[The following is a reprint of a press release issued by the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, New South Wales, Australia. ]
New South Wales
Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning
Minister for Housing
March 20, 1998
Minister Saves Wingecarribee Swamp
All mining of peat from the environmentally sensitive Wingecarribee Swamp at Robertson will stop today.
The Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Mr Craig Knowles, has placed an Interim Conservation Order over the site effective from today.
Mr Knowles decision follows a recommendation from the NSW Heritage Council.
"The swamp is clearly of State significance because of its natural, archaeological, cultural, scientific, and aesthetic values," Mr Knowles said.
"Wingecarribee Swamp is the oldest high-altitude peat-forming swamp in Australia and the largest with an average depth of three metres.
"The peat has taken about 15,000 years to form, making it the oldest peat deposit in NSW.
"The swamp contains a number of rare flora and fauna species, including the ancient giant dragonfly.
"Also, a number of Aboriginal and European cultural sites have been found around the perimeter of the swamp, which suggests that further artefacts have been preserved within the peat bed.
"An Interim Conservation Order on the site has the support of many government agencies, the local council, community and environment groups," Mr Knowles said.
An Interim Conservation Order lasts for a year, during which time the heritage significance of the site will be assessed to determine whether a Permanent Conservation Order will be applied.
Contact: Daphne Sider (02) 9228 4499 or (0419) 239 177.