president's reports from each of our Annual
General Meetings will give you an insight into how we have
been working as a community group to protect the catchment.
We are approaching
the bushland issues in several different ways - working with State
and local governments, writing submissions, sending letters and
reports given by Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment presidents:
- First report
(12k pdf) Establishment of organisation with mission statement to
work for environmental protection for the remaining bushland in
the catchment of Narrabeen Lagoon. Application made for Urban Sustainability
Grant. First Road Kill mitigation seminar held.
- Second report (24k pdf) Urban Sustainability Grant of
$1.9m announced at our first Forum. The grant is to be administered
by Warringah and Pittwater Councils. The grant is for on-ground
remediation of three creek lines plus Narrabeen Lagoon catchment
sustainability education. Newsletter program established.Launched
a series of bushwalks, tag-along tours and Eco-Paddles to raise
awareness of catchment issues.
- Third report (15k pdf) Met with local, State and Federal
politicians to lobby for environmental protection of Narrabeen Lagoon
catchment bushland. Survey of 400 residents confirmed that bushland
and beaches are the most valued attributes of this area. Over twenty
submissions written by the committee concerning environmental issues
in the catchment.Work commenced that is funded by $1.9m grant. Activities
are attracting large numbers of people and raising awareness of
- Fourth report (25k pdf) Continued dialogue with local,
State and Federal politicians to lobby for environmental protection
of Narrabeen Lagoon catchment bushland. Regional Park idea proposed.
Planning minister placed a 10yr moratorium on four large development
applications in the catchment. Fifteen submissions written by the
committee concerning plans for the catchment. We continue our involvement
with the work funded by the $1.9m Urban Sustainability Grant. Organised
four public Forums. Outdoor activities continue to appeal to large
numbers of people and raising awareness of catchment issues.
- Fifth report (20k pdf) Catchment Ambassador program announced.
State Park concept proposed and endorsed by three local State politicians.
Four forums held - one of which attracted 230 people so we needed
to use two halls. Looking for funding to continue the remediation
program after the $1.9m funding finishes in 2011. Assisted with
production of a DVD entitled "Caring for our Catchment"
which was launched at our February forum. Twelve submissions written
including one about a proposal for a large retirement village in
- Sixth report (133k pdf) Four forums held - all candidates
for State Government support establishing Narrabeen State Park.
End of program funded by $1.8m grant but Warringah Council gains
other grants for bush regeneration to continue. Narrabeen Lagoon
walkway progressing well. Action is needed on dredging the Lagoon
for recreational use. Many submissions have been written on behalf
of this organisation on issues in the catchment. Outdoor activity
program continues to be popular. Changes in the membership of the
- Seventh report (180k pdf) Four forums held, regular newsletters,
updated website, interesting outdoor activity program, new members
on the committee, financial situation robust but wanting larger
amount in case needed for defending the catchment, many submissions
written, frustration that Narrabeen State Park has still not been
declared, dredging of the lagoon a major issue.
- Eighth report (166k pdf) Steady achievement with forums,
outdoor activities, submissions, newsletter, website and financial
position secure. Exciting proposal for Gai-mariagal National Park
which we support in addition to Narrabeen State Park.
- Ninth report (75k pdf) Gai-mariagal Aboriginal owned National
Park has been proposed by Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
and we support this in every way we can. The proposal includes over
1000ha of bushland to be protected. Narrabeen State Park was announced
in April 2014 and if the Gai-mariagal proposal fails for any reason,
the State Park can be expanded to protect crown lands in the catchment.
Narrabeen Lagoon Circuit walkway is progressing - due to open at
the end of the year. Jim Somerville sadly passed away before it
was complete - his campaign to have fences to protect pedestrians
on Narrabeen Bridge was successful. The Dredging forum attracted
a huge crowd - but probably the dredging won't happen - instead
the water level may be raised. Our finances are in good shape. Tony
Carr stands down as president and nominates Judith Bennett.
2015 - Tenth report (214k
pdf) Sad to report the passing of Mary Armstrong, a valued committee
member. Thanks to Conny and Tony for the outdoor activity
program. Forums have included a talk about bugs and beetles, reports
from the World Parks Congress and Aboriginal activities (audience
participation). We organised a successful Clean Up Australia
event and some of our members helped with a Frog and Reptile study.
Our committee members have continued to lobby for environmental
protection of the catchment. The Narrabeen Lagoon Circuit Walk
opened and is proving very popular.
Friends of Narrabeen
Lagoon Catchment have written submissions in support of Warringah
and Pittwater Councils for initiatives such as:
Wildlife corridors to assist movement of animals and seeds
from one area of core bushland to another
2. Plans of Management for all areas of bushland. These Plans
recognise the value of the biodiversity provided by bushland
areas and define the ways to provide sustainable management
3. Plans of Management for Creeks and riparian zones.
4. Mapping of
to development (279kb pdf file) in bushland areas.
5. Provision of Development Controls and Local Environment
Plans to limit encroachment of urban expansion into bushland
and riparian zones.
6. Plan of Management for Narrabeen Lagoon
7. Narrabeen Lagoon multi-use pathway
of the catchment
listening to authorities such as DECC, Dept of Lands and Warringah
Council discussing the Crown Lands along the edges of Wakehurst
Parkway, it became apparent that managing Middle Creek was
a huge problem - particularly because of the level of weed
weeds have probably flourished because the catchment of Middle
Creek has been rural - with nutrient runoff from farms flowing
down the creek and because urban development in the upper
catchment has resulted in sediments and nutrients entering
the creek. The implication was that providing permanent environmental
protection for this area was too difficult because of these
of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment worked with staff of both Warringah
and Pittwater Councils to prepare an application for funding
from the State Government for catchment education and for
rehabilitation of three creeks in the catchment - Middle,
Mullet and Nareen.
application was successful and the Narrabeen
Lagoon Catchment Project began in 2007 and
operated until mid 2011. Management Plans for Middle,
Mullet and Nareen Creeks are now in place.
regeneration contracts have taken place for Middle, Mullet
and Nareen Creeks.
Lagoon Catchment Project provided crucial
community education about living in the catchment - reaching
out to schools, community members and businesses living and
working in the catchment.
in the catchment:
To assist people to appreciate the amazing asset we have in Narrabeen
Lagoon and its catchment, Friends of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment
organise many low impact outdoor
activities. We have also assisted those who have been lobbying
for completion of a walkway around the Lagoon for all to share.
We support Warringah Council in their preparation of the multipurpose
Trails policy and the Bike Policy but we want to see activities
in bushland properly managed. As of August 2011, there are serious
erosion and pollution problems being caused by 4WD vehicles, trail
bikes, horses and constructions by mountain bike riders.
of Narrabeen Lagoon Catchment have been most concerned at
the level of road kill in the catchment - particularly along
Wakehurst Parkway, Mona Vale Road and Morgan Road.
Conny Harris and Jacqui Marlow embarked on a long term research
project, plotting where each death occurred and recording
which animals were killed. They also monitored which animals
were using the culverts under Wakehurst Parkway to traverse
from one area of bushland to another.
The results of this research are being used to instigate measures
to reduce the road kill - firstly a fence has been erected
between two bridges along Wakehurst Parkway and the culverts
underneath are being studied to plot when animals go under
the parkway safely.
Road kill in this area has sharply declined.
- 13th April, 2005
13th April, 2005, Warringah Council hosted a forum to discuss
the future of Narrabeen Lagoon and its catchment.
for the Environment, The Hon Bob Debus, MP, and Minister for
Lands, The Hon Tony Kelly,MP, issued a
press release(20kb pdf file) the first sentence of
which reads "The catchment of Sydney's largest
coastal lagoon - home to a rich array of plant and wildlife
species - should be protected forever, a State Government
study has revealed."
Hon Bob Debus, MP, was the first speaker at the forum and
(43kb pdf file), Minister Debus, MP, promised that
446ha of the Crown Land between Cromer and Belrose will be
Protected Forever. As of Aug 2008, this promise has
not yet been fulfilled satisfactorily.
Falls Regional Crown Reserve:
In August 2006,
Regional Crown Reserve (192kb pdf file) was gazetted. This
incorporates approximately 546ha of Crown Land and the Management
Strategy document states that about 75% of this "is intended
to be managed primarily for environmental protection". This
equates to 409ha which is less than what was promised by Minister
Debus in 2005. A Regional Crown Reserve is not a permanent form
of protection because the Dept of Lands can at any time put a small
advertisement in the newspaper and degazette the land out of the
Reserve. It does not need to go through a Parliamentary process.
State Park Declared:
April 1, 2014 - Narrabeen State Park was declared comprising
the Lagoon itself plus Jamieson Reserve. There are other parcels
of land that are being considered as additions to this initial
Narrabeen State Park.
here to see a map of Narrabeen State Park.
from Members of Parliament:
Local Members of Parliament, Rob Stokes,MP, Jonathan O'Dea, MP,
and Brad Hazzard, MP, have been asking questions in parliament and
writing letters to Minister Kelly and Minister Firth asking for
the promised permanent environmental protection to be put in place,
e.g. here is a question asked in June 2007 by
Stokes, MP (14kb pdf file), concerning adding crown land
to Garigal National Park.
October 2007 in Parliament, Sylvia Hale asked a
(14kb pdf file) of Minister Kelly (MInister for lands) and
his answer indicated that preparation of a Plan of Management for
the Crown Land would begin early in 2008 and that no decisions on
land use would be taken until that process was complete. However,
as of August 2008, the Management Plan process has not begun and
yet one parcel of land has already been degazetted and sold. We
want to know in what way the proceeds from that sale are to be applied
to management of the remainder of the Crown Land because the Management
Strategy document for the Oxford Falls Crown Reserve indicates that
economic management would entail using the proceeds from income
earning lands to fund management of the rest of the Reserve.
Crown Lands Assessment:
In March 2005, Dept of Lands issued their
Assessment of the Crown Lands (738kb pdf file) between Cromer
and Belrose. This Final Assessment is a one page document with a
map attached with no explanations of the rationale for changing
the mapping areas from the initial assessment through to the final
one. There are lands added to this assessment that were not in the
initial one and there are lands from the initial one missing from
the final one. Although
"environmental protection" was the first listed use for
all of these lands, the way was left open for other uses such as
"urban expansion". The accompanying map showed areas for
environmental protection coloured green but an orange/brown colour
depicted large areas of "investigate disposal" lands.
Although the community has been promised a "place at the table"
to discuss the future of these lands, as of Aug 2008, there has
been no opportunity for any member of the community to sit down
with staff of Dept of Lands with a map to discuss any of these lands.
Dept of Lands has been discussing some of these lands with Warringah
Council staff but not with members of the community.
Crown Lands Assessment:
- Dec 2003
Dept of Lands, as requested by a unanimous vote of Warringah Council
in 1999, assessed the corwn lands from Cromer to Belrose and published
their draft assessment of Crown
Lands (3845kb pdf file) for public comment in December 2003.
This draft assessment recommended environmental protection for the
majority of the Crown Land in the catchment.
was listed as an "indicative place" on the National Heritage
Register before that register was frozen in 2006. In 2006, the Environment
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act),
and the Australian Heritage Council 2003 were amended to, among
other things, freeze the Register. Places may now be protected under
appropriate States, Territories and Local Governments heritage legislation.
of National Park proposals:
There has been action from National
Parks Association and other organisations working with Members
of Parliament over many years to have the bushland of Narrabeen
Lagoon Catchment protected in a National Park. An example of these
actions is a proposed "Garigal National Park extension bill
-1992". Independent Terry Metherell, MP, gave an
speech (57kb pdf file) in support of this bill.
nature conservation societies considered that the whole of
the Deep Creek catchment and part of Middle Creek catchment
had such great natural values that they should be protected
in a Warringah National Park. However, the proposal was not
approved because it involved the acquisition of so much alienated
land NPA 1961).
NPA proposal for a National Park in the Deep Creek - Narrabeen
area. This was supported by the National Trust (NSW) and the
Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia.
The National Trust's publication Sydney 2000 proposed
the addition of the Deep Creek catchment to Ku-ring-gai Chase
Northern Beaches Bushland Committee proposal for a Regional
Natural Park in the Middle Creek - Deep Creek area. This was
supported by the NPA, National Trust (NSW), Total Environment
Centre and ten local associations and environment groups NBBC
October. Collin C Donges and Associates (Consulting Town Planners
and Surveyors, Landscape and Environmental Analysts, and Property
Consultants) wrote to the NPA, National Trust (NSW), National
Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Preservation
Society to urge discouragement of development in the Deep
Creek area and recommend its acquisition by the NPWS for nature
conservation purposes (pers. comm. in NPA files 7.10.77).
November. Submission from the NPA to the State Pollution Control
Commission about the preservation and management of Narrabeen
Lagoon (including the Deep Creek catchment) as a National
Park or State Recreation Area, or preferably as an addition
to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) claimed
about 500 ha in the Deep Creek catchment area.
The National Trust (NSW), at the recommendation of its Landscape
Assessment Committee, classified and entered into the National
Trust Register the Narrabeen Lakes Western Catchments Landscape
Conservation Area, including the area currently proposed for
addition to Garigal National Park. The National Trust also
recommended that Narrabeen Lakes and the catchment of Deep
Creek be dedicated as a State Recreation Area centred on Narrabeen
NPA proposal for reservation of the Deep Creek catchment.
The southern boundary was the same as that of the 1995 proposal,
although it extended east to Wakehurst Parkway incorporating
the recreation reserve.
1980s: After an unsuccessful bid by the land owner, Dainford
Pty Ltd, to subdivide the catchment's ridges for residential
development, a land swap was agreed to whereby 95% of the
freeholdings (about 900 ha) were obtained by the Government
and vested in public ownership.
April. Stage 1 of Garigal National Park (approximately 786
ha) was gazetted.
April. The NPA announced that the proposed Garigal National
Park was too small to be ecologically sustainable and should
have included more of the Deep Creek catchment, adjacent crown
land, Narrabeen Lagoon foreshores and the lagoon itself(NPA
Press Release 6.4.91).
April. The NPA noted that the Garigal National Park proposal
appeared to be the first stage of a larger National Park and
requested from the then Minister for the Environment (Mr Tim
Moore) comments about possible further stages (pers. comm.
in NPA files 15.4.91).
April. Davidson State Recreation Area (of approximately 1200
ha and embracing most of Middle Harbour from North St Ives
to Killarney Heights) was transferred from its Administrative
Trust to the NPWS as an addition to Garigal National Park.
The NPWS planned to include the vacant land to the south of
the National Park.
Stage 2 of Garigal National Park (including the former Davidson
SRA) was reserved.
June. Most of the proposed Stage 3 of Garigal National Park
was granted to the MLALC. Although the NPWS had tried to prove
their interest in the area prior to 1984 by using the NPA's
1961 Deep Creek National Park proposal, the then Minister
for CaLM (Mr George Souris) granted 57 of the Land Council's
claims, with no restrictions, against the advice of the NPWS
who said the grants would prevent the gazettal of a reasonable
southern boundary to Garigal National Park. One of the conditions
of the Aboriginal land grant was that members of the MLALC
would consult with the NPWS about a conservation agreement
which would enable the latter to proceed with the planned
southern extension (Stage 3) of Garigal National Park. By
1995 the MLALC had still not acted on this.
February. An addition of 130 ha in one Portion was made in
the north-east corner of Garigal National Park adjoining Monash
June. The NPA emphasised to the Director General of the NPWS
the need to add the 29 Crown Portions to the National Park
and to pursue a conservation agreement with the MLALC for
the 9 Aboriginal-owned Portions of 62 ha (pers. comm. NPA
to NPWS 7.6.94). The NPWS desired such an agreement to ensure
a sensible southern boundary and cover such items as fire
and noxious weed control and were still attempting to negotiate
with the MLALC.
The State Labor Party claimed that it would gazette Garigal
National Park additions (including Manly Dam Reserve) if elected
in March 1995 (Carr 1995; Daily Telegraph Mirror 23.1.95 p.5).
October. NPA proposal for Crown Lands and freehold additions
to Garigal National Park in first edition of this report.
January. Renewed NPA proposal for Crown Lands and freehold
additions to Garigal National Park.
January/February. Public comment was invited to the Dept of
Lands assessment of crown lands between Cromer and Belrose.
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources
(DIPNR) is collating responses and a final determination of
the preferred land use is under progress.
in part from notes supplied by Jim Somerville, NPA Sydney