Duffy's Forest, NSW, Australia
Waratah Park Nature Reserve Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the Iconic home of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and the location of the hit 1960’s TV series. Located at Duffy’s Forest in Sydney, this beautiful 13 hectare property is under constant threat of development. Our group is dedicated to making sure that this does not happen. We do not want to see another piece of Australian history lost to development. As one supporter has aptly said “Knocking down Waratah Park would be like knocking down the Opera House”.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Skippy Day" Save the date

Sunday the 31st Jan, 2010.
Set aside this date for a day of awarenss & fun. Venue yet to be announced.

Stay Tuned

Penny

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A very moving Video

This was emailed to me by one of the friends of Waratah.
I moved me to tears..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLRhGekzdmY&feature=fvw.

Penny

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 Newspaper Articles

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/preservation-proposal-for-skippy-park/

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/council-seeks-to-acquire-lease-of-waratah-park/

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/request-for-no-cost-lease-to-save-park/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Copy of Last nights Council Meeting Speech.

Last nights council meeting went well. I presented a case to council to lobby governemnt for Waratah park..


Good evening, Mayor, councilors and members of the Gallery 
My name is Penny Edmonds and I’m heading up the Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary support Group. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank coucillors for their time this evening and to the members of the gallery who have come along to show their support. 
Waratah Park was once home to Skippy, and is a magnificent 12-hectare sanctuary adjoining the spectacular Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which recently achieved national heritage listing for its outstanding biodiversity values. Waratah Park won international recognition as the quintessential Australian wildlife setting and served a crucial role as an ambassador for Australia's biodiversity and extraordinary natural environment. 
Tonight we ask council to investigate the opportunity for the inclusion of Waratah Park and the iconic rangers cottage into the State Heritage Register. At the very least I urge Council to heritage list this local historical site within the new LEP. 
We also ask council to call on the State Government to explain why a property development company has been able to acquire a lease on a ‘Tourist Nature Park’ without ministerial consent following liquidation of the previous conservation company Earth Sanctuary Pty Ltd. 
Council should notify the Minister for Lands, of its strong opposition to Waratah Park being privately acquired with the intention of any future subdivision.  
If the current lease is not valid and was obtained without ministerial consent as the EDO has advised is probably the case, the minister should be urged to refuse any application of assigning the lease of a former animal sanctuary to a property developer, particularly a company whose managing director is considered a fugitive by the Dubai authorities and is to be tried in his absence on fraud charges.  
We ask that council Declare to the Minister an interest in acquiring the lease at no financial cost and extending the lease for Waratah Park for the purpose of public recreation and environmental protection as stated in the draft proposal I have presented to council. Similar action was recently successful with Leichart Council acquiring a 99 lease over 40 hectares of the Callan Park site.  
The group urges Council to request the Minister immediately terminate the lease with Prudentia Investments due to its failure to  conduct activities in accordance with the purpose of the lease that is as ‘Tourist Nature Park’.  and hat Council will explore opportunities for a sustainable future for Waratah Park.  
We require that you do this quickly as time is of the essence and Prudentia are in the first stage of presenting a businesss case to the Minister.   
We believe that if Warringah Council were to be gifted the Park, it could be a wonderful place for our community, & visitors from around Australia and the world to visit once again. Unlimited possibilities exist.

We urge that council do all they can to not let this become another unwanted housing development and destroy an iconic piece of Australian history.  Our Bushland is fast being taken up by greedy developers without any concern for our native bushland or animals. 

Our group with the support of the Duffys Forest Residents Association will do all that we can to prevent an inappropriate development on this site.
We are greatly encouraged by Councils proactive approach in this matter.
Thank you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Petition

Pleae sign this Petition to help Save Warath Park from being deveopled into another pointless housing development.

http://www.gopetition.com.au/online/31033.html

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Have a read!

http://www.smh.com.au/national/friendless-and-furious-kuringgai-fights-for-life-20090918-fvcr.html

Recieved an email From the Premier

Dear Ms Edmonds

The Premier has received your recent email concerning the Waratah Earth Sanctuary.

As the matter you have raised primarily concerns the administration of the Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, Minister for Energy, Minister for Corrective Services, Minister for Public Sector Reform and Special Minister of State, the Hon J C Robertson, MLC, the Premier has arranged to bring your approach to the Minister’s attention.

You may be sure that your comments will receive close consideration.

Yours sincerely




Emanuel Sklavounos
for Director General

Monday, September 21, 2009

The recent Documentary

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAN0EUkjN-4

I was priveleged to be asked to attend by the Director himself. It was an awesome night.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Brief History

Originally famous as the home of "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" after the TV series filmed there during the 1960’s, the previously mismanaged Wildlife Park was closed in February 2003. After the series ended both the set and the animals used in filming remained. Over the years the place deteriorated, unsure whether it was an animal sanctuary, a petting zoo, or a movie set.

Earth Sanctuaries Ltd. (ESL) then purchased the lease with the sole aim of rejuvenating the site as a centre for conservation. The bushland area and nature reserve had been properly restored and the park re-opened to the public as an Earth Sanctuary in 2003, the first of its type in Sydney.
Earth Sanctuaries Limited who have a track record of restoring native wildlife habitats.

Species of rare and endangered animals once native to the Ku-ring-gai Chase region were being re-introduced, species seldom recognised by most Australians including pademelons, bettongs, bandicoots and potoroos.
The major objective for Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary was to restore the balance of native flora and fauna that existed prior to European settlement of the area. It was being hailed as the 1788 sanctuary! This had been achieved by the feral-proof fencing the sanctuary, eradicating all feral animals, restoring appropriate native vegetation, landscaping and planting indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses.

In the end, ESL's market-based conservation model failed the test of long-term sustainability. In 2006, ESL's remaining assets were taken over by Prudentia Investments, a Melbourne-based property development group.
Waratah Park is now leased by Prudentia from the Lands Department and has been closed for nearly two years, apparently for renovation. Residents believe Prudentia has let the site run down because it intends to build houses there.
The lease, which expires in October 2015, specifies the land must be used for “Tourist Facilities and Services”. Prudentia are being very secretive as to their plans for the park.
This could be a wonderful opportunity to return this back to our community. We have enough golf courses and not enough family & educational based parks for the families to enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Heading to Parliament

Hello all,
I was informed yesterday that Rob Stokes is taking the plight of Waratah to Parliament. That will be next week  in a Public Forum.

Animals are being removed as we speak..

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/skippy-park-animals-move-to-new-homes/

Will keep you updated.

Penny

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another encouraging email today!

Hi Penny,
Your email was forwarded for me from Sydney Wildlife World. I run the Conservation Fund at the Sydney Aquarium. We always want to encourage the members of the community to be active in protecting environment. Please, email me direct and we can discuss the ideas.

Kind Regards, Maija Honkavaara

A good point raised by a Manly Daily reader...

What is wrong with the Lands Department?  Why didn’t the lease specify that the land must be used for Tourist Facilities that includes caring for all native animals on the site and that the lease will be automatically terminated if such care is not best practice.

Doco on the ABC for Skippy!

http://www.facebook.com/juleshodgson?ref=mf#/ABCTV.au?ref=share

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reply to one of my emails...

Dear Penny
Thank you for your email. We have been in contact with Rob Stokes office and will be given a report on the meeting outcome.
Kind regards



Thoughts

What this place could be..

A Wildlife Sanctuary, with a Sensory Garden, Aboriginal education centre, Eco garden , wildflower garden, and a small wetlands area. The possibilities are endless..

Just Please not another lot of housing!!

Emailed

In between Friday and Now I have also emailed a few other people and am still waiting responses..

Taronga Park Zoo
RSPCA NSW
Fetherdale Wildlife Park
Mike Baird (MP for Manly)

And a few others.

Friday 21st August, 2009

Today I contacted several people in relation to being able to save the Park.
The first person I contacted was a representative of Prudentia Investments.
Had a long chat with him in regards to what was going on but got the feeling that
they are not to bothered about the whole thing. Was told that they are open to ideas
of how to best use the site, that they had put forward some planning to the council and had been rejected.
So I rang council, had a lovely long chat with a guy there, only to discover we have a little bit of conflicting information.
I decided then that I needed more help so I contacted the MP that is in charge of that area.
He is on Leave till the 31st.. so I have to wait.

Saving Waratah

I was saddened the other day to read that Waratah Park was in danger of being lost to the Northern Beaches. This has prompted me in to action.

The link below details the beginning of this story...

http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/native-animals-put-down-at-home-of-skippy/

Waratah Park Nature Reserve Foundation