PROTEST AGAINST BUSHLAND DESTRUCTION AND EPBC BREACHES

Save Our Bush RALLY,  WED 2 JUNE @ 8.30am
Local community and environmental groups from the Save Our Bush Alliance will protest against the illegal bulldozing of environmentally significant remnant bushland and wetlands along the Peninsula Link freeway reservation:

 Gather outside the Victorian Transport Conference 2010, Crown Conference Centre, Crown Promenade Hotel, 8 Whiteman Street (cnr Queensbridge St), Southbank

From Flinders Street Station, exit to Southbank. Cross the Yarra by the Sandbridge Railway Bridge (bridge with the wire sculptures) and continue on the other side to Queensbridge Street. Turn left and walk to the corner of Queensbridge Street and Whiteman - the first traffic lights and a short block away. The Crown Promenade Hotel is the medium building with various shades of green glass. We will assemble in front of the Crown Casino entrance across from the Hotel in front of the grey wall.  

The Pobblebonk and Willow Road Wetlands at Frankston North have been largely destroyed by bulldozers sent in by the freeway construction contractor, Southern Way, apparently without obtaining the necessary approvals and without complying with EES conditions to relocate indigenous plants and animals from the sites. The area cleared includes the site of rare green color form of the indigenous Dainty Wasp Orchid, which has been wiped out (see comment below from Alison Kuiter).

 
Government sources say that the environmental plan has two parts - one for flora and one for threatened species. To date, they say, the Linking Melbourne Authority has authorised Southern Way, the construction company, to develop these plans, which have been submitted to the Dept of Sustainability and Environment , but not approved. Work has apparenlty been halted because of these breaches and construction is unlkely to resume until their EMPs have been approved by DSE.
 
The public is often unaware of the inevitable environmental destruction involved in freeway construction, which goes on behind high fences. In this case however, State Government appointed road-builders are not even bothering to take basic precautions to minimise the damage, as specified in the EES conditions (see links below) .
 
Next, the bulldozers will be wreaking destruction in the highly significant Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve and the priceless Westerfield Bushland on the heritage-listed property established by the late Russell Grimwade. Current owners, Joyce and Simon have an appeal to the Heritage Victoria desision to approve this destruction listed for 25 June but have been told the bulldozing will not be stayed until the matter is heard and determined.
 
Local naturalist Alison Kuiter writes:
Regarding the orchid colonies ...The orchid site on McLelland Drive north of Cranbourne Road which had a quite large population of Chiloglottis trapeziformis, (Dainty Wasp Orchid) including the only population of the green form was totally destroyed. The spiranthus site south of Cranbourne Road is all but destroyed and the hydrological changes will finish them all together. There were also nodding greenhood, tall greenhood, trim greenhood, maroon greenhood, pink/white fingers, autumn bird orchid, dotted sun orchid, slender sun orchid, pink sun orchids, several species of onion orchids, tongue orchids, helmet orchids, mosquito orchids and possibly tiger orchids. Many of the species may be common elsewhere, but this was another step to driving them towards becoming rare, certainly locally extinct. We would have liked to rescue at least some of these orchids, but works were rushed through before anyone could say or do anything.
 
Gillian Collins, spokesperson for the Pines Protectors says, "It’s bad enough that the project was approved in the first place. Now countless native animals, plants and habitats are being destroyed. The casualties will skyrocket when the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve is bulldozed for Peninsula Link". The Pines is a 220 hectare ecosystem of very high quality, native habitat in Frankston North that the DSE says can’t be replaced.
 
Animal rescuer Michelle Thomas says: "It is total devastation: the blade of the bull dozer pushes through the habitat and only stops if the animal rescuers see something move or attempt to run out. Last week thousands of arboreal frogs were bulldozed into the ground. We put the sugar glider population of pobblebonk at around 57 individuals. After they got to the coastal tea tree the chatter that night amongst the sugar gliders was pretty intense: a small group of rescuers went into the area to see what was gone and we were surprised at just how many we could hear. I can guarantee that they did not remove that many the next day. Sugar gliders don't run out of hollows when they are bulldozed they just hunker down and wait for night fall, how ever these trees are just piled up on top of each other along with dirt and debris: they then can't escape and die a slow death. We found fresh water rat digs and much that looks like bandicoot digs. They only have one animal person working on site and any one time and they are cutting corners like crazy."
 
For further comment, please call:
Speakers: Sue Pennicuik - Greens MLC- 9530 8399; email sue.pennicuik@parliament.vic.gov.au
Gillian Collins – Pines Protectors (Pines Flora & Fauna Reserve)  gillianuu@yahoo.com.au
 
Colin Long - Greens Upper House Candidate for South Eastern Province:  clong@deakin.edu.au
Damon Anderson – Save Our Bush Alliance - 0425 784 983 savecoomoora@hotmail.com
Rosemary West - joint coordinator, Green Wedges Coalition - 0418 554 799 email rowest@ozemail.com.au
Animal rescuer: Michelle Thomas - 0409360871  animalia.shelter@gmail.com
Local naturalist: Alison Kuiter - 0439 342 192   alisonkuiter@optusnet.com.au
Groups:

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