Should private businesses be allowed to turn a profit on public lands? Specifically, areas that have been deemed worthy of protection and preservation? This is your chance to let the NSW State Government know what you think. 

Proposed Leases Open For Public Comment

The NSW State Government is currently seeking public comment on a proposal to grant two leases to ‘private sector partners’ within the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area, west of the Blue Mountains. Submissions end at close of business Thursday 18th of January.

Have Your Say


The Gardens of Stone Conservation Area, just 5km from Lithgow, was reserved in May 2022 and is best known for its iconic pagoda landscape. The area is fragile and precious, as it’s recovering from the carnage of the Black Summer Bushfires and is home to many Aboriginal sites and threatened species.

However, due to the Gardens of Stone’s unique landscape and proximity to Sydney, it’s part of the state government and NSW National Parks Plan of Management for the area that it becomes a ‘major new visitor destination’ with the development of luxury accommodation and an ‘adventure activity precinct’. 

That’s where the proposed private-sector leases come in. The proposed leases would be granted to two privately owned companies – ‘Wild Bush Luxury Pty Ltd’ and ‘Trees Adventure Holdings Pty Ltd’.

Wild Bush Luxury would be leased to create four areas of accommodation for a supported version of a yet to be built multi-day walk through the area, and Trees Adventure Holdings would be permitted to create and operate an adventure park inclusive of ziplines, suspension bridges, and via ferrata. 

Both proposed leases are for a 20 year term.

So what’s the problem?

The government has outlined on the below map the proposed location of the accommodation and adventure park.



However according to the current Plan of Management for the Gardens of Stone Conservation Area, many assessments of the area, including cultural and environmental have yet to take place. 

‘A detailed understanding of ecosystem function, biodiversity values and threats to these values is not yet in place’, the plan states on page 5. 

In terms of cultural preservation, the Plan of Management makes it adamant that supporting the Wiradjuri people’s aspirations for their Country, on which the conservation area sits, is of utmost importance to the NSW National Parks.

’Management of the park and the activities that occur on it have potential to affect Country. NPWS is committed to developing appropriate partnerships with Wiradjuri People, incorporating Wiradjuri perspectives into management of the park, and supporting their aspirations for their Country.’

However, it’s unclear whether consultation has been conducted over the proposal to lease the development and operation of accommodation and activities within the park to private sector partners.  

In fact, page 7 of the Plan of Management states, ‘There are many known Aboriginal sites within the park, and it is likely that there are many others that have not yet been recorded and which remain vulnerable to disturbance’.  

The minimal information about the proposed accommodation and adventure activities, alongside the lack of environmental and cultural assessment and consultation, is deeply worrying. Not to mention the use of public land for private gain.

Have Your Say

This is your chance to let NSW National Parks know whether you support its proposal of private business on public lands. 

Email your thoughts to or use the comment box at the bottom of the proposal page.

Public submissions close at close of business tomorrow! Hop to it!

Have Your Say


Feature photo thanks to Destination NSW