re: Magic Point

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: re: Magic Point
From: Rod Gardner <>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:31:05 +1000

Magic Point is part of what is more accurately
known as the Malabar Headland. This area, between
Maroubra Beach and Long Bay in Sydney's eastern
suburbs, is former Defence land that is now
administered by the Commonwealth Government. It
has been off limits for the public for decades,
and nothing has changed. The fines that Lorne
referred to are not new, though there have been
some new signs put up.

There is a local group, Friends of Malabar
Headland, which is campaigning to have this area
declared a national park. This is supported by
the NSW State Government and the Randwick LGA,
but the Commonwealth Government is playing its
cards close to its chest, and there is a chance
that at least some of this area will be sold off
to developers. There are two significant areas of
Eastern Suburbs banksia scrub (east and west of
the rifle range), which together make up the
largest remaining area of this habitat anywhere.
Apart from being a superb place for seabirds (64
species recorded), it has a very good overall
bird list (207 species).

The chances of being fined $46000 are slim - that
is for significant environmental damage. Trail
bike riders are out there regularly doing damage,
and have never been prosecuted. Otherwise, apart
from birders, anglers use the headland a lot, as
do people walking their dogs, and also people
just walking out to this peaceful and beautiful
headland that is only a few kilometers from the
Sydney CBD. There is a remote chance of incurring
a $1000 fine for simple trespass, though no-one
has ever been prosecuted as far as I know. There
is, though, a further concern for bird club
outings to the headland, which is that if a
member of the group were to break a leg, for
example, the club would be liable. There is, by
the way, Buckley's chance of getting special
permission for birders to be allowed access to
the headland.

If you want to support the campaign to have this
outstanding area declared a national park, you
might want to contact Friends of Malabar
Headland. The chair is Peter Ryan,

Dr Rod Gardner
Senior Lecturer
Department of Linguistics
School of Modern Language Studies
University of New South Wales
NSW 2052

Tel: ±61 2 9385 1454
Fax: ±61 2 9385 8723

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