Wollondilly Shire Council writes to UNESCO to generate support in preserving Thirlmere Lakes

Warragamba Panorama

Wollondilly Shire Council writes to UNESCO to generate support in preserving Thirlmere Lakes

Posted on: 28.09.2016

Recent research studies have identified a closer linkage between the levels of Thirlmere Lakes and nearby mining activities than has previously identified. Two studies, one by the Centre for Ecosystem Science at University of New South Wales and another by Scientists, Phillip and Steven Pells have reignited concern over the deterioration of the lakes within the Thirlmere Lakes National Park and the periodic loss of water from the lakes over recent years.

This research has prompted a Resolution of Council to write to relevant Federal and State Ministers, the Federal and State local members, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee and UNESCO demanding that action be taken to further investigate the causes of continued water loss from the World Heritage listed Thirlmere Lakes.  The Mayor has now written to the organisations, including the Head Office of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris.

The Director of Infrastructure and Environment Michael Malone states that
“Council recognises Thirlmere Lakes have significant natural, cultural and recreation values and are an important asset to the community.  Council has also historically shared the concerns over the potential linkage between the loss of water in the Lakes and nearby mining operations.  The need for a detailed investigation into this issue is viewed as highly important in responding to these concerns, particularly in light of the findings of the recent research studies”

Council has also resolved to hold a forum with key stakeholders to further investigate the causes of water loss within the Lakes as well as the options for rehabilitation. Details of this forum will be developed over the next two months with community representatives. Finalised details of the forum will be made publicly available following consideration by the newly elected Council.

In addition, Council recognises it has limited influence given it has no regulatory powers in relation to mining projects and also is not the owner of Thirlmere Lakes National Park.  Council therefore resolved at its meeting on 20th June 2016 to seek the support of the Association of Mining Related Councils to its position over the condition of the Lakes.   The provision of support by the Association at its meeting on 4th August 2016 in the form of correspondence to relevant NSW Government Ministers has been welcomed.

For more information contact the communications team on P:4677 9644