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Blue Mountains wins World Heritage Listing

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has welcomed the historic decision by the World Heritage Committee to add the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to the World Heritage List.

"The Blue Mountains now joins other international icons on the World Heritage List such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon in the United States, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal in India," Senator Hill said.

"The listing of the Blue Mountains brings the number of World Heritage areas in Australia to 14 and further recognises Australia's record in protecting World Heritage areas."

Senator Hill said Australia's nomination of the one million hectare property today won support from the World Heritage Committee at its 24th session in Cairns.

The area includes seven outstanding national parks - the Blue Mountains, Wollemi, Yengo, Nattai, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks - along with the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.

"Sydney is privileged to have such a spectacular area on its doorstep. Few cities of this size are practically surrounded by such stunning natural beauty and the Commonwealth Government recognises the importance of protecting this incredible biodiversity," Senator Hill said.

"All Australians can be proud of this listing - the Greater Blue Mountains is an area of breathtaking views, rugged tablelands, sheer cliffs, deep, inaccessible valleys and swamps teeming with life. It is also home to the recently discovered Wollemi Pine, a living fossil dating back to the age of the dinosaurs.

"This area was nominated for its globally outstanding biodiversity of its plants and animal communities - it boasts 90 of the world's eucalypt species. These eucalypts help make the area famous for the evocative blue haze produced by the interplay of bright sunlight and the fine droplets of oils released into the air by the eucalypts that cover the rugged tablelands and deep valleys."

For more information about Australian reserves on the World Heritage List see www.environment.gov.au

To make further enquiries
click on www.australia.org.nz.



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