The Grose River is contained almost entirely within a World Heritage Area. While sewage pollution in the area has been addressed, pollution at damaging levels continues from a disused coal mine, closed in 1997. Despite some surface rehabilitation, no action has occurred to remediate zinc polluted waters emanating from the mine. We examine the historical regulation and management of the Australian Commonwealth and New South Wales governments and highlight gaps in both regulatory systems. We conclude that there is an urgent need to improve regulation of water pollution, mining and management of the environment in highly valued world heritage areas.