More than 30 environmental and heritage groups and community leaders have signed an open letter to Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton calling for Radiata Plateau to be bought by the government and included in the Blue Mountains National Park.
The letter from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, which will be sent to the minister on Wednesday, explains why protection is crucial and calls on the minister to urgently recognise the ecological and heritage significance of the plateau in Katoomba.
“The coming together of such a significant number of diverse community groups and leaders is ground-breaking and demonstrates the widespread and sustained support in the Blue Mountains for the plateau to be conserved and protected forever,” said society president Madi Maclean.
The majority of the plateau is private land owned by Maharishi’s Global Administration and Natural Law, that has wanted to develop the site.
In March last year the NSW Land and Environment Court refused two development applications on Radiata Plateau from Maharishi’s, but approved one dwelling on Pulpit Hill Rd, from which the plateau is accessed.
The organisation provides public access to the plateau, which is a haven for rock climbers and bushwalkers.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill was one of the signatories to the letter.
“Radiata Plateau is a jewel. It must be protected. That’s why council resolved last year to support the call of the conservation society to have the whole area safeguarded,” he said.
“As mayor, I support the protection of the Radiata Plateau and see its unique features as deserving to be part of our world heritage legacy for all time.”
Ms Maclean said Radiata was the last undeveloped peninsular plateau in the Upper Blue Mountains and because of this many people believe the plateau is part of the national park.
The society is also requesting an urgent meeting with Ms Upton to discuss the future of the plateau.