlands in 2010, following independent findings by the Natural Resources Commission that the forests were under severe stress, with many trees dead or dying.

"The Member for Murray-Darling, John Williams has admitted lobbying Premier O'Farrell to allow loggers into the river red gum national parks.

"The National Party are running riot and the Premier is giving them the green light to do as they please by winding back environmental protections.

"Our State's world class network of conservation reserves must not be destroyed because of the O'Farrell Government's war on the environment."