The Liberals, Nationals and Labor have voted down a Greens' motion calling on the NSW state government to extend national park protection for the Gardens of Stone in the Greater Blue Mountains.
NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said "Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals have sided with coal companies and the Baird government in refusing to support the growing call for an expansion of national park protection for the Gardens of Stone.
"Labor and the Coalition are keen to promote an environmental friendly image for their parties but when given the opportunity to take a meaningful stand they fail.
"There is a strong case for the Gardens of Stone National Park to be extended. It is currently an incomplete park and the environmental protection is needed to stop the damaging effects of coal mining.
"For the Labor, Liberals and National parties there is no limits to their eagerness to cosy up to coal miners.
"Greens NSW environment spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi has undertaken extensive work in the NSW parliament to achieve this protection.
TEXT OF MOTION
*590 Senator Rhiannon: To move-That the Senate-
(a) notes that:
(i) the Gardens of Stone in New South Wales and adjacent Ben Bullen, Newnes and Wolgan State Forests are spectacular landscapes that are habitats for many plants and wildlife, including national and state-listed threatened species,
(ii) in October 2014 the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission found that the pagoda landforms in that area should be afforded special significance status and the highest possible level of protection, and
(iii) the Gardens of Stone and adjacent areas continue to be threatened by open cut and longwall mining proposals and will continue to be vulnerable to mining impacts until permanent protection is granted; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to support the call for the New South Wales State Government to extend national parks protection for the Gardens of Stone stage two reserve proposal.