Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan – consequences for the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Current Blue Mountains Local Environment Planning controls are critical to ensuring development does not impinge negatively on the surrounding World Heritage Area; that human use is harmonised as far as possible with the World Heritage values of the area.  BMWHI LEP Report FV 17.5.13

In March 2006 NSW Local Councils were directed by the NSW Government to prepare new LEPs consistent with a standard template with standardised provisions and a landuse zoning system.  The intent of the standardised system is to assist in simplifying and streamlining planning across all Local Government Areas in the State.

In 2013 the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute was commissioned by Blue Mountains City Council to review the implications of aligning the Council’s existing Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) to the NSW Government’s proposed Standard Instrument LEP template.

The Institute’s mandate revolves around ensuring good conservation outcomes for the GBMWHA, and that its’ World Heritage values are not jeopardised.

This is particularly important in the case of the Blue Mountains where ribbon like ridge-top development has the potential to affect downstream systems.

The visual and cultural character of the Blue Mountains is also shaped through the local LEP, as is an adaptive management capacity to deal with dynamic threats such as climate change.  The GBMWHA is somewhat unusual as it does not have a formal buffer zone as many other World Heritage sites do.

The debate about the future of the BMCC LEP is ongoing and more information can be found on Council’s website:

http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/sustainableliving/localenvironmentalplans/standardinstrumentlep/

Additional information can be found on the Blue Mountains Conservation Society’s website at http://dlep13.info/  or find the LEP link from the home page  http://www.bluemountains.org.au/index.shtml

The Institute’s role is to generate the knowledge that can contribute to good decision-making within the GBMWHA.  We were thus pleased to prepare the review that can be downloaded at BMWHI LEP Report FV 17.5.13.  For more information please contact John Merson j.merson@bmwhi.org.au

Premier screening of wildlife documentaries exploring the role of our top predators

Daniel pic

Photo by Ed Slone

100 people turned up to the screening of two fascinating and unique wildlife documentaries that the Institute screened at the Fairmont Resort in Leura on 13 June 2015.

A year in the making, “Battle of the Bush”, by multi-award winning filmmaker Daniel Hunter, explores the role of top order predators in the forests of the Blue Mountains region.

Daniel’s research is carried out at the University of New South Wales Centre for Ecosystem Science and is partly sponsored by the Institute.

Photo by Brad Nesbitt

Photo by Brad Nesbitt


“My research is echoing findings from similar studies that suggests the dingo performs a vital function in Australia’s ecosystems as a top order predator and yet it’s widely considered as an enemy of the farmer.”

“Where Do Eagles Dare?” follows Simon Cherriman, a young West-Australian ornithologist, as he embarks on a quest to fulfill a boyhood dream to satellite track Wedge-tailed Eagles in the remote wilderness.

The importance of science communication

These films are testimony to the crucial role of film as a vehicle for raising awareness of – and empathy for – nature and wildlife. Both Daniel and Simon combine their skill in film-making with their wildlife projects.

“Interpreting science is crucially important. As scientists we often fail to effectively communicate our messages about the environmental crisis. The places where wildlife can roam free on this planet are getting smaller and smaller. Effective communication that engages people’s hearts as well as their minds is urgently needed”. Rosalie Chapple

For more information,  view the event media release.  Any inquiries to r.chapple@bmwhi.org.au.

View the trailer for Battle for the Bush:

https://vimeo.com/123903967