Council to quiz state government on World Heritage nomination for Royal National Park

Swamp wallabies in Royal National Park. Picture: D Finnegan, Office of Environment and Heritage

Swamp wallabies in Royal National Park. Picture: D Finnegan, Office of Environment and Heritage

Sutherland Shire Council will ask the state government to explain the delay in the proposed nomination of the Royal National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The move follows claims by the Greens the process has stalled because  the government may extend the F6 motorway through the park.

Labor councillor Ray Plibersek moved at the meeting on Monday night the council write to Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton requesting advice on the government’s intentions and the status of the bid.

“We need to find out what’s happening with this proposal that is now over four years old,” he said.

Cr Kent Johns, who is also president of the NSW Liberal Party, said the move to nominate the park as a World Heritage site was one of the first acts of the Liberal government.

It had been supported since then by former Environment Minister Mark Speakman and his successor, Ms Upton.

“Council should also be aware that UNESCO submissions take several years,” Cr Johns said.

“I understand it’s going through.

“It is not as straight forward as writing off and saying we want a world heritage listing.”

Cr Plibersek agreed to accept an amendment to his motion, thanking Mr Speakman and the government for supporting the proposal.

The amended motion was passed unanimously.

Ms Upton told Fairfax Media in August the government was “reviewing advice on the matter”.

The F6 extension could run through part of Royal National Park.

The F6 extension could run through part of Royal National Park.

Concerns about the nominations were raised after the revelation the government was considering acquiring 60 hectares of the park for the proposed F6 extension.

Mr Speakman has said that if any part of the park was needed for the F6, it would be compensated for by the acquisition of new parcels of land.