By Tracy Sorensen
SYDNEY — According to local environmentalists, the state government's claim that it supports World Heritage listing for the Blue Mountains National Park is undermined by large funding cuts to the park's budget.
After she publicly criticised the cuts, alderperson Joy Anderson was told that Liberal environment minister Tim Moore would not reappoint her to the local National Parks Advisory Committee when her term expires next year.
Anderson, a Labor member of the Blue Mountains City Council, told the Blue Mountains Gazette on October 23 that the government had cut funds to the park by nearly $220,000 to $186,000. She warned that parts of the park might have to close if funding cuts threatened public safety levels.
Supporting Anderson against Moore's attack, the National Parks Association's Phil Foster told the Gazette that the government's cutbacks were "appalling". He added that by running down the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the government was jeopardising any chance of having the Blue Mountains nominated for World Heritage listing.
"The NPA believes the state government is purposely trying to discredit and disenfranchise the National Parks and Wildlife Service. They will be happy when the NPWS becomes the National Parks Garbage Collection and Toilet Cleaning Service", he said. n