Southern Telegraph - - News - Chloe Fraser

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti has dis­missed com­mu­nity calls to fur­ther pro­tect 31ha of land within the Golden Bay de­vel­op­ment site.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers and lobby group Save Our Dunes Golden Bay have urged the State Govern­ment to pro­tect an ad­di­tional

25ha of land at a de­vel­op­ment site at Lot 3 Warn­bro Sound Av­enue in Golden Bay.

While Golden Bay’s cen­tral

37m-high sand dune will be pro­tected as part of 6.6ha of land al­ready set aside as a Land­scape Pro­tec­tion Area, the group is seek­ing pro­tec­tion of the en­tire

31ha land­scape as a con­ser­va­tion park or “Bush For­ever re­serve”.

A pe­ti­tion to stop fur­ther clear­ing at the site — given the geo­her­itage value of the area, its bio­di­ver­sity, the role of the area as habi­tat for the south­ern brown bandi­coot and feed­ing grounds for Carn­aby’s black cock­a­toos, and the lack of nat­u­ral open space for peo­ple’s men­tal well­be­ing — re­ceived more than 330 sig­na­tures.

While the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on En­vi­ron­ment and Pub­lic Af­fairs con­sid­ered the pe­ti­tion, the group was last week told its pe­ti­tion would not be in­ves­ti­gated fur­ther.

In a let­ter to the stand­ing com­mit­tee, Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti re­jected the pe­ti­tion to save the dunes, say­ing the de­vel­op­ment was “con­sis­tent with the site’s long­stand­ing zon­ing” and the en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals which had been granted.

Save Our Dunes Golden Bay spokes­woman Anna-Marie Jack­son said the group was dis­ap­pointed by the Govern­ment’s de­ci­sion. “Past flawed de­ci­sions are not suf­fi­cient jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this de­struc­tion,” she said.

“They say the pro­tec­tion of the bandi­coots must be mon­i­tored, which it is, but mon­i­tor­ing is show­ing the pop­u­la­tion is de­clin­ing year after year de­spite fauna man­age­ment plans.

“The other ar­gu­ment of pro­tect­ing the land­scape value of the par­a­bolic dune ridge through four frag­mented ar­eas was not based on ex­pert opin­ion.”

Ini­tial earth­works be­gan at the Peet and De­part­ment of Hous­ing sub­di­vi­sion in Golden Bay in Au­gust last year, with al­most 2000 medium-high-den­sity hous­ing lots al­ready on less prom­i­nent coastal dunes in the area.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Cher­ri­man

The site is home to bandi­coot s.

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