Blue Mountains World Heritage Area listing anniversary

It will be party time at Govetts Leap in Blackheath this Saturday, November 28, when members of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area advisory committee, friends, residents and anyone who wants to join in celebrate 15 years since the UNESCO listing.

At the very spot where then Environment Minister Robert Hill made the announcement in 2000, a new book will be launched giving insights into some of the area’s natural, historical and cultural highlights.

Values for a New Generation brings together the work of current and former committee members who have investigated and discovered there’s much more than even they knew about in the world heritage area.

Chairman of the advisory committee, Professor Richard Mackay, said incredible Aboriginal rock art walls had been found, with a highly unusual mix of both engraved art and painted art in the same area. 

An examination of the geology of the area had given a greater understanding of the magnificent pagodas, bottleneck valleys and slot canyons.

Professor Mackay said the listing recognised the Mountains for its natural values, in particular its biodiversity. But the committee would argue its Indigenous, geological and historic values should also be recognised.

He also said arguments could be made for extending the boundaries of the world heritage area.

The UNESCO citation back in 2000 described the area as “one of the largest and most intact tracts of protected bushland in Australia” with an “exceptional representation” of eucalypts.  

“Its exceptional biodiversity values are complemented by numerous others, including indigenous and post-European-settlement cultural values, geodiversity, water production, wilderness, recreation and natural beauty,” the citation said.

Values for a New Generation will be launched by the NSW Environment Minister, Mark Speakman. It will available as an e-book as well as a small number of hard copies destined for libraries and other research bodies.

The festivities kick off at 2pm. Bring a picnic, rug/chairs and help celebrate. There will be an RFS fund-raising sausage sizzle, coffee from Cafe2U, the Didgeridoo Dingoes (reforming to play at this event), the Welcome Singers children’s choir, inspired by Aunty Carol Cooper, and the world premiere of Janelle Randall-Court’s dance production, Treasures.

There is also the Bunburang Exhibition currently showing at the NPWS Heritage Centre and local 15-year-old world heritage guardians will share their enthusiasm for the Mountains’ natural wonder.

Spectacular sight: Govetts Leap at Blackheath, where the 15th anniversary of world heritage listing will be celebrated on Saturday.

Spectacular sight: Govetts Leap at Blackheath, where the 15th anniversary of world heritage listing will be celebrated on Saturday.

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