Overall, 2012 has been a year of great progress for Friends of Malabar Headland (FoMH) and the many people in the community who share our vision for the future of Malabar Headland.

On 2 March 2012, the Western Bushland section of Malabar Headland was transferred from the Commonwealth Government to the New South Wales Government for use as a National Park.

The formal process of creating the new National Park in the Western Bushland was completed on 21 November 2012 when the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir, reserved the agreed Western Bushland lands under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1974 and assigned them the name Malabar Headland National Park – at last, the Western Bushland is preserved in perpetuity as a National Park.

The Western Bushland offiicially becomes Malabar Headland National Park

The Western Bushland offiicially becomes Malabar Headland National Park

On the other hand there has been frustration: on 9 May 2012, Peter Garrett, MHR for Kingsford Smith, introduced into the House of Representatives the Malabar Headland Protection Bill 2012 which, if passed, is intended to ensure the protection in perpetuity of Malabar Headland as National Park and public open space. The bill has not completed its passage through the Commonwealth Parliament and its future is uncertain due to the ongoing dispute concerning the New South Wales Rifle Association’s continuing occupancy of the long bore rifle range on Malabar Headland.

With the Commonwealth deciding to abandon its appeal against the NSW Supreme Court decision in favour of the NSWRA earlier this year, FoMH hopes that the Commonwealth and the NSWRA can find another way to resolve their differences.

We believe it would be in the interests of all parties if a satisfactory new home could be found for the NSWRA. Were this to happen, the rifle range site could be remediated and handed over to the people of NSW as a community park and the Eastern Bushland could be transferred to New South Wales as the second stage of Malabar Headland National Park.

Throughout the year, FoMH’s two bushcare groups continued their regeneration activities. Both groups work for four hours each week, pulling out weeds and bagging and removing seed heads, and collecting litter. Each year our goups contribute over 1500 person hours of effort to ensure that the magnificent native flora of the Western and Eastern Bushland is not overrun by invasive weeds.

Bitou Bush and Lantana removed from the Western Bushland in December 2012. The Sunday bushcare group have been active in a section of the new National Park where Bitou Bush and Lantana were growing strongly.

Bitou Bush and Lantana removed from the Western Bushland in December 2012. The Sunday bushcare group have been active in a section of the new National Park where Bitou Bush and Lantana were growing vigorously.

FoMH wishes its many friends all the best for the festive season and the new year. We also say thank you to our local members in the Commonwealth and State parliaments, Randwick councillors and the many Commonwealth, State and Randwick Council officers who have worked hard to create a Malabar Headland National Park and plan for further protection and remediation of other parts of the Headland in the years ahead.

Peter Fagan
Chairperson, Friends of Malabar Headland

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