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Bushwalk delights warrant state park protection

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

If you have a few spare hours one weekend in Spring visit Sydney's urban bushland - the wonderful array of wildflowers is stunning.

Yesterday I enjoyed the bush colours and the expansive views on a bushwalk around the Narrabeen Lagoon catchment. Just 45 minutes from the city it is impressive how much of the bush is still pristine. The worry is however, that only some of the 55 square kilometres are protected in the Garigal National Park.

On top of one of the ridges we came across a large stand of waratahs. As I have not seen our state flower in the bush for over a decade, this was a treat.

Greens Warringah Councillor Conny Harris, who lead the walk, explained the need to achieve permanent environmental protection for this bushland. The threats from over development are real, and already severe erosion mars some tracks due to motorbike use.

Back in 2005 the then Environment Minister Bob Debus promised that 446 hectares of crown land in the catchment would be protected but this never happened.

In a long running campaign Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment have been calling for the land to be protected in a regional or state park.

Such protection is needed. On our walk we saw many Aboriginal rock carvings and the area is home to a number of threatened species and ecological communities.

Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment is a great organisation. Another project they launched to study road kill on Wakehurst Parkway and other main roads resulted in a fence being built along a section of the road. Deaths of native animals has since dropped.

This area is the Coalition's heartland. They should stop taking the locals and the environment for granted and provide the necessary protection for the rich natural heritage on their doorstep.

Conny Harris and her fellow Greens Councillor on Warringah Council, Christina Kirsch, are doing great local work.

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