Historic Bushland Property to be Bulldozed for Frankston Bypass

Joyce and Simon Welsh, owners of the historic Westerfield property in the Green Wedge south of Frankston were notified last week that 2.656 ha of the pristine remnant bushland on their property will be acquired by the Victorian Government this Thursday 10/12 to make way for the Frankston Bypass. Westerfield is on Robinsons Road, Fig 7g on the attached Biosis map.
 
The Frankston Bypass route takes in a number of other environmentally significant sites ( see attached map.) The present State Government plans would destroy bandicoot habitat, heathland, grassy woodland and grazing land by running the Frankston Bypass and Peninsula Link through the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, historic Westerfield bushland and down the southern reservation past Eramosa Road on the Mornington Peninsula. 

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has also approved the Bypass route.
 
Westerfield, the heritage-listed house and state significant bushland property established in the 1920s by Russell Grimwade is now owned by Simon & Joyce Welsh at Frankston South (aka Baxter). Thanks to the care taken by the Grimwades and the Welshes, the Westerfield bushland is a high quality remnant of state significance for the conservation of endangered Grassy Woodland, and may support Maroon Leak-orchid Prasophyllum frenchii (classed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) and Clover Glycine Glycine latrobeana (vul. EBPC). The proposed alignment goes through the middle of the remnant, destroying most of it. The Bypass route will also destroy a wetland dam immediately south of Robinson’s Road, which provides habitat for Great Egret and potentially for Growling Grass Frog (EPBC listed as vulnerable).  
 
The tragedy is that there are alternatives that would save the Westerfield bushland and Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve and its resident bandicoot population from destruction.
 
Local Flinders federal MP and Opposition Environment spokesman Greg Hunt MHR advocates a series of three tunnels to preserve Westerfield, the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve and the township of Baxter. Mr Hunt argues that the cost of the tunnels would be covered by the savings to be made if the Bypass route joined the Moorooduc Road at Eramosa Road, instead of extending to Mount Martha and Tuerong. 
 
Mr Hunt supports the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s opposition to the present route. Mornington Peninsula Shire Council supports a tunnel under the roads through Baxter. 
 
Greens MP Sue Pennicuik is asking the Legislative Council to oppose the Frankston Bypass.
 
Rosemary West, Joint Coordinator, Green Wedges Coalition
 
 
Please find attached aerial photos and plans showing the location of Westerfield and other environmentally significant sites along the freeway route. More pics & info at: http://www.savethepines.net/index.php/threatened_woodlands_and_wetlands/westerfields_property/ &
http://www.savethepines.net/files/documents/eis_submissions/submission_081_dse_addendum.pdf

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