Dharawal a National Park

THE gazettal of Dharawal National Park on 26 march 2012 climaxed a community campaign which started in the 1980s. The 6500 hectare conservation area on Sydney’s southern fringe would be protected to the centre of the Earth, preventing mining taking place beneath it.

‘‘Knowing what BHP had planned for Dharawal, I really thought national park status was the impossible dream,’’ said secretary of the Georges River Alliance, Sharyn Cullis.

‘‘Dharawal was virtually an invisible landscape, with rich coking coal underneath already ‘granted’ by lease to BHP. ‘‘Who, honestly, would dare think it had any future [as a national park]?

‘‘It was set to become the shattered and desiccated collateral damage of a mining project.’’

Ms Cullis said that groups such as Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society, the Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance and the National Parks Association, Southern Sydney branch, were very much a part of the campaign.

Oatley Flora & Fauna members at  November 2011 River Health Testing

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