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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

13 April 2005

Decision on emergency heritage listing on Illawarra and Woronora


Applications to include three places on the Illawarra Escarpment and the Woronora Plateau in the National Heritage List under the emergency listing provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act have not been successful.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has accepted departmental advice that the Nepean River between Douglas Park and Menangle, the Dendrobium Mine Project Site and 22 Illawarra Escarpment Mine Sites do not meet the requirements for emergency listing under the federal environmental law.

"I am advised that the Illawarra Escarpment and Woronora Plateau, of which the mine sites are a part, may have National Heritage value for their high species richness but this value is not under threat," Senator Campbell said.

"Species richness in the Dendrobium Mine area is already protected under federal environmental law by a previous decision under the Act."

Senator Campbell said that while clearing for housing development was a possible future threat for the 22 Illawarra mine sites, the only current development application before local government did not involve clearing.

"The Nepean River between Douglas Park and Menangle, on the evidence available to my department at this time, does not have National Heritage values," he said.

"However, all three places are included in an existing nomination for national heritage for the Wara-n'hayara Plateau Area, which the Australian Heritage Council is currently assessing for its National Heritage values.

"On 10 February 2005, I asked the Australian Heritage Council to assess this standard nomination and this process is under way.

"The legislation allows 12 months for the Council to provide me with their assessment of these places."

Applications to emergency list places on the National Heritage List are made directly to the Minister. Emergency listing provides a process for the Minister to protect places with outstanding heritage value to the nation that are under threat.

Further information about Australia's national heritage system can be found at www.deh.gov.au/heritage/national

Media Contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos (02) 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia