What A Wonderful Park!

This is a Good News column, and there’s hardly room for all of it!

Two Ministers Act on Their Promise

We reported in November that when we took Federal Minister Greg Hunt and State Minister Robyn Parker to the Hacking River at Audley, they pledged to work together for our ‘commendable’ call for World Heritage Listing of Royal National Park.

Such Listing, competing with scores of other claims across the Australian continent, depends on making a powerful case and then pushing it through multiple conditions that are fraught with possible delays.

Minister Parker, in a long letter to us, explains why (1) our case for Royal can’t be placed on the required Tentative List before 31 January 2015, then (2) Government can nominate Royal by 31 January 2016, and then (3) UNESCO’s WHL Committee has a mandatory 18 months to say yes by 30 June 208.

It’s a long process, to which a “dedicated project officer” will be appointed. [If any questions, ring Mike Patrick of NPWS 9542 0623, or email mikepatrick@environment.nsw.gov.au]

Delight at Royal’s Field Guide!

“A quite brilliant book has appeared”, reported this column in February – the Linnean Society’s Field Guide to Royal National Park. Its 170 pages are wonderfully illustrated, including 300 clear-as-a-bell colour photos of flowers and plants.

The Teachers Federation President, Maurie Mulheron, has written in praise. Jim Heather, author of a book on Cronulla, says, “Send me six more – it’s a wonderful gift”. A copy to be sent to Canada has brought profuse congratulations.

Worth $50 commercially, it can be obtained by mail from the all-volunteer Linnaean Society, POI Box 82 Kingsford 2032, for $14.95 plus $3 postage.

Admiration for Judith Wright’s Birds!

She is Australia’s greatest woman poet, and her unforgettable “South of My Days” is probably taught in every school. Now, the National Library of Australia has published an 80 page Birds, Poems by Judith Wright.

Each of its 35 poems/birds has an accompanying colour photo or painting and the book is introduced sensitively by Judith’s daughter Meredith McKinnup. So much is quotable; for example “Wagtail”, a bird we’ve all thought delightful.

So elegant he is and neat
from round black head to slim black feet!
He sways and flirts upon the fence
his colour clean as innocence…
Sweet-pretty-creature – yes, but who
is the one he sings it to?
Not me – not you.
The furry moth, the gnat perhaps,
on which his scissor-beak snip-snaps.

Another great present for a friend!

A Welcome to Lovely Oatley Park!

Sydney should know Oatley Park along with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. But many don’t. So Oatley Fauna and Flora Conservation Society has produced three great brochures to tell the world.

Here are the park’s “Native Plants”, its “birds”, its “Walking Tracks”. Some 45 hectares, traversed by easy walks that reveal vistas of Georges River and Lime Kiln Bay, and diverse bird life, and ever-changing plant communities.

Look it up in a street guide: only a 15-minute walk from Oatley Railway Station, it has available parking and quiet spaces for picnicking. (Consult www.off-oatleypark.com)

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