Date: 10.5.10
The Hon Frank Sartor
Minister for the Environment
Dear Mr Sartor
The Clarence Environment Centre is seriously concerned about your meeting this afternoon to discuss future
development within National Parks, something to which we are fundamentally opposed.
While we are sure some 'select' environment groups have been invited to attend, this meeting, which we
understand will determine future directions, the subject matter was not made known to others until now. We
believe that at the very least the wider environment movement, the greatest supporters of national parks,
should have been advised and given the opportunity to comment on the specific aspects to be discussed.
The proposed "National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Sustainable Tourism) Bill 2010" has clearly been
compiled by developers, and the attendance of the number one developer lobby group, The Transport and
Tourism Association, confirms this. The fact that that organisations has any involvement at all is of serious
concern to us.
Any developer activity in National Parks will be, first and foremost, about making money, with
environmental considerations coming in a poor last. That desired outcome will ensure the end to free entry,
with areas set aside for the exclusive use of 'customers'. The developers will naturally target the more
spectacular areas within the parks, access to which will be excluded to all but a paying clientele.
We believe that the introduction of a National Park Development Bill, would ensure that NSW Labor will
lose its green credentials for ever, and with them the next election.
We have been assured that 'tourism' does not mean big game hunting as it occurs in some African National
Parks; but it is nevertheless, undefined. Will it mean casinos, marinas or other ecologically damaging resort
style enterprises.
The thought of wilderness areas potentially being opened up for commercial use and occupation is
untenable. The legislation will allow retail outlets, trinket shops selling foreign made souvenirs, junk food
outlets ensuring the spread of rubbish, sporting facilities (ski lodges, dive centres and the like), and private
conference centres for highflying executives looking for tax deductions. And what tourist resort would be
complete without an international standard golf course and Olympic sized swimming pool to encourage their
attendance.
In short, we believe national parks are there to conserve and enhance the natural environment, and provide
non-exclusive enjoyment for all. Therefore we are vigorously opposed to any move to change those values.
Yours sincerely,
John Edwards
Honorary Secretary - Clarence Environment Centre
CLARENCE ENVIRONMENT CENTRE
31 Skinner Street
South Grafton 2460
Phone/ Fax: 02 6643 1863