Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong and Senator Larissa Waters are calling for the Department of Environment to protect Green and Golden Bell Frog habitats from WestConnex.
A Roads and Maritime Services NSW (RMS) referral of proposed action to the Federal Department of Environment seeks to gain permission to use a significant portion of Kogarah Golf Club in Arncliffe for construction and tunneling for at least three years, despite including the habitat of a threatened species.
The referral of proposed action from the RMS to the Department of the Environment has been drafted from at least January of 2015; however it was only submitted for public information on 17 July 2015 with a short window for feedback.
“A condition of the M5 tunnel construction in 1998 was to protect a new frog habitat – the ‘RTS Breeding Ponds’ – to replace the areas destroyed in the motorway construction. Now the RMS is proposing to spend three years constructing a motorway as close as 50 meters to the habitat that its predecessor developed,” said Jenny Leong.
“The RMS and the WestConnex Delivery Authority have not given the public adequate access to the information needed to assess the costs and risks of the WestConnex project. Without the close attention of community activists, we might not have been notified of this application at all.
“The NSW Government is ignoring its responsibility to the people of NSW for transparency and accountability. The WestConnex project should be examined by a parliamentary inquiry and the full business case must be released to the public. The WestConnex process is a sham; the NSW Government must halt the tender and construction processes now. “
Acting leader of the Australian Greens and environment spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters is calling for the federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to refuse approval for this destruction.
“Shamefully, the Environment Minister has a track record of putting developers and mining companies ahead of the environment and communities.
“Tragically, this would not be the first time that an offset which should be protected forever is bulldozed because developers have had a change of heart and our laws are too weak.
“We have a responsibility to protect green spaces and habitats, especially in our cities.”
Referral Detail: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/epbc/epbc_ap.pl?name=current_referral_detail&proposal_id=7520