Warren moved to the Kiama LGA more than 40 years ago working locally as an industrial arts teacher for 23 years. With his wife Karen and daughters Jessie and Nicci, they have been active campaigners for environmental protection in the Kiama LGA.
Warren has competed in and won multiple Australian and NSW windsurfing titles. He is well known as the voice behind the Illawarra ABC radio surfing report.
Warren received a Conservation Champion Award at the Kiama Electorate Community Recognition Awards Ceremony on Monday 21 October 2019.
Warren has been President of the Gerroa Environmental Protection Society since 2006, and has written many submissions to ensure decisions that affect the local environment take into account environmental protection factors as well as local knowledge of the flora and fauna.
Most recent conservation activities and issues relate to the following:
- 2019 Boral Sand-mining modification at Dunmore – As background, Boral have lodged an application with the NSW Department of Planning to expand their Dunmore sand mining operation near Kiama on the NSW South Coast. The two new proposed sand mining pits would be dug within and in close proximity to environmentally sensitive areas along the Minnamurra River.
Warren was a key organiser of the community event at Minnamurra Headland to share information on the sand mine with the local community. At this event, Warren made a public speech to share his knowledge of the local environment and the impact this modification may have on the local ecological communities. There were hundreds of people in attendance, who appreciated his effort, his public speech, and the coordination that was undertaken to deliver a clear message of no support.
An extract from the Illawarra Mercury report on the above event states, “Warren Holder of the Gerroa Environmental Protection Society said he …. offered to work with the company to find another, more suitable site. Mr Holder held grave fears for the current proposal as he said up to 90 Bangalow trees would be removed – home to dozens of endangered and threatened animal species. ‘Fourty-one species were recognised to be living in that community, of which 20 Boral [did not recognise],’ he said.
In the above, as well as other conservation issues listed below, Warren is actively involved in educating the community in regards to conservation matters. This includes such things as meeting with local members, State Senators, Mayors, Councillors, representatives of the Companies mentioned above and below, and members of the local community.
Other issues in the past, where he has been actively involved, include:
- 2018-19 Cleary Brothers Sand-mining modification and Seven Mile Beach, Gerroa
- 2014 roadside clearing of 147 mature trees in Seven Mile Beach National Park, including the ‘Bum Tree’
- 2017 Shoalhaven Heads land rezoning from Crown land to allow housing on very important bushland
Warren, as President of GEPS, has recently initiated conservation walks through the Seven Mile Beach National Park. He has taken many people through the forest in order to educate them on the environment. His walks have covered such issues as ‘fire – and how it changes the vegetation’ and also the night-time biodiversity forest walks where local community members can see the wildlife, including the Greater Glider (an endangered species).
When the community gets a chance to experience the local environment and learn more about the animals and trees, and the interactions among living organisms and their physical surrounds, then they will be more likely to understand how important it is to protect and conserve this special area. Warren Holder demonstrates a genuine commitment to educate, protect and promote conservation values in our local area and has done so over a very long time.