Welcome to Summer 2017

Alix Goodwin, 
CEO, National Parks Association of NSW

This is my first edition of Nature NSW. With a long history of working in government in human services policy, I am on a steep learning curve. The generous induction by Anne Reeves, Ian Donovan, NPA’s brilliant staff and our friends in the environment movement is assisting enormously.

Over the past ten weeks we have been celebrating NPA’s 60th Anniversary in style. Our photographic competition and exhibition was a success with over 400 entries. Some of the short-listed images and the winning photographs are published in our stunning 2018 calendar.

We announced the annual Volunteer Award winners at our 60th celebratory picnic at Lane Cove NP; congratulations Vlad Baklanov, Graham Burgess, Dianne Edmonds, David Gallan, Mark Goodson, Adrian Jones, Bill Propert and Barry Tomkinson. Despite inclement weather, the picnic was attended by over 75 members, staff and friends including Peter Prineas (our first Executive Officer), Dick Mason (our longest serving President), and Members of Parliament Penny Sharpe and Mehreen Faruqi. Thanks to Ted Woodley and his band of volunteers and staff for organising the day.

While NPA is celebrating its 60th anniversary and successful campaigning history, it cannot be assumed that our hard-won national parks are safe. The insatiable pursuit of economic growth by governments and business alike combined with urban expansion means there are very real and imminent threats to our protected areas. These include the shelved-for-now proposal to expand the F6 motorway into the Royal National Park (NP); the proposed Spring Gully eco-tourism development abutting Royal NP; the expected introduction of a private members bill to degazette Murray Valley NP by newly elected MP Austin Evans; advocacy by the timber industry for tenure swaps; the proposal to raise the Warragamba Dam wall; and the impact of previous budget cuts, staff losses, and the current restructuring of National Parks and Wildlife Service.  As the question asked of me recently by the NSW Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan Taskforce demonstrates (“What’s the NPA’s position on development in National Parks”), these threats are without shame and have led us to establish a Protect Our Parks campaign.

Finally, NPA’s annual meeting on 4 November saw the election of a new president, Anne Dickson. With a longstanding commitment to the environment, Anne has been leading the development of our new strategic plan. Congratulations and welcome Anne, and thank you to outgoing President Anne Reeves for the warm welcome to NPA. I am very pleased that we will continue to benefit from Anne’s wisdom, extraordinary knowledge and generosity through her continuing presence on the Executive.

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