|Green Light for Developers in Kosciuszko|
MEDIA RELEASE 21 FEBRUARY 2001
Green Light for Developers in Kosciuszko
The National Parks Association calls on the Government to retain the NPWSs overall responsibilities for planning and roads in Kosciuszko, following the release of the Walker report yesterday.
The proposed changes will put the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning in charge of large developments and sewerage services and give a role to the Land and Environment Court.
"This will accelerate development of the alpine park", said Andrew Cox, National Parks Association of NSW Executive Officer.
"It proves that once big business has an interest in a national park, conservation gets pushed to the bottom."
"The Government is using the Thredbo landslide as a cloak to make intrusive developments easier. These changes bear no relationship to landslides."
"One example currently before the Government is the $140million 1320 bed expansion proposed by Perisher Blue centred on a large flat car park at Perisher."
"NPA doesnt oppose changes to the resort planning system and road management. NPWS needs to constantly ensure that the best advice is being sought and best practice is being implemented. But this can be achieved while the Minister for the Environment and the NPWS retains full control", said Mr Cox.
"Once the RTA get hold of roads within national parks, there is no guarantee they wont be straightened and widened, and speed limits raised."
"NPA will be opposing the weakening of the NPWS planning role in Kosciuszko National Park and NPA is reviewing its legal options in relation to this.
"Removal of the roads from the park will require an Act of Parliament, and we will seek the support of as many Parliamentarians as possible."
"Looking at the big picture, the ski resorts are located in Australias most sensitive environment: the alpine region. They are not like any other town, but seasonal accommodation."
"Greater emphasis should be placed on reducing the environmental impacts from the resorts, increasing reliance on the ski-tube and using accommodation outside the national park, such as in Jindabyne".
"Otherwise Kosciuszko National Park is doomed", concluded Mr Cox.
Contact: Andrew Cox 9299 0000 or 0438 588 040
21 February 2001
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