Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne is continuing her campaign to have Cumberland Forest at West Pennant Hills reclassified as a National Park to provide more protection for the much-loved area which spans 40 hectares off Castle Hill Road.
Her calls follow the State Government appointed Hills Planning Panel’s decision to allow the demolition of the adjacent IBM building in Coonara Ave which included the removal of 1,253 trees. (Hills to Hawkesbury, September 24)
“The Cumberland State Forest is home to some of the country’s most valuable flora and fauna species, and we want to protect that,” she said.
“Reclassifying the State Forest into a National Park will mean we can strengthen its protection and ensure it can continue to provide a much-needed place where people can enjoy the great outdoors and nature, as well as play a key role in looking after the area’s remaining biodiversity. “
She congratulated the State Government on its decision to expand its National Park network after it announced a 500-hectare site at Shanes Park, located between Penrith and Windsor, would become the State’s newest National Park.
“As Sydney continues to grow, we need to protect our green spaces, such as Shanes Park. This allows for important conservation efforts to be carried out and a place where our native wildlife can survive and thrive,” she said.
“I believe Cumberland State Forest deserves the same classification and protection as Shanes Park. I’m hopeful – and with the support of our local Baulkham Hills MP, David Elliott and the Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean MP – that we can make this happen,” she said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is also highlighting how important these spaces are, especially for our physical and mental wellbeing.”.
The Cumberland State Forest is Australia’s only metropolitan state forest and is home to an array of fauna, flora and ecological communities.