Foley Budget Reply: Labor bids to list Royal National Park for World Heritage Listing

In Parliament | 22.06.17

A Foley Labor Government will move to list the Royal National Park for World Heritage listing, and ensure it is protected from the ravages of the reckless Berejiklian-Barilaro state government. 

If elected, a Labor government would guarantee no roads will ever encroach on Australia’s oldest national park that dates back to 1879 and is a mecca for our citizens and tourists, a refuge for hundreds of plant and animal species, and 300 species of birds. 

Mr Foley made the commitment in his Budget Reply speech to the NSW Parliament today, during which he outlined his vision for a NSW with a secure energy supply, much of it from renewable sources, and pledge to protect the environment. 

Mr Foley’s promise comes just days after it was revealed that the Liberal National Government was secretly planning to bulldoze through 60 hectares to make way for the M6 motorway connecting the Illawarra to Sydney. 

The Royal National Park is a 16,000-hectare home to one of the richest concentrations of plant species in temperate Australia, a prime habitat for native wildlife, and a well-preserved segment of the original environment of the Sydney Basin. 

In addition to its conservation values, the Royal National Park has exceptional values for Aboriginal cultural heritage, as well as for education, scientific, and recreation purposes due its long history as a protected area and its accessibility to urban centres. 

Labor’s bid to secure World Heritage listing would put it on a similar footing as the Blue Mountains and other internationally-recognised areas of cultural and environmental significance such as the Serengeti in Kenya and Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.  

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“The Royal National Park is the second oldest anywhere in the world, after Yellowstone in the United States. The Americans wouldn’t entertain an idea as silly as this. Not even President Donald J. Trump would plough a motorway through Yellowstone. 

“As the party that built the finest national park system in the world here in New South Wales Labor won’t have a bar of a toll road being carved through our state’s  most visited national park. 

“We will save one of the most special natural places on earth, the Royal National Park, from the Liberals.”  

Quotes attributable Shadow Environment Minister Penny Sharpe 

The Berejiklian Government has secret proposal to get rid of 60 hectares of the Royal National Park to make way for the proposed F6 Extension, under a plan that was produced without public consultation and highlights the Government’s reckless and destructive approach to the natural environment of New South Wales. 

“It’s clear that the such important landscapes need protection from the reckless assaults on our urban and natural environment which are the defining characteristic of this Government.”