Flat White

Mount Warning banned! Which park will be next?

NSW Liberals betray Australians over National Park lock-out based on race. We are looking at widespread racial discrimination enforced by the state government

Marc Hendrickx

Photo: Marc Hendrickx

Marc Hendrickx

22 October 2022

4:00 AM

In June this year, the New South Wales ‘Liberal’ government announced plans to hand over control of all our NSW National Parks to Aboriginal Groups that live nearby. Now, with the release to the Wollumbin Aboriginal Place Management Plan (Mount Warning National Park) by NSW ‘Liberal’ government Minister for Environment and Heritage, the Hon James Griffin MP, and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Tourism, the Hon Benjamin Franklin MP, we see how future access to our collective natural heritage will be managed.

In short, it means ignoring dissenting Aboriginal voices, closure of the park, banning public access under the threat of $550,000 fines, and removing the summit lookouts, helipads, and presumably the important geodetic survey markers – all trace of Western culture. The plan even allows for copyrighting the image of Mt Warning.

What was once billed internationally as a magnificent walk to witness the first sunrise in Australia will soon be the exclusive property of a small group disgruntled activists who, like Tolkien’s Gollum, want to keep ‘the precious’ for themselves.

If this is a taste of things to come the public will no longer have any National Parks in NSW to enjoy.

Key points about the plan (extracts in italics).

Public Access will be banned:

Access to Wollumbin AP must be restricted and managed […] Public access is not culturally appropriate or culturally safe, Wollumbin AP should not be a recreational space for the public to visit or use for tourism (including use of the image of Wollumbin AP for advertising purposes) or any other purpose. Closure of the Wollumbin AP is sought immediately by the WCG’s Wollumbin Aboriginal stakeholders.’

Once the plan is in place the act of respectfully walking to the summit on the 110-year-old track built by locals will constitute ‘harm’ and attract a fine of up to $550,000. Where on earth does this seem a reasonable and proportionate response to someone bushwalking on a long-established track? In comparison, damaging or desecrating a Western Cultural place attracts a maximum penalty of a mere $4,400.

Mt Warning is one of the best preserved eroded shield volcanoes on the planet and has been used for many decades as a showcase of volcanic landforms to teach upcoming geologists about volcanic processes. But soon, even access for scientific purposes will require a nod to myth and superstition as any requests for access will be ‘based on cultural guidance from the WCG and be done on a case-by-case basis’.

Removing lookouts and other signs of western civilisation:

All traces of Western Civilisation is to be removed!

All existing infrastructure should be removed with the minimal amount of impact.’

The entire park will be closed:

The WCG recommend further cultural assessment toward a declaration and re-gazettal of all the Wollumbin National Park (Mt Warning National Park) as an Aboriginal Place due to the multitude of Aboriginal sites and the high cultural significance of all of the area within the reserve.’

It was developed and implemented in secrecy:

It’s sacred, but you will not be allowed to know why.

Culturally sensitive stories and cultural knowledge will not be shared with the public through interpretive signage, community education/awareness activities or in this management plan.’

Did not consult with all custodians:

Dissenting views of Aboriginal elders like Ngaraakwal Elder Marlene Boyd and Ngaraakwal/Githabul elder Harry Boyd were not taken into account. Marlene famously stated before she died in 2007: ‘I do not oppose the public climbing of Mt Warning – how can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation!’ Her inspirational message is missing from the plan.

The plan is built on extremist interpretations of Australian colonial history:

No wonder the plan is flawed when the very foundation is built on a lie.

Wollumbin Mountain was observed by Captain James Cook on the 15 May 1770 during his survey of the east coast. This journey marked the beginning of the systematic invasion of Australia and all Aboriginal land by Europeans, leading to indescribable trauma and destruction. Violent clashes in the 1840s to 1850s between Aboriginal nations and cedar getters, and the defence of their lands by these nations resulted in massacres, killings, ambushes and poisonings and the movement of some Aboriginal people from the area.’

Embraces superstition and myths:

We can respectfully enter any church, mosque, or temple on the planet. In Australia, we now ban access to nature’s temple. The plan indicates this new signage will be placed at the base of the track:

‘You enter this Mountain breaking the traditional law and customs of the Bundjalung people and the sacred and significant Mountain, under the Bundjalung traditional laws and customs given to the 14 Bundjalung tribes by men. The past Elders of all the tribes agreed to shut this Mountain, and you walk this track without the consent of the Bundjalung people. As spoken by the Traditional Owners as to uphold our traditional laws and customs with the wishes of past Elders.’

Sexist:

Not only does the plan discriminate against non-Aboriginal people it discriminates against Aboriginal women, some of whom do not agree Mount Warning is a Men’s area:

Appendix B Baseline site condition report – Restricted to men.

Appendix F Plates from Baseline site condition report – Restricted to men.

Impact extends outside park:

The plan’s influence extends outside the park and provides for ‘removal of infrastructure’ on overlooking spurs and ridges that impacts the purported ‘cultural values’. How many local residents with views of Mount Warning will need to relocate? How many power lines and communication towers will need to be demolished so a few are not offended?

Development within the views and vistas of Wollumbin AP could affect intervisibility to important cultural sites. Impacts could include things like building on spurs and ridges. Further suburban development within the views and vistas of Wollumbin AP will impact on the aesthetics, connection to Country and the cultural landscape which are integral to the cultural values of Wollumbin AP. Removal of infrastructure will occur once the summit is closed in the future.’

Discrimination:

While the public will be banned from the summit and park, access for the select and privileged members of the Wollumbin Consultative Group (WCG) will continue.That is if they can complete the ‘dangerous and difficult’ walk to the summit. Perhaps a chair lift will be required.

Cultural access by the WCG for cultural renewal and activities should continue and continue after closure as culturally appropriate in consultation with NSW NPWS in relation to access safety/condition of path.’

Inconsistent:

Despite a desire by the WCG to continue to have access to the summit the track will be allowed to overgrow? Perhaps a chairlift is planned? Or maybe the state government will provide a helicopter for cultural access?

The WCG’s preferred method for erosion control of the Wollumbin Summit Track is not to bring in topsoil or erosion barriers, but to close the track and allow Wollumbin Mountain to heal itself, by allowing vegetation to grow over the track and stabilise sediments.’

No doubt the public will continue to bear the cost of maintaining access for a select few.

Existing infrastructure in good condition – but let’s rip it out:

Infrastructure included helipads, viewing platforms, bench seats, timber and other construction, steps, boardwalks, and ramps within Wollumbin AP and carparking and other amenities at the base of the walking track. This infrastructure was all in good condition, however, the management goal of the WCG is to close access to Wollumbin AP and remove the infrastructure.’

For over 20 years NSW NPWS have been on a mission to ban the public from the mountain. Sadly with the acquiescence of a weak-kneed morally bankrupt ‘Liberal’ government this has now come to fruition. One wonders how the bureaucrats will be able to sleep having destroyed public access to so much awe and wonder.

Which National Park will be next?

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Comment by Nelle- Govts have gone against the majority in Australia and pandered to the minority for a long time-decades in fact-National parks are for everyone and not just the favoured few and while bureaucrats are lining their pockets they will never feel guilty about causing us grief

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

One thought on “Flat White

  1. This will happen with all federal, state and local parks, why? It states it is to happen in numerous NWO, UN, WEF, Agenda 21/30, etc, etc, documents, videos, media interviews, media releases. Not just Australia, the entire world.

    Once achieved the richest people in the world will end up owning all of the land, to do that there will have to be no traditional owners living on the land or in any way owning it.

    Conspiracy, no, watch and learn.

    Like

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