National Parks and Other Protected Areas


The Greens NSW believe that:

1. Australia’s native animals, plants and ecosystems have a right to exist and that both state and federal governments have a duty to expand the protected areas that support them so that they are protected from extinction and able to flourish in perpetuity.

2. Protected areas are a key global conservation strategy and a comprehensive, adequate and connected network of national parks and other protected areas in New South Wales is essential to ensure Australia’s native animals, plants and ecosystems survive and are protected, maintained and restored.

3. The NSW and Australian governments have a duty to increase the area of lands protected in the State and to ensure that all actions necessary for protecting, restoring and maintaining these lands are adequately funded and resourced.

4. In NSW, reservation under the National Parks & Wildlife Act (NPW Act) offers the strongest level of protection. All other protected areas must be supported by strong legislation and policy to ensure their conservation role can be maintained into the future.

5. The rights of First Nations people to access protected areas to connect to Country, and their unique role in developing appropriate ecological management systems for protected areas, must be recognised and facilitated.

6. Where protected areas provide other functions, such as tourism, recreation and historic heritage protection these other uses must be subordinate to the overriding objective of conservation of natural and cultural values.

7. Community involvement in the creation, management and appropriate enjoyment of National Parks and other protected areas will build strong relationships between the broader community and our National Parks and other protected areas.

8. Within our National Parks and other protected areas, invasive species and climate change are major threats to the survival and welfare of native animals, plants and ecosystems.


The Greens NSW will work towards:

9. Increasing the amount of land in National Parks and other protected areas in NSW to at least 30% of the lands of NSW by 2030.

10. Ensuring an expanded system of National Parks and other protected areas is sufficiently comprehensive, adequate and representative such that it is capable of ensuring the long-term protection and conservation of the state's diverse range of native animals, plants and ecosystems in perpetuity.

11. Increasing the funding, resources, personnel and expertise of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to expand its role as the primary conservation body across all landscapes and land tenures throughout NSW, and to ensure that all actions necessary for the effective protection, maintenance and restoration of National Parks and other public protected areas are undertaken.

12. Increasing the funding for a voluntary acquisition program to purchase private lands of high conservation value to add to the protected area network.

13. Increase funding for local councils that contain National Parks and other protected areas to offset costs associated with increased management, compliance and infrastructure provision, and compensate for the reduced income from rates;

14. The introduction of meaningful incentives and stewardship payments to encourage voluntary conservation agreements on private land.

15. The immediate commencement of the process to transfer all public native forests currently managed by the Forestry Corporation of NSW to the protected area network and under the care, control and management of the NPWS.

16. Ensuring that the heritage inventory within National Parks and Reserves is maintained and adequately funded.

17. Ensuring that land conservancy organisations are supported in the ways they need to function as protected area managers.

18. Adequate funding to develop conservation agreements with private landholders and to secure the voluntary purchase of private lands within identified high value conservation areas.

19. Assign the care, control and management of First Nations cultural sites within protected areas to First Nations custodians and communities, consistent with the Greens Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples Policy (aka First Nations Policy).

20. The formal recognition of Indigenous Protected Areas in the NSW planning system and a NSW State based secure funding program to provide for the administration and resourcing to communities for the management of those protected areas.

21. Give legislative weight to all joint management agreements between NPWS and First Nations communities relating to reserve management, and encourage their establishment for all National Parks and other relevant public protected areas.

22. Ensuring that all activities in National Parks and other protected areas are consistent with the purposes of protecting, enhancing and restoring their values.

23. Encouraging the public, passive, educational use and enjoyment of National Parks and public protected areas and the acknowledgement, recognition and appreciation of their intrinsic values.

24. Ensuring that any management advisory committees related to the management of National Parks and other protected areas include adequate representation from environment organisations and First Nations communities in recognition of their important role in advising on public participation and providing input to management planning.

25. Increasing public participation and transparency in all decision-making processes involved in the management of National Parks and other protected areas on public lands.

26. Requiring the Environment Protection Authority to provide a public report each year on the state of the public protected area network.

27. Supporting a diverse range of community-based volunteer groups to assist in the management, public education and scientific exploration in National Parks and other protected areas.

28. Maintaining public control/ownership of all developments in National Parks and other protected areas on public lands to protect their natural and cultural values by preventing the further commercialisation of National Parks, especially the granting of additional 'concessions' or head-lease arrangements within National Parks.

29. Recognising that mining beneath or adjacent to National Parks and other protected areas is not acceptable and is inconsistent with the protection, enhancing and restoring their values, and all subterranean lands below depth-limited National Parks and other protected areas should be reserved.

30. Provision for a public nomination process for lands to be added to the National Parks and other protected areas network.

31. The identification across all bioregions of appropriate lands to establish a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system to ensure the ongoing viability of ecosystem function and habitat for native species.

32. The immediate reservation of the highest conservation value public lands identified by this process.

33. Having areas of National Park assessed for National Heritage and World Heritage values and, where appropriate, recommended for nomination.

34. Ensuring that development on lands adjacent to National Parks are subject to development controls that support sympathetic design and construction, regulated under the standard instrument local environmental plan.

35. Consideration being given when assessing new national parks to minimum sizes based on ecological viability and maximising linkages via wildlife corridors to other national parks.

36. The provision of adequate funding and resourcing for effective invasive species control in National Parks and other protected areas.

37. Ensuring that fire management occurs on a select basis that is ecologically sustainable and involves traditional knowledge.

Protected Areas in NSW:

  • Aboriginal Area (NPW Act)
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BC Act)
  • CCA Zone 1 National Park (Brigalow and Nandewar
  • Community Conservation Area Act 2005)
  • CCA Zone 2 Aboriginal Area (BNCCA Act)
  • CCA Zone 3 State Conservation Area (BNCCA Act)
  • Conservation Agreement under NPW Act
  • Conservation Agreement under BC Act

Conservation Reserve

  • Flora Reserve (Forestry Act)
  • Historic Site (NPW Act)

Indigenous Protected Area

  • Karst Conservation Reserve (NPW Act)
  • National Park (NPW Act)
  • Nature Reserve (NPW Act)
  • NCT Agreement (under former Nature Conservation Trust Act)
  • NRS Addition - Gazettal in Progress (unsure of legislated basis unless acquired under Part 11 of the NPW Act)
  • Permanent Park Preserve (Lord Howe Island Act)

Private Nature Reserve

  • Regional Park (NPW Act)
  • Registered Property Agreement (under former
  • Native Vegetation Act)
  • State Conservation Area (NPW Act)

Other related policies:

  • Bushfire Risk Management
  • Coastal management
  • Biodiversity
  • Wetlands
  • Animal Welfare
  • Marine Environment

Revised August 2022