December 3, 1998
Government fulfills promise to protect Prospect Canal lands
NSW Minister for the Environment Pam Allan today fulfilled a 1995 promise to protect the Lower Prospect Canal, home to threatened bird species and a popular recreational spot for the people of western Sydney.
Ms Allan launched plans to protect the 62 hectare park from development to remain a bushland corridor, and at seven kilometres long, an ideal place for cycling and walking.
"It would have been a travesty to have seen the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve developed, but the State Government recognises the vital importance of protecting our remaining open spaces in western Sydney.
"With urban areas continuing to grow, parks and reserves such as this one become more and more important in meeting the recreational needs of people living in western Sydney, who otherwise may be too far away to enjoy our national parks.
"To meet these recreational needs and to protect what remains of our precious bushland, the State Government has established a network of nine regional parks across western Sydney, with several more in the pipeline," Ms Allan said.
Ms Allan said wildlife would be guaranteed a home in Lower Prospect Canal Reserve, which was bounded by houses, factories and commercial properties.
"More than 130 different native plant species live on the site, including two rare nationally rare and endangered species and 33 vulnerable species.
"This land has supported a thriving Grey Box woodland vegetation and has become a haven for wildlife, including threatened bird species such as the Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot and Powerful Owl.
"This site is so important that the National Parks and Wildlife Service have named it a core biodiversity area for western Sydney in recognition of the outstanding quality of its remaining trees and plants."
Ms Allan said Lower Prospect Canal Reserve also had an important part in Australian history.
"The Canal and other structures, such as the Boothtown Aqueduct, are well-preserved examples of 19th century engineering, technology and ingenuity which played a major part in Sydney's urban development."
Ms Allan thanked the commitment of the Canal Reserve Action Group (CRAG) who played a long and active role in the formal protection of the reserve.
"CRAG played an important role by helping promote the community consultation process during the preparation of the draft plan of management, which will shortly go on public exhibition.
"Three public meetings were held to assist in the drafting of the plan and were well attended by interested community groups, local residents and users who together identified the regional and local significance of the reserve.
Ms Allan said one of the recommendations in the draft plan was the filling in the Canal, which was no longer in use, and a cycleway and walking tracks constructed.
"The draft plan recommends that this cycleway could potentially provide links through to Homebush Bay and beyond, to the Western Sydney Regional Park and the Blue Mountains.
"The draft plan also recommends that more than fifty per cent of the reserve becomes a bushland protection area, allowing for revegetation to occur which in turn will encourage wildlife to flourish.
Ms Allan said Holroyd Council had indicated it would be prepared to take over the care, control and management of the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve following improvements to the site.
Ms Allan said all public submissions would be assessed before the plan of management was officially adopted.
The NPWS would welcome comments on the Lower Prospect Canal Reserve proposal. Submissions can be mailed to the Regional Parks Unit, NPWS, PO Box 95, Parramatta 2124, fax 9895 7727 or email email@example.com. The closing date for submissions is 22 January 1999. For more information, phone (02) 9895 7440.