Hunters Hill

Bush care group declared Hunters Hill heroes

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ‘green ban’ and the Battle for Kelly’s Bush.

Kelly’s Bush is previously the site of a tin smelter and was famously saved from incoming development by dedicated conservationists in 1971
The battle for Kelly’s Bush is well known as are The Battlers who spearheaded the protest to save the bush for their children and the community.
With the help of the NSW Builders Labourers’ Federation, the world’s first green ban was applied in Sydney at Hunters Hill in 1971.
The Battlers saved this special site for our community and now the Kelly’s Bush Carers are restoring and maintaining it for generations to come.
This ongoing dedication to bush regeneration has earned the group a nod as Hunters Hill Heroes.
Since 1995, dedicated Bushcare volunteers have carried on the legacy of the Kelly’s Bush Battlers who worked so hard to preserve this vital site for future generations.
The site now boasts a huge array of native plant species, with volunteers lovingly restoring and maintaining regenerating areas, whilst also battling weeds present elsewhere on site.
The volunteers meet on Monday mornings and once the weeding work is done, they gather under a banksia tree at the entrance to Kelly’s Bush to share their knowledge over a cup of tea.
Jill Stephenson, a fellow bush carer, said the Kelly’s Bush Carers were quiet achievers, carrying on from the victorious Battlers.
Jill said volunteer members had been unstinting in their long-time bush regeneration, joining weekly to keep Kelly’s Bush as pristine as possible for all to enjoy.
“It was fought for and it’s been managed very beautifully ever since,” Jill said.
“All the people, local and otherwise, enjoy it.”
The Bush Carers said when they started out the weeds on the site were dreadful, as was the dumping of everything from rubbish to old cars.
Now it was a lovely block of bush.
The COVID-19 pandemic had made the site more valued than ever as the community was staying closer to home and heading to outdoor recreation areas.
More people were using Kelly’s Bush than ever before, the Bush Carers said.
As for their ongoing work: “We’re always keen to have other people come and support us,” the group’s members said.
For more information about the Kelly’s Bush Carers or the other Bushcare groups operating across Hunters Hill go to: huntershill.nsw.gov.au/bushcare-volunteers
(* Article contributed by Hunters Hill Council Communications Officer Jacqui Jones)