4 May, 2019

National parks creation falls off a cliff under Premier Berejiklian

Expansion of the NSW national parks network has virtually stopped under Premier Gladys Berejiklian, new data shows.

Premier Berejiklian has added just 4,200 hectares to the conservation reserve system at an annual average rate of 2,100 hectares, the lowest on record.

“Gladys Berejiklian has added less to the national parks system at a slower rate than any other premier since the National Parks and Wildlife Service was created in 1967,” Nature Conservation Council CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Ms Berejiklian and the NSW Liberals have turned their back on a once-proud Liberal tradition of conservation.”

Pioneering conservationist Liberal premiers Robert Askin, Tom Lewis and Eric Willis added almost 940,000 hectares in the ‘60s and ‘70s at a rate of about 106,600 hectares a year.

Premiers Nick Greiner and John Fahey added 366,800 hectares in the ‘80s and ‘90s at a rate of about 49,350 hectares a year.

Premiers Barry O’Farrell, Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian have added just 76,000 hectares at a rate of 9,450 hectares a year.

Only about 9 per cent of NSW is currently protected in conservation reserves, a little more than half the 17 per cent target Australia has committed to achieve by 2020 under the IUCN Aichi Targets. [1]

“At the current rate it will take centuries for NSW to achieve that target, but our wildlife, landscapes and ecosystems can’t wait that long.

“The Liberals have just given up on nature conservation and are letting the Nationals dictate environment policy for the whole of the state.

“Even existing parks aren’t safe. We’ve seen proposals to degazette the Murray Valley National Park, put a freeway through Royal, flood the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and prioritize the protection of horses over native species in Kosciuszko. 

“Since 2011, Liberal-National governments have slashed National Parks and Wildlife Service funding, legalised a new wave of deforestation, removed protections for koalas, and dramatically intensified logging in public native forests.

“We strongly call on the new minister Matt Kean turn this around by protecting important wild place like the Gardens of Stone Stage 2 and creating the Great Koala National Park on the mid-north coast.” [2]

References

[1] The Australian Government is a signatory to International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Aichi Target 11: By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.

[2] The NSW National Parks Association has developed a list of top 50 reserve priorities called 50 Parks Proposals.  

ABOUT THE DATA

The full analysis is available here. Figures were obtained by Rob Dick (former head of land acquisition at the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service) from formal and informal various sources.

SUMMARY OF DATA

NATIONAL PARKS ADDITIONS 1965 TO 2018

Party

Premier

Years in office

Total hectares

Per annum

Coalition

Bob Askin

1965-1975 (additions only from 1967 i.e., 8 years)

                 781,804

                         120,278

 

Tom Lewis

1975-1976

                 114,862

                         114,862

 

Eric Willis

1976

                   42,344

                           84,688

 

 

Total = 6.5yr+1yr+0.5yr = 8yrs

                 939,010

                         106,609

ALP

Neville Wran

1976-1986

             1,581,315

                         158,131

 

Barrie Unsworth

1986–1988

                 274,849

                         152,694

 

 

Total = 10yr+1.8yr = 11.8yrs

             1,856,164

                         155,413

Coalition

Nick Greiner

1988–1992

                 271,383

                           64,615

 

John Fahey

1992–1995

                   95,399

                           34,071

 

 

Total = 4.2yr+2.8yr = 7yrs

                 366,782

                           49,343

ALP

Bob Carr

1995–2005

             2,069,934

                         202,935

 

Morris Iemma

2005–2008

                 603,284

                         194,608

 

Nathan Rees

2008–2009

                   52,266

                           41,813

 

Kristina Keneally

2009–2011

                 332,494

                         255,765

 

 

Total = 10.2yr+3.1yr+1.25yr+1.3yr = 15.85yrs

             3,057,978

                         231,707

Coalition

Barry O'Farrell

2011–2014

                   27,108

                             9,036

 

Mike Baird

2014–2017

                   44,752

                           17,212

 

Glady Berejiklian

2017-

                      4,183

                             2,092

 

 

Total = 3yr+2.6yr+2yr=7.6yrs

                   76,043

                             9,447

 

NATIONAL PARKS – TOTAL ADDITIONS

Rank

Premier

Years in office

Total hectares

 

1

Bob Carr (ALP)

1995–2005

2,069,934

 

2

Neville Wran (ALP)

1976-1986

1,581,315

 

3

Bob Askin (Lib)

1965-1975

781,804

 

4

Morris Iemma (ALP)

2005–2008

603,284

 

5

Kristina Keneally (ALP)

2009–2011

332,494

 

6

Barrie Unsworth (ALP)

1986–1988

274,849

 

7

Nick Greiner (LIB)

1988–1992

271,383

 

8

Tom Lewis (LIB)

1975-1976

114,862

 

9

John Fahey (LIB)

1992–1995

95,399

 

10

Nathan Rees (ALP)

2008–2009

52,266

 

11

Mike Baird (LIB)

2014–2017

44,752

 

12

Eric Willis (LIB)

1976

42,344

 

13

Barry O'Farrell (LIB)

2011–2014

27,108

 

14

Glady Berejiklian (LIB)

2017-

4,183

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS – RATE OF ADDITIONS

Rank

Premier

Years in office

Hectares per year

 

1

Kristina Keneally (ALP)

2009–2011

255,765

 

2

Bob Carr (ALP)

1995–2005

202,935

 

3

Morris Iemma (ALP)

2005–2008

194,608

 

4

Neville Wran (ALP)

1976-1986

158,131

 

5

Barrie Unsworth (ALP)

1986–1988

152,694

 

6

Bob Askin (LIB)

1965-1975

120,278

 

7

Tom Lewis (LIB)

1975-1976

114,862

 

8

Eric Willis (LIB)

1976

84,688

 

9

Nick Greiner (LIB)

1988–1992

64,615

 

10

Nathan Rees (ALP)

2008–2009

41,813

 

11

John Fahey (LIB)

1992–1995

34,071

 

12

Mike Baird (LIB)

2014–2017

17,212

 

13

Barry O'Farrell (LIB)

2011–2014

9,036

 

14

Glady Berejiklian (LIB)

2017-

2,092

 

 

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