Bushland Tracks and Trails
STEP is of the view that there are many positive aspects to a system of well-planned and well-maintained tracks and trails in urban bushland. When combined with good signage they open up the wonders of the bush and promote conservation education. Tracks and trails should be part of a system which protects the bushland, should be appropriately managed and should enhance the enjoyment of bushland by locals and visitors.
In August 2010, we published a position paper, encouraging the construction of tracks and trails for recreational and management purposes in areas that are degraded and severely degraded. We think that space should be provided for creative track building to encourage team skills, creativity and physical skills of young people. This needs to be associated with a remedial plan and no loss of neighbourhood amenity. Track and trail construction is not recommended in:
- areas with threatened populations, ecological communities or species
- areas which contain aboriginal, cultural or geological heritage
- riparian areas
- core bushland (bushland that has not been substantially modified)
Bushwalking is generally an acceptable activity on all tracks and trails, except those specifically designed for some other purpose such as bike riding. Cycling is an appropriate activity if confined to authorised sections of management trails and to separate authorised cycling tracks in degraded areas. Recreational motorised vehicles and horses are generally not acceptable on any track, with the exception of existing dedicated horse trails.
Blue Gum High Forest
In 2007 the Blue Gum High Forest Group, a coalition of concerned groups, won their long-running campaign to protect the Blue Gum High Forest in St Ives. They:
- succeeded in having the Blue Gum High Forest ecological community listed as critically endangered under Commonwealth legislation
- campaigned successfully to have both 100 and 102 Rosedale Road purchased
- successfully nominated the Blue Gum High Forest for listing on the NSW Heritage Register
Blue Gum High Forest Discovery Kits are available to schools and other interested parties from Friends of Lane Cove National Park.
One owner, house since demolished and forest regenerating.
Purchased for $1.8m; 9-lot subdivision refused by Ku-ring-gai Council.
Gazettal of Blue Gum High Forest as an endangered ecological community.
Lot 12 (102 Rosedale Road) and Lot 13 (100 Rosedale Road) sold for $2.2m.
Land and Environment Court rejected a 4-lot subdivision on Lot 12 on the grounds of its inability to provide a sufficient asset protection zone (from bushfire hazard) and also its impact on the endangered Blue Gum High Forest community.
Development application was submitted to Ku-ring-gai Council for a dwelling on 100 Rosedale Road.
100–102 Rosedale Road was advertised for sale.
Ku-ring-gai Council unanimously agreed to allocate part-funding for the purchase of 100–102 Rosedale Road.
Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Heritage listed the Blue Gum High Forest and the Turpentine Ironbark Forest in the Sydney Basin as critically endangered.
100 Rosedale Road was bought by the NSW Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation as an offset to compensate for 0.33 ha of Blue Gum High Forest destroyed as a result of upgrading Hornsby Railway Station and the property was transferred to the Department of Environment and Conservation.
Blue Gum High Forest St Ives was selected as a Threatened Species Demonstration Site. This endangered ecological community was the first of 11 sites within the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Area chosen to showcase best practice management to ensure the long-term viability of threatened species, populations and/or ecological communities.
NSW Scientific Committee determined that the Blue Gum High Forest ecological community be listed as critically endangered, recognising the increased level of threat since it was listed as endangered in 1977 under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.
A development application was submitted for a large single dwelling on 102 Rosedale Road. The application was rejected by Ku-ring-gai Council.
102 Rosedale Road was purchased by Ku-ring-gai Council, assisted by $350,000 from the National Reserve System and over $72,000 in public donations.
Submissions to Government
STEP is continually responding to relevant issues. These may be comments on plans of management for natural areas, the questioning of inappropriate development proposals, taking land managers to task for neglect or inappropriate management actions, and a myriad of other matters that seem to occur far too often. Click here for our submissions to government.
Blue Gum High Forest
In 2007 the Blue Gum High Forest Group, a coalition of concerned groups, won their long-running campaign to protect the Blue Gum High Forest in St Ives read more
Bushland Tracks and Trails
STEP is of the view that there are many positive aspects to a system of well-planned and well-maintained tracks and trails in urban bushland read more
Many media commentators and some environmentalists seem to believe that the population debate is all a dog-whistling exercise orchestrated by the bigoted and xenophobic. While there are of course some of those people around that is far from STEP’s position read more
STEP is hosting information on protecting powerful owls in Sydney on behalf of the Powerful Owl Coalition read more
STEP has participated in the debate about expressway construction for 35 years. We were very involved in the campaign that resulted in the proposed expressway through the length of the Lane Cove Valley bushland being abandoned and have participated by responding to all proposals such as the original M2 and the proposed F3 to M2 and M7 link read more
St Ives Showground
In early 2010 Ku-ring-gai Council placed the draft options for St Ives Showground and precinct lands on public exhibition read more
Stringybark Ridge is part of the Berowra Valley National Park. The main parties involved seemed then to be in agreement that this is how it should remain. However in March 2015 NPWS issued a new draft PoM which proposed a spectacular reversal of their own previous policy read more
Sydney Adventist Hospital Site
The Wahroonga Estate Concept Plan was approved by the NSW Minister of Planning on 31 March 2010. This approval brought to an end a saga that began in early-2007 read more
UTS (Ku-ring-gai Campus)
For the last 25 years, STEP has been involved with the future and conservation of urban bushland at the University of Technology Sydney campus at Lindfield read more