Video showing the coal fines spill by Clarence Colliery in the Gardens of Stone region.
In the 1980s sediment spills from the constuection of the Berowra By-pass [F1] into Ku-ring-gai National Park established procedures for cleaning up spills of this kind. Yet it took months before the clean up of the Wollangambe River started.
The EPA must ensure it establishes standing procedures and writes up a 'how to' guide from the Clarence spill experience. Like first aid, with pollution events, quick action prevents harm. It is by a great deal of luck that heavy rainfall did not sweep coal fines all the way down the Wollangamba River.
The Gardens of Stone is one of Australia’s most remarkable regions.
It is public land and yet still at risk.
The Gardens of Stone has almost as many rare plants and animals and endangered ecosystems as the rest of the Blue Mountains put together, all living in this spectacular pagoda landscape of rock pinnacles, canyons, cliffs, forests, heaths and wetlands.
The Gardens of Stone are must for conservation – and being in Sydney’s backyard is a major plus.
With your help we can save the Gardens of Stone.
Dr Bob Brown, 25th March, 2018
Just two hours west of Sydney is a popular wonderland of sandstone pagodas unique in the world. This public forest needs your help as it is being ruined.
The Gardens of Stone region is remarkable for its combination of dramatic landforms, rock pagodas, and a multitude of rare and threatened plants and animals. You and your family can experience nature close up and personal, a world of secrets, magic and delight. At once apparently daunting but accessible, you will find pagodas in clusters like fortified hill-towns with narrow passageways and walled courtyards, complete with overhanging caves, staircases and waterfalls. It is hard not to put its stunning natural beauty into a human context; with imagined walled gardens, rockeries, open woodlands and shrubberies.
It’s just the best place in the world for a bushwalk! Each visit to the Gardens of Stone is another unique wonderful experience.
Ignore it, and it will disappear
This 39,000 hectare region is proposed for protection as a state conservation area. Its diversity is equivalent to that of the nearby million hectare World Heritage Area. Its reservation would establish effective management for its 100 threatened plants, animals and ecological communities, and to enable it to be appreciated.
Poorly regulated coal mining has caused surface rocks to crack, cliffs and pagodas to crumble, aquifers to be lowered, swamps and creeks to dry out, and rivers that supply Sydney with drinking water to be polluted with mine water. All the while unlicensed and unregistered trail bike riders continue to impact the region without a thought to the damage they cause.
How you can help
An alliance of local conservation groups is developing more detailed plans to explain the substantial benefits of a proposed 39,000 hectare state conservation area reserve. It will examine how a vibrant tourist economy in the Lithgow region would work with the reserve plan and Lithgow Council’s strategy to broaden the local economy.
They have also commissioned award-winning Australian documentary film maker, Tom Zubrycki, to present the outstanding scenic values of Lithgow’s “pagoda” landscapes and how these pagodas will draw tourists to the region. A big new Gardens of Stone reserve should become the foundation for Lithgow’s diversified economy as local mining declines.
Stand shoulder to shoulder with those working towards a Gardens of Stone reserve and a better future for Lithgow.
Newnes state forest
UAV footage by Tim Harris.
Photos by Henry Gold