Robyn Parker the NSW Environment Minister was recently before a Parliamentary Committee on the Environment and asked questions by Labors Luke Foley about the Liberal Nationals reneging on an election commitment to conserve an additional 100 ha of the ADI Site.
Below is the link to the full committee transcript but also the specific ADI question extract. Blank spots have been explained in italics.
The Hon. LUKE FOLEY: Will you honour the Liberals' and The Nationals' election commitment to conserve an extra 100 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland at the Australian Defence Industries [ADI] site in western Sydney?
Ms ROBYN PARKER: In terms of western Sydney we are doing a great deal in protecting some of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. The Wianamatta State conservation area has just been announced recently by our Government. That is a large section of Cumberland Plain Woodland which has been made into a protected area. I have been out there and had a look at that and made sure that we have got the strongest protections in place as a nature reserve.
The Minister is referring to the 181ha Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook saved by a campaign by WSCA. The Minister makes several mistakes in this answer. She incorrectly refers to the Cranebrook land as the Wianamatta State conservation area - when she recently visited the site to announce it would become the Wianamatta Nature Reserve - and secondly there is no Cumberland Plain Woodland on this site at all.
So the Minister has completely failed to answer the question and demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge about the NSW reserve system and its vegetation communities
The Hon. LUKE FOLEY: What about the 100 hectares you promised in the campaign to protect? Are you going to honour that?
Ms ROBYN PARKER: Most definitely in terms of western Sydney we have got a number of commitments in terms of Cumberland Plain Woodland and on the ADI site. Following extensive environmental studies it was zoned to enable a mix of conservation and development outcomes. The majority of the habitat on the ADI site is to be conserved in a regional park. That is about 900 hectares. The regional park will contain the highest quality remnant native vegetation which is the Cumberland Plain Woodland. We are focusing at the moment on finalising the plan of management for Wianamatta Regional Park. In terms of the ongoing commitment to conserve a further 100 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland, the regional environmental plan identifies that 900 hectares and that overall offset was agreed to prior to the land plan?
Again the Minister dodges the question about the additional 100 hectare commitment and is obviously reading from a bureaucrat prepared backgrounder about the planning history for the site that zones 900 ha of the site as Regional Park. Whilst there is a 900ha Regional Park proposed at ADI only about half of it is mapped as Cumberland Plain Woodland
The Hon. LUKE FOLEY: That is a different area. I am asking you whether you are going to honour?
Ms CORBYN: My understanding is we are actually progressing at Shanes Park, which is where the 100 hectares was identified. So we are actually progressing that, yes.
Lisa Corbyn is the Executive Officer of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Lisa Corbyn demonstrates her complete ignorance of this matter by making the false claim that the 100 ha commitment was identified for the 558 ha Air Services Australia site at Shanes Park - which the NSW Government is seeking to have transferred to them by the Federal Government. Ms Corbyn has misled the committee as the 100 ha commitment was made in regards to conserving an area of the Western Precinct within the former ADI Site at the Northern Rd Penrith.
So in summary the Minister and her senior staff have not answered any of the questions asked and their responses have again demonstrated why the environment of NSW, and specifically that of western Sydney, is poorly served by Minister Parker and her senior staff.
Western Sydney Conservation Alliance Inc, 12 December 2011