Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

THE Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment has once again demon­strated its to­tal lack of in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral her­itage by re­cently ap­prov­ing the clear­ance of sev­eral hectares of Banksia wood­land in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion near Perth Air­port’s do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal.

Banksia wood­lands of the Swan Coastal Plain were de­clared a threat­ened eco­log­i­cal com­mu­nity un­der the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Act 1999 (EPBC Act) by Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg on Septem­ber 16 last year.

But this be­stowed no ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion on the banksia wood­land rem­nant near Red­cliffe and this very dis­tinc­tive WA flora and fauna habi­tat is to be re­placed by yet an­other re­tail out­let that could have been sited some­where else.

It was sad to see the dis­tressed small na­tive bird pop­u­la­tions dis­placed by the de­struc­tion of their habi­tat and it may not be long be­fore there are very few such pop­u­la­tions re­main­ing on the Coastal Plain.

Now Perth Air­port is propos­ing to di­vert the south­ern main drain to the edge of the air­port bound­ary along Tonkin High­way to make more room for the devel­op­ment.

This will in­volve the clear­ing of an­other two hectares of ir­re­place­able banksia wood­land in a dis­trict that has vir­tu­ally none re­main­ing.

To my knowl­edge, this clear­ing work has not been op­posed by the City of Bel­mont de­spite its shame­ful record of fail­ing to pro­tect trees gen­er­ally.

It is my view that spin has re­place sub­stance with re­spect to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion at ev­ery level of gov­ern­ment and it re­flects very badly on con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety.

A ban on the clear­ing of banksia wood­lands of the Swan Coastal Plain is long over­due and one would have thought the be­lated dec­la­ra­tion of its threat­ened sta­tus would mean there would be a pre­sump­tion against fur­ther clear­ing on the party of our en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tors.

Is it too much to ask that they ac­tu­ally do some­thing in the in­ter­ests of pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral her­itage? KEVIN MCLEAN, Red­cliffe.

One hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars per an­num will be gen­er­ated from freight charges and truck op­er­a­tors will ben­e­fit from im­proved fuel, productivity and main­te­nance ef­fi­cien­cies.

The ma­jor bar­rier to the growth of Fre­man­tle Port is road con­nec­tiv­ity.

Once linked to Fre­man­tle, Roe High­way will al­low the port’s ca­pac­ity to im­me­di­ately dou­ble and en­able fur­ther port up­grades to oc­cur.

The al­ter­na­tive op­tion to build a new outer har­bour would cost over $10 bil­lion. JIM REDDYHOUGH, Wil­leton.

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