In 1962, Riverstone Meat Company (a subsidiary of Angliss Meats) sought to dedicate its landholding in the Riverstone area as a Wildlife Refuge.
In 1963, the Governor of NSW proclaimed the establishment of 3,700 acres of land on the western and eastern sides of South Creek to be “Riverstone Wildlife Refuge, No. 76”.
The Refuge extended from the Riverstone Abattoir site south to Richmond Rd and west to near George Street, Windsor. Half was in Blacktown Local Government Area.
Uses of the land were restricted. Sustaining and improving the native flora and fauna species of the area was required.
In the mid 1980’s, presumably under a new management board, Angliss Meats and the Government’s development arm (Landcom) commenced development on the western side of South Creek to form the suburbs of Bligh Park and Windsor Downs.
A 380ha area on the western side of South Creek became Windsor Downs Nature Reserve.
It will fail as a Nature Reserve because it is surrounded to the west, north and east by residential development and by Richmond Road on the south side. It is no habitat for terrestrial fauna and flora species diversity is reducing due to excess incidents of arson.
Terrestrial fauna had to retreat to that part of the Riverstone Wildlife Refuge in Blacktown Local Government Area. This includes Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Goannas among other species.
It is significant to note that most of the development of Bligh Park and Windsor Downs occurred prior to the formal revocation of Riverstone Wildlife Refuge by the Governor of NSW. Revocation occurred in about 1999.
Morally, if not legally, the development on Riverstone Wildlife Refuge on the western side of South Creek was a breach of conditions for wildlife conservation.
Now, the eastern side of South Creek is under consideration for development as Marsden Park North Precinct and Riverstone West Precinct.
Terrestrial fauna displaced from the west of South Creek sought refuge in these areas.
Our appeal to the land owners, NSW Government and Blacktown Council is to not destroy all that the former Riverstone Wildlife Refuge achieved.
- Protect Indigenous and European cultural heritage sites
- Allow sufficient flood plain to exist so as to prevent adverse effects as occurred in the huge 1867 and subsequent floods.
We would prefer that Marsden Park North Precinct development not proceed but, if it must …..
- Ensure a continuous wildlife corridor from Garfield Road to a sufficiently sized floodplain of South Creek.
- Protect old growth trees.
We are keen to speak to land owners, NSW Government and Blacktown Council on this matter before wrong environmental outcomes occur and all that Riverstone Wildlife Refuge achieved is wasted.