Radiata Plateau has gone on the market for $2.8 million, amid renewed calls for the state government to buy it for inclusion in the Blue Mountains National Park.
The Blue Mountains Conservation Society says the plateau must be protected, and is home to rare and threatened plant and animal species, the state heritage listed "Blacks Ladder" and is the last undeveloped peninsula-plateau in the Upper Mountains.
"All of this is in jeopardy if the plateau remains in private hands - the only way it can be permanently protected is if the NSW government purchases the property for inclusion in the national park," said society president Lachlan Garland.
"This is the time for Minister [Matt] Kean [environment minister] to make a landmark decision for conservation."
The 306 hectares of bushland, which comprises five lots on one title and development approval for a residential property on a separate title, went on the market with Theo Poulos Real Estate last Friday.
The majority of Radiata Plateau, also known as Mt Elphinstone, is privately owned by Maharishi's Global Administration and Natural Law, which operates the Transcendental Meditation program. Currently the organisation provides public access to the plateau in Katoomba, which is a haven for rock climbers and bushwalkers.
Before the state election, the Liberal government had undertaken to review the ecological merits of acquiring the plateau, if it was on the market. Labor had said it would negotiate to buy land at Radiata Plateau to add to the national park if it won the election.
If follows a 35-year campaign by the Blue Mountains Conservation Society to protect the area, and in December more than 30 groups and community leaders signing an open letter to then Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton calling for Radiata Plateau to be bought by the government.
Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said she had recently written to the environment minister reminding him of the Berejiklian government's election promise to review the proposed acquisition of Radiata Plateau. "Our community deserves to know when the proposed acquisition will proceed," she said.
Federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said she has written to federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley, asking her to encourage and assist the NSW government to purchase the property for incorporation into the national park, and invited her to visit.
Former Liberal candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, has also backed the push.
A response has been sought from Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean.