Recent Activities

NCC Regional Conference, Lithgow  3-4 June 2017

Report from Don White, Chair, NCC Executive

The annual NCC regional conference was held at Lithgow this last weekend and it was really very successful.

The Lithgow Environment Group co-hosted the conference and really made us welcome and gave us a wonderful trip field trip on Sunday.

Lithgow is an area that is transitioning away from coal and power and other traditional industries.

The Lithgow Environment Group is becoming rejuvenated, and it was wonderful to meet these people who have such a vision for another future for Lithgow, and to feel that we may have assisted them on the journey. There were also many people there from the Blue Mountains and it was good to put them in touch.

The RePower campaign, which NCC recently launched, was completely in line with their situation.

(You can see from photo that many people adopted the T-shirt spontaneously)

We had almost 50 there on Saturday for the conference --- which was held in the Uniting Church (which is a wonderful facility , and the pastor was most welcoming ).

The Mayor of Lithgow attended for most of the day.

There were about 30 on Sunday for the field trip to Newnes, which is when this photo was taken.

 I would particularly thank Jacqui who did the brunt of the organising with Jullie and others from the Lithgow Environment group.

I'd also like to thank Kate and Daisy who were contributing all weekend, and Jane from the Executive who came over from the Central Coast (with John Asquith  - a long trip).

Safeguard our Crown Lands Forum, Bathurst, May 13th 2017

We had 34 attendees from all over the Central West, and as far away as Gilgandra and the forum went very well.  There were speakers on the history and value of  travelling stock reserves, the Aboriginal connection to these lands, the fragility and management of the landscapes of the Western Division; a workshop on the new Crown Lands Management Act 2016 and how communities can have their say on the new regulations and criteria for identifying state significant lands (which is to stay with state government) and locally significant lands (which may be transferred to local government).  There were also several case studies provided by people involved with crown reserve trusts (eg Mt. Arthur at Wellington and Peel Native Flora and Fauna Reserve).

To read more about this forum, please follow the links:

20170513 Crown lands day notes longer version

20170513 Crown lands day notes shorter version

Cilla Kinross presenting Dr. Mike Augee

Discussion panel: Emily Ryan (EDO), Drs. Anne Kerle and Mike Augee (Crown Reserves)

Post forum field trip to Boundary Road Reserve with NPWS Ranger, Steve Woodhall.


Cilla gave a talk on CWEC at the Rahamim Centre, Bathurst 5.30 - 7.30 as part of the Green Drinks activities.   This was an interactive session, with a survey completed.   As soon as I get some time, I'll analyse the results and put them on the website.   There was quite a good crowd there with lots of interesting ideas and some hopeful suggestions in respect of a closer partnership with groups such as the Rahamim Ecology Centre.   Thanks to the generous hosts for an excellent evening (especially the very delicious non-alcoholic beer!).


The Drip and Corner Gorge near Mudgee will be added to national parks estate and saved from coal mining.   The hyrology of the area is still under some threat and Moolarben Coal will be required to keep an eye on this into the future.  Congratulation to Bev Smiles and the environment groups (including us, but particularly the Mudgee District Environment Group) and the locals who helped save this iconic area.

 link to article and photos in SMH


Read CWEC submissions



A group of senators (three Liberal, one Labor, one Christian Democrat and one Green) have been holding a series of public hearings on the process of the Crown Lands Enquiry, with a particular focus on whether there has been adequate public consultation and Aboriginal involvement.

The hearing was in Dubbo on Tuesday 2nd August 2016

Both Bev Smiles and Cilla Kinross spoke to the enquiry, primarily to fill in detail relating to the submission CWEC has made to the review, making the main point that there has been a lack of transparency in the whole process, and in particular the pilot programs, whereby a selected handful of councils has been 'trying out' the potential hand-over of crown lands back to councils.

Nick King from ECCO (Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange) also spoke to ECCO's submission.

May 6-7  2016

This was a very successful event, held in Dubbo, which considered the ramifications of the changes to the biodiversity legislation.   CWEC and the Nature Conservation Council hosted the event and provided the speakers.

Cilla also spoke about the draft regional plan for the Central West and Orana region, which is very much pro-development with very few environmental constraints in place.

See coming event



November 10-11th 2015 at CSU, Bathurst.

CWEC was one of the sponsor of this conference, which was organised by Greening Bathurst to celebrate Bathurst's bicentenary.

The idea for this conference came from Professor David Goldney and was organised by Dr. Cilla Kinross with a committee from Greening Bathurst, who handled the accounts.

This conference had various sponsors, including CSU Bathurst who donated the venue and CSU Green who provided an staff member, Alesha Elbourne, for the two days and assistance, the printing of the abstract and program booklets and scholarships for CSU students to attend.   All Aboriginal presenters as well as 14 delegates were sponsored by the Nature Conservation Trust, Integrated Design and the Lake Cowal Foundation.

The aims of the conference were (briefly) to assess environmental impacts of 200 years of European settlement in the Central West; to compare outcomes with Wiradjuri management; to understand the cultural landscape of the Wiradjuri people; to bring together Aboriginal and European wisdom in creating a new landscape that is sustainable for nature conservation and agricultural production.

The conference attracted 162 delegates, of which 44 were speakers, including our secretary, Bev Smiles (environmental flows) and myself ie Cilla (revegetation and wildlife), and our representative from Peel, Anne Kerle (fauna of the Central West, pictured).

There were also 10 posters or displays, including Sid Parissi et al’s poster on the Aboriginal Nature and Bioscience Park.   27% of the presenters were Aboriginal, 51% were researchers, 17% farmers and 5% environmentalists.  There was also a wonderful wetland art work installation created during the event and a dinner with a talk on Wiradjuri astronomy and a song cycle written for the event by a local band, featuring an Aboriginal narrator, attended by over 90 people.

We have received mostly good feedback so far, and are undertaking a more formal survey. The accounts have not yet been finalised, but we are confident of either breaking even or making a small surplus, which will be put towards the preparation of proceedings to be undertaken early in 2016.


Dams workshop 18/11/2014

The seminar on the impacts of dam construction, using the proposed dam on the Belubula River, on Tuesday November 18th in Orange, was very well attended and there was a clear indication of opposition to the proposal.  Thanks to everyone involved and in particular to the speakers, Daisy Barham (NCC), Bev Smiles (Inland Rivers Network), Bruce Welch (Save Cliefden Caves Association) and Lisa Paton (Neville Landcare). 

Here is a link to an article in the Central Western Daily:

Dams seminar CWD article

There is likely to be another opportunity to air your opinions on this issue, perhaps in Bathurst in February, so watch this space.  There is also going to be a whole conference on the scientific value of the caves next September, also in September, by the Linnaean Society. 

In the meantime, if you wish to support the campaign, please visit the following website

Link:  Save Cliefden Caves Caves


Have Your Say Workshop, Environmental Defenders' Office  June 15 2014

CWEC organised a free community workshop for groups and individuals to better equip themselves with the tools for stronger participation in the decision-making process.  The workshop was run by the Environment Deferenders' Office who had received a grant from the NSW Environment Trust to run community workshops, particularly in regional areas. 

The day was co-hosted by ECCO (Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange) who organised the ELF (Environmental Learning Facility) veue and OFNCS (Orange Field Naturalist & Conservation Society, who helped with promotion.   CWEC provided morning tea and half the cost of the splendid lunch.

The workshop was well attended (27) and most people said that they found it to be very useful and motivating. The main thrust of the workshop was to point people into the right direction in respect of getting legal advice ensuring that their efforts are well directed, particularly in respect of writing submissions.  Case studies such as mining, water management and urban planning put to good use, as well as the topical review of Crown Lands white paper.

Several local issues were raised at the meeting (potential water contamination, over-extraction of water and a proposed new dam), and general advice was provide;  furthermore, representatives of CWEC were on hand to offer their help.

Regional Environment Conference, Bathurst May 4-5 2013

CWEC hosted this excellent conference and paid for the field trip.   On Saturday there was a series of excellent talks on regional environmental matters including river management, mining, native vegetation, catchment management, and the review of planning laws in NSW.  In the afternoon, participants had to roll up their sleeves and were split into two groups to 'workshop' through issues such as public lands management and 'campaigning to win'. 

Many participants stayed at the conference venue, the Rahamim Ecological Learning Centre, which I understand provided excellent accommodation and I can vouch for the wonderful fresh, healthy and tasty food.

On the Sunday, we were taken on a fascinating trip around the Bathurst district with Chris Marshall and Dr. Anne Kerle to Mt Panorama (management of Crown lands, including extreme sports and car racetracks and how these mix with macropods!), Chifley Dam (water and river management), the Macquarie River (restoration, revegation and visitor management with John Fry) amongst other spots.

Here are some photos:

Top left:  Mt. Panorama, Chris Marshall facing camera   Top right: Bev Smiles relaxing at lunch after all her hard work organising the conference.


  Bottom left: Chifley Dam     Bottom right: On the banks of the Macquarie River, Bathurst: John Fry on left in white top                                


And if you want more, please read an article in the local press: link to Western Advocate article

Basin Plan Talk - Orange - Poster (3)
Biodiversity day program Oct 2010

Save Cliefden Caves Caves