SUTHERLAND Shire Council has joined Wollongong City Council in declaring support for the bid to have UNESCO grant World Heritage Listing to the Royal National Park.
Sutherland Shire Mayor, Kent Johns has written to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage and local members of Parliament, seeking their support.
The move follows a similar move by Wollongong City Council last month, and adds strength to the First National Park campaign group’s push for World Heritage Listing. Both Councils book-end Australia’s oldest national park.
“The Royal National Park is the only significant national park in the world contained within a city,” the Sutherland Mayor said.
“The Park’s 16,000 hectares serve as the ‘lungs of Sydney’ and attract an incredible four million visitors a year so we fully support the campaign to have it World Heritage listed.”
“The Royal National Park boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna and outstanding geology and scenery that is keenly studied by scientists and students at all levels. It also possesses a rich cultural heritage, including many Aboriginal sites and artefacts, which need to be preserved in their natural settings for people to enjoy for generations to come,” Mayor Johns said.
“The Royal National Park is a drawcard for tourists and a World Heritage Listing will no doubt reinforce its place as a popular destination for visitors from around the country and the world.
“In addition to supporting this campaign, council will be seeking advice on whether to put forward Heathcote National Park and Garrawarra State Conservation Area to receive World Heritage Listing,” he said.
A Wollongong City Council spokesperson said councillors have also unanimously supported a proposal for World Heritage Listing for and Royal National Park, Heathcote National Park and Garrawarra State recreation area. Wollongong will now write to both NSW and Federal Ministers for the Environment asking them to support the Council’s recommendation on May 27, which was moved by Greens Councillor Jill Merrin.