Pollies push for new national park and Burragorang Valley walk in Wollondilly

Hopeful: Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith, Environment minister Matt Kean and Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth at Mermaids Pool.
Hopeful: Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith, Environment minister Matt Kean and Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth at Mermaids Pool.

Wollondilly could soon be home to the state's newest national park and the Great Burragorang Valley Walk.

The creation of a Bargo-Nepean National Park and the establishment of the Burragorang Valley walk were on the agenda when Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth met with energy and environment minister Matt Kean and Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith last Monday.

The state government will work with the council to look at the feasibility of establishing a national park within the vicinity of the Bargo Gorge.

Cr Deeth said the proposed national park would contribute to the provision of a significant link between the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the Cataract-Cordeaux-Avon-Nepean catchment land, as well as forests further to the south.

"The Bargo Gorge area has long been acknowledged by the council as having environmental, cultural and social significance," he said.

"The sandstone cliffs of Bargo River Gorge are both unique and spectacular and this area has provided a popular passive recreational space for decades for not only for locals but also the regional community.

"Of course, the first step of the feasibility process would be to consult with the original custodians of the land, the Dharawal people."

Mr Kean also expressed support for the Great Burragorang Valley Walk.

The council will now work on the detailed planning of the walk with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Traditional custodians of the land, Water NSW and other key stakeholders will also be asked for input throughout the planning process.

Wollondilly Council also aims to partner with neighbouring councils.

Mr Smith was delighted Mr Kean was able to accept his invitation to visit the area and to meet with Cr Deeth and the council's chief executive Ben Taylor.

He said both proposals that the mayor and CEO presented to Mr Kean were welcomed.

"I am hopeful that we can get some real traction in getting these projects underway," he said.

"I would like to thank the council for the excellent presentations they gave to the minister and after that we were able to go for an inspection to the Mermaids Pool part of the Bargo River.

"This is a very spectacular part of the Wollondilly shire and it was the first time that Minister Kean had seen the area. Needless to say he was most impressed."