The NSW government has a plan to privatize parts of the Kosciuszko National Park by allowing a massive expansion of commercial tourist developments. The plan would include a 40% increase in overnight accommodation, new carparks, and helicopter transport into resorts. Also included is a parody of a Japanese onsen – with bathing facilities heated by gas!
The Park is already under extreme environmental stress from the impacts of climate change, fires, feral horses and the large scale clearance and construction works by the Snowy 2 project.
There’s a further major threat to Kosciuszko and other National Parks: –a plan to move responsibility for National Parks away from Matt Kean, the Environment Minister, to Nationals leader John Barilaro and his Department of Regional NSW.
Barilaro has already been responsible for damaging Kosciuszko by legislating to outlaw strategies to reduce feral horse numbers in the park. Giving him control of National Parks would add to the Nationals’ Ministerial power base in NSW which already includes water, agriculture, mining development, transport, housing, mental health, women and education.
There is an opportunity for us to have our say before 23 August. The National Parks Association has created a submission guide and there’s a video by the Nature Conservation Council.
To make a submission you don’t have to be an expert –the park needs ordinary people to speak out against it being turned into an unsustainable commercial development for the high end of the tourist market.
You can focus on the things you feel connected to in the park – for example if you love the snow fields and you know the impacts of climate change on them, or perhaps you love walking in wild places, or you understand the importance of national parks to protect biodiversity.
Please use the submission guide to inform your submission, but write in your own words. Submissions need to be ‘unique’ so they are not regarded as a group submission.