State government 'having a close look' at buying Radiata Plateau

The state government is "having a very close look" at buying Radiata Plateau for incorporation into the national park.

Environment Minister Matt Kean was in the Blue Mountains on Friday, and said he'd listened to Blue Mountains councillor Kevin Schreiber and NSW Upper House MP Shayne Mallard, "about the importance of Radiata Plateau, the important natural, cultural and recreational values of the area."

"We are having a very close look at acquiring the site for the purposes of incorporating it into the national park network," Mr Kean said.

"There is a process we have to go through. We're currently working through the process and how we assess any property to add on to our national parks, and this site is no different."

The plateau in Katoomba, which is home to rare and threatened plant and animal species, and the state heritage listed "Blacks Ladder" went on the market for $2.8 million with Theo Poulos Real Estate in late June.

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society had been calling for the state government to buy it for inclusion in the Blue Mountains National Park.

Mr Mallard said it was an opportunity not to be missed.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire this environmentally and culturally important site for the benefit of future generations," the Katoomba resident said.

Before the election, Mr Mallard had visited Radiata Plateau.

"I was joined by the then Environment Minister [Gabrielle Upton] and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society to inspect Radiata Plateau and obtained a commitment to review the purchase option," Mr Mallard said.

Labor's environment spokesperson Kate Washington and Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle have also called on Mr Kean to purchase the plateau.

"The time for the government to act is now. This is likely to be the last opportunity for the government to purchase this land," Ms Washington said.

"Our untouched wilderness is an asset which needs to be protected. Tourists don't come to the Blue Mountains to look out at a landscape of hotels and developments," Ms Doyle said.

"The addition of the Radiata Plateau to the National Park will enhance conservation outcomes, preserve important aboriginal cultural heritage, and provide excellent recreation and tourism opportunities."

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.

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