NSW Minister for the Environment, the Hon Mark Speakman, recently launched a new publication about the amazing natural and cultural values of the Greater Blue Mountains.
The Greater Blue Mountains was originally nominated to the World Heritage List for both natural and cultural values, but was only inscribed for natural values related to Eucalyptus plant communities and rare species. The area is included on Australia’s National Heritage List for the same reasons.
Over the last 15 years understanding of the many values of the Greater Blue Mountains has grown, ranging between extraordinary geology to amazing galleries of rock art and contemporary Indigenous culture. It is fitting that these and other values are now formally recognised, both nationally and internationally.
The Australian Heritage Council is re-assessing the Greater Blue Mountains for these additional values. The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee has shared the expertise and experience of its members across a range of disciplines to assist with this re-assessment. More than a year ago, current and former members of the Advisory Committee prepared a series of expert papers about this extraordinary place.
The Advisory Committee has now published this information so that it can be readily accessible to students, managers, researchers, and anyone else who is interested in the Greater Blue Mountains.
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area: Values for a New Generation is available in both printed form and online here.
The book presents engaging and informative papers on geodiversity, contemporary Aboriginal culture, epic history, the interaction between nature and culture and, of course sublime panoramas and scenic grandeur.
Richard Mackay introduced the Minister at the launch at Govetts Leap on 28 November. As well as launching the book, the Minister also paid tribute to Richard’s achievements as Chair of the Advisory Committee:
I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Prof Richard Mackay, who having served since the original appointment of the Committee; the last 5 years as its Chair, will step down at the end of this year. Richard enjoys an international reputation in heritage management, and is currently a cultural heritage adviser to the World Heritage Committee. The World Heritage Area is fortunate to have reaped the benefits of his energy, clear thinking and persuasive, values-based approach.
The Blue Mountains Gazette published two stories about the celebration and the Values book.
The Greater Blue Mountains extends across the traditional lands of the Darug, Darkinjung, Gundungurra, Tharawal, Wonarua and Waradjeri peoples.