I write to you in your capacity as Member for Northern Tablelands and as a Minister of the current NSW Parliamentary Cabinet to express my concerns relating to the proposed opening up of the Murray Valley national park to logging.
The Guardian and other national news circulars reported on Thursday, July 11, that the
Deputy Premier, the Hon. (John) Giovanni Domenic Barilaro MP had vowed to members of the NSW Nationals Party (which I note you are a member of) that he would open up the Murray Valley national park for logging.
This proposal greatly concerns me - It is ridiculous and irresponsible.
The conservation area in question is known for its river red gum forests (largest forest of this kind in the world) and is home to several threatened species and a Ramsar-listed wetland - all of which would be further threatened if this proposal became reality.
If this were to proceed, this would be the first time in NSW history that a national park was revoked, going against every rationale for having national parks and conservation areas in the first place. The precedent that the approval of this proposal would trigger is disastrous, and simply cannot occur - how long would it be until other parks were up for de-gazetting?
I urge you to pledge to block this proposal within the confines of your Party and if it is tabled for discussion in Cabinet. Our National Parks need to be protected from environmental vandals like Barilaro.
Clr Debra O'Brien
President - Armidale Branch
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch)