Role of Government

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)

Statutory Responsibilities
History of NPWS Involvement

NPWS position on Renewal of Leases

Statutory responsibilities:

  1. the protection and conservation of the native flora and fauna of New South Wales,
  2. the protection and care of Aboriginal sites and,
  3. where appropriate the acquisition and management of an - adequate and. representative conservation reserve system, as national parks and native reserves

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History of NPWS Involvement

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)) has demonstrated its long-standing interest in Wingecarribee Swamp. This interest commenced when the swamp's conservation values were first identified by early natural resource surveys carried out by NSW Fauna Protection Panel, CSIRO, NPWS and Royal Botanic Gardens staff as being of high conservation value in the mid to late 1960's.

The establishment of a nature reserve over the Wingecarribee Swamp was first proposed by the Fauna Panel in the early 1960s and again by the NPWS in 1968. Due to a number of factors including the transfer of tenure from the NSW Lands Department to the Sydney Water Board, the construction of Wingecarribee Dam, objections from the Department of Mineral Resources and their approval of mining leases over the swamp, it was not possible to proceed to gazettal of a nature reserve. It was anticipated in l 992 that upon the expiry of the mining leases the nature reserve proposal could be finalised.

The NPWS has over the years maintained the objective to establish a nature reserve at the earliest possible date and has continued to pursue this objective to the present time.

Corporatisation of the Water Board, establishing the Sydney Water Corporation (SWC) further delayed consideration of the nature reserve proposal. Under the Corporatisation Act, the NPWS and SWC were to be joint sponsors of plans of management for all designated "Special Areas" around SWC reservoirs and Wingecarribee Swamp.

A draft plan of management has been prepared for Wingecarribee Swamp (1995/96). It was developed with the consideration that any management actions carried out are done 50 within the context of the swamp becoming a nature reserve in the short-term.

NPWS has objected to the renewal of the leases because of the now very well documented scientific, natural, cultural, historical, palynological, conservation and education values of the swamp, as well as the long-term proposal for the establishment of a nature reserve over the swamp.

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National Parks and Wildlife Service, Submission to the Mining Wardens Inquiry into Possible Renewal of Mining Leases for the Extraction of Peat from Wingecarribee Swamp, 1997, Exhibit 23, pp. 3-4.


This site has been designed, researched and produced by Sharon Beder

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