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Australia’s culture of killing native animals

The culture or vilification of kangaroos, as “pests” and their killing has become engrained into our history as a macabre type of environmental “management”. It’s rationalized as a human responsibility to control their numbers, as we have changed the environment so much, due to infrastructure and agriculture, to such as way as to encourage their overpopulation and breeding! They thus are condemned for over-populating and causing mayhem, including environmental damage and threats to other species!

The great Canberra “cull” of kangaroos is being considered again, in our so-called “Bush Capital”. It’s an oxymoron, and it’s using kangaroos as a scapegoat for mismanagement and human-caused environmental destruction.

roo-cull_july2009

(image: a disturbing picture of the kangaroo "cull", 2009)

In July 2015 Canberra activist Chris Klootwijk, 70,  was arrested for blowing a whistle during the ACT Government sanctioned kangaroo cull which hindered the annual shooting operation.  Klootwijk is accused of hindering the cull workers by making loud noises, which included blowing a whistle.

It is alleged that his actions were designed to scare off kangaroos, making it difficult for them to be shot, and halted the cull for about 45 minutes.

Chris faces fines of up to $30,000 and up to two years in jail if found guilty because the ACT government is positioning the blowing of a whistle as a crime.  Whistles are not weapons, like firearms!

Borobi the blue koala has been announced as the official mascot for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Koala numbers have plummeted by more than two thirds in less than 20 years in south-east Queensland.

One of Australia’s leading koala experts has labelled this week’s unveiling of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games mascot an embarrassment. The sad irony is that koala numbers have plummeted. They like the symbolism of our native animals, but not the actual animals!

Tweed Heads ecologist Steve Phillips said the use of a koala as the Gold Coast’s mascot was frustrating. “What we’ve seen is that progressive development, and the end result is that decline [of koalas] is proceeding at pace,” he said. High human population growth on the Coast has seen koala numbers plummet, due to urban sprawl. Some critics hit out at what they believed was state government hypocrisy in using a “vulnerable” species as the Games’ emblem but conservationists said it could actually work in favour of helping the threatened animals.

Federal threatened species commissioner Gregory Andrews denied the outlook for koalas was as dire as conservationists believed.

“I would disagree that the future is so bleak. The future is much rosier than it has been for a long time,” he said.  Human population on the Gold Coast.

Over the past five years, the population of the Greater Port Macquarie region has been growing at an average rate of 1.62% per annum – driven largely by Australia’s massive immigration rates.

koalacrosshairs

(image: http://www.convictcreations.com/animals/dealingwithenvironment.html)

By the mid-nineteenth century as the European settlements grew significantly, a lucrative trade in Koala skins sprung up.  Koala hunters shot, poisoned or snared these animals off their tree perches and bludgeoned them to death and sold their skins for export. The main export markets were the US, Canada and Europe where the Koala’s soft waterproof fur was used to make hats, gloves and fur linings for coats.  (http://panique.com.au/trishansoz/animals/koala.html)

Due to huge public outcry, Koala hunting was banned throughout Australia by 1927.  The importation of Koala skins into the US was also banned in 1927 by President Herbert Hoover while he was Secretary of Commerce.

Today’s threats to koalas are more pedestrian, of deliberate land clearing for urban sprawl.  They are seen as an inevitable victim of our housing-based economy.

Our “environment” department in Victoria, DELWP, plans to “cull” 25,000 kangaroos on public land this year, under permits issued by the Victorian Government.  They plans to kill 8560 red kangaroos and 5170 western grey kangaroos by Parks Victoria in the Murray Sunset National Park, 3000 eastern grey kangaroos by the Commonwealth Department of Defence at Puckapunyal, and 200 eastern grey kangaroos by Gippsland Water at Dustson Downs. DELWP said kangaroo populations were managed to “prevent crashing — or dying in large numbers from starvation ­during droughts — to prevent damage to vulnerable native vegetation and habitat from overgrazing, to allow heavily grazed areas to regenerate or to protect water catchments”.  Rather than magnanimously prevent kangaroos from over-populating and “starving”, its really a thinly mask commercial kill, to keep up the supply of pet food, being trialed in Victoria! (Weekly Times, April 15th, 2016)

The Colonial culture of ignorance, human domination, land clearing, and killing is deeply embedded in Australia’s culture.

gould

In 1863, John Gould was warning of the need for legal protection for native animals: His warnings were visionary, and enlightened.

Short-sighted indeed are the Anglo-Australians, or they would long  ere this have made laws for the preservation of their highly singular,and in many cases noble, indigenous animals; and doubly short-sighted are they for wishing to introduce into Australia the production of other climes. … Let me then urge them to bestir themselves, ere it be too late, to establish laws for the preservation of the large kangaroos, the Emeu and other conspicuous indigenous animals: without some such protection the remnant that is left will soon disappear, to be followed by unavailing regret for the apathy with which they had been previously regarded.

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Australians unaware of the true and cruel nature of the commercial kangaroo killing industry

Kangaroos-Myths and Realities was written to create awareness about the plight of kangaroos and their joeys because narrow media ownership has played a significant role in ensuring that Australians are kept UNAWARE of the true nature of the slaughter.

Tile_book1

An unchallenged coalition of scientists have been allowed to turn a protected species into meat and hides.

This group of self-serving scientists, regulators and industry lobbyists combine to create an industry that artificially manipulates kangaroo populations to breed next years’ crop, defying natural selection, calling it a ‘sustainable’ harvest, and leaving kangaroo populations a teetering pyramid.

Prof Gordon Grigg from the University of Queensland says kangaroos are undervalued as a ‘harvestable resource’ and killing them for profit is the panacea to farmers’ woes and ills. Grigg, with former student Dr Tony Pople, also from the University of Queensland wrote the “Commercial Harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia“ in 1992 which is the foundation of Environment Australia’s policy. It was revised in 1995 and again in 1999. Together Grigg and Pople shaped scientific policy towards management of kangaroos in Australia with the following premise:
“To harvest a sustained yield from a population at steady density, it first must be manipulated in some way to promote the rate of increase. Rates of harvest may be raised to levels at which they can cause the extinction of the population.
Arguments will be confounded when there are non-consumptive values attached to the resource such as for tourism.”

These scientists saw that is was in their interests to support and promote the kangaroo industry to gain consultancies and funding from the government.

They ignore and reject the non-consumptive use, and intrinsic value of kangaroos because their arguments are confounded when there are non-consumptive values attached to their resource such as tourism.

This total disregard for important stakeholders such as the $6 billion dollar nature-based tourism industry, and breaches of ecological and scientific oversight are indeed very serious.

We seek an end to the brutality to kangaroos and to their joeys. Millions of young-at-foot joeys have been abandoned to a cruel fate over past decade for which a flawed and deficient Code of Practice provides no protection, whatsoever.

Ingrid Witte writes “ In all other civilised societies, female mammals accompanied by dependent young cannot be shot. Only in Australia do we allow that to happen.”

We ask you in the MEDIA for your help to turn from brutality to a mega billion dollar source of income from tourism, to provide unlimited benefits from our magnificent unique wildlife, to rural Australia.

They say there is nothing like an idea whose time has come and we believe the time is NOW for Australia to EMBRACE the kangaroo as its enduring, proud and strong symbol ~ The time is NOW for all Australians to join the rest of the world and start to appreciate what we have in our own backyard.

We hope that you will read Kangaroos Myths and Realities.
Thank you.

Maryland Wilson

President
Australian Wildlife Protection Council
level 3, 247 Flinders Lane Melbourne Victoria
3000

Buy Kangaroos Myths and Realities online

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AWPC – Melbourne Water correspondence on tree removal wildlife-impact Lee st Retardant Basin

AWPC writes that only two of its questions were answered satisfactorily. It asks Melbourne Water what happens to the wildlife after the clearing? “The AWPC, wildlife rescuers and shelters regularly experience the fallout of such projects. Consultants and wildlife handlers are contracted at a premium price, only to hand over displaced, orphaned and injured wildlife to either vets or local wildlife shelters who are then expected to deal with these sentinel beings at their own cost. Quite frankly this is unacceptable and needs to stop, which is why the AWPC ask you the following questions once again.” Inside, full correspondence to date.

 

Craig Thomson
President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council
502 Waterfall Gully Road, Rosebud 3939
craig.awpc@gmail.com
0474 651 292

Mark Lawrence
Melbourne Water Project Manager
990 La Trobe Street Docklands VIC 3008
PO Box 4342 Melbourne VIC 3001
rbupgrades@melbournewater.com.au

Dear Mr. Lawrence,

Re: your response to my email sent 23/1/2018 about the ‘Lee St Retarding Basin Upgrades’

Overall, it was a very disappointing response, especially as most of your answers are already available on your community information sheet. Only two questions were answered satisfactorily; were you confirmed that you have forwarded my query about the sale of Melbourne Water land to the relevant department and the dates of the pre-fauna survey. We have spent a great deal of time putting these questions to you because of the lack of information provided by Melbourne Water to concerned members of the community.

Is Melbourne Water concerned about genuine community consultation and being transparent to the community to whom they provide an essential service? The Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) will be putting in a Freedom of Information request for the documents you have not supplied, including the ecological/fauna reports, however we will also complain to the concerned ministers, local councilors and community members about Melbourne Water’s lack of openness and communication. We believe you are scaring the community to justify these works whilst refusing to be transparent about the true risks. This is highlighted in your reply, by the following text, coupled with the fact that you are asking us to then submit an FOI for proof of this.

“Failure of the embankment would have a significant impact on a number of properties in the area.”

As you have identified, we are particularly concerned about the impacts on wildlife with the removal of vegetation; of the fifteen questions we sent to you eight are about wildlife. We ask Melbourne Water what happens to the wildlife after the clearing? The AWPC, wildlife rescuers and shelters regularly experience the fallout of these projects. Consultants and wildlife handlers are contracted at a premium price, only to hand over displaced, orphaned and injured wildlife to either vets or local wildlife shelters who are then expected to deal with these sentinel beings at their own cost. Quite frankly this is unacceptable and needs to stop, which is why the AWPC ask you the following questions once again:

1. Which wildlife rescue groups, wildlife shelters and vets have been contacted to look after or treat any injured wildlife?
2. Do local wildlife shelters have the capacity to look after injured wildlife during this busy time of the year?
3. What arrangements have been made to financially compensate these groups?
4. What measures have been taken to install nest boxes or other artificial habitat for displaced wildlife? (Please note that installation of nest boxes needs to be carefully planned in advance so as to enable wildlife to be bonded to new nests before re-release).
5. Do the contracted ‘wildlife handlers’ have appropriate wildlife handling experience as well as knowledge of the legislation about the re-location of wildlife.
6. Do the ‘wildlife handlers’ possess the appropriate permits to have protected wildlife relocated within a safe distance from their habitat loss or will animals be euthanased?

If Melbourne Water maintain, “Protection of wildlife is of great importance to Melbourne Water and we have committed to implement the handler’s recommendations” does Melbourne Water also commit to answering our questions for the ongoing protection of wildlife who will be effected by this project?

We can only assume, from your response, that the only community engagement so far planned by Melbourne Water, is to provide wood from the felled trees to various groups to make furniture. Yet, the community groups who will be most effected like environmental groups, wildlife rescuers, wildlife carers and shelters have not been included in this process what so at all!

To indicate that you are only going to plant 30 canopy trees within Frankston, in a place yet to be identified, does not seem to be fair compensation for the loss to the local environment. How did Melbourne Water come to this conclusion? Are these trees to be planted by community volunteers or are there to be separate plantings by contractors? The AWPC has identified a number of suitable sites close by, owned by Melbourne Water for these plantings.

We look forward to your reply and answers to our questions and we at the AWPC are happy to consult with Melbourne Water and/or your ecologist consultants to work on a better plan, communication and management for the future of this project.

Yours sincerely,

Craig Thomson
President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council

LETTER TO PRESIDENT CRAIG THOMSON FROM MARK LAWRENCED, MELBOURNE WATER PROJECT MANAGER

Mr Craig Thomson
President
Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.
craig.awpc@gmail.com

Dear Mr Thomson
Thank you for your email enquiry regarding safety upgrade works at the Lee Street Retarding
Basin in Frankston.

We understand that you are concerned with the planned tree removal at the site and the
impact this may have on wildlife and their habitat.

Under Melbourne Water’s Statement of Obligations (2015) issued by the Minister for Water, we
are required to assess all existing retarding basins against the Australian National Committee
of Large Dams (ANCOLD) Guidelines. An assessment of the Lee Street Retarding Basin against
these guidelines identified that the site does not comply and safety upgrade works are required
to continue to reduce flood risk for the local community.

To ensure Lee Street Retarding Basin continues to operate safely and comply with the ANCOLD
guidelines, trees and vegetation on the length of the embankment will need to be removed as
part of the works. We have worked hard to ensure that we only remove trees that will affect
the integrity of the retarding basin and have committed to planting trees at other locations in
the Frankston City Council area.

The ANCOLD guidelines are publically available and a copy can be purchased online from
ANCOLD at their website: www.ancold.org.au The guidelines do not specifically mention trees
on retarding basin embankments. They provide guidance on how to assess risk on dams and
dam-like structures.

In the past, it was common practice to have trees on retarding basin embankments. However,
as international understanding of dam engineering has improved it has become evident that
trees significantly weaken embankments and increase the risk of failure in a high rainfall
event. Failure of the embankment would have a significant impact on a number of properties in
the area.

In 2015, Melbourne Water received independent specialist advice that trees on retarding basin
embankments increase the chance that the embankment may fail in the event of a large rain
event. The chance is increased due to:

 internal erosion and displacement of soil – tree roots create erosion pathways
through the embankment which are worsened when the tree dies and its
decaying roots leave voids through the embankment;

 trees uprooting and taking part of the embankment with them; and

 water speeding up around tree trunks and causing faster erosion.

As part of the works, the embankment must also be hardened to operate safely and this can’t
be done without the trees being removed.
We understand the importance of trees to the local community and have committed to
mitigating the impact of removing the embankment trees by:

 planting 30 canopy trees elsewhere in the Frankston City Council area;

 using the cut-down logs to provide a woodland habitat for wildlife at Lee Street
Retarding Basin; and

 recycling the cut down logs to make furniture that will be donated to Frankston
City Council.

A reinstatement plan has been developed in adherence to Frankston City Council’s Local Law
22 permit requirements and we will implement it in the coming months. In addition to the
reinstatement plan, wood from the trees at the site will be utilised by a local community group
and the community will also have an opportunity to participate in a planting day in Frankston
in coming months.

As part of the planning for the project, Melbourne Water engaged specialists to complete a
flora and fauna assessment and arborist assessment as part of Council’s requirements under
Local Law 22.

In your email you asked us to provide you with the arborist report and water depth and flood
modelling records. We ask you to request these under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
(Vic) to make an FOI request, please visit our website and use the online FOI application:

www.melbournewater.com.au Our FOI Officer, Michael Keough, is available to assist with your
application if required. Michael can be contacted on 9679 6821 or at
foi@melbournewater.com.au

In addition to the flora and fauna assessment we have engaged a wildlife handler who will
manage and implement the wildlife management practices prior to and during the tree removal
activity. Protection of wildlife is of great importance to Melbourne Water and we have
committed to implement the handler’s recommendations including:

 undertaking a pre-construction visual inspection and assessment at Lee Street retarding
basin. This was completed on 29 January 2018 and found no EPBC Act-listed threatened
ecological communities or FFG Act-listed threatened flora communities present within the
Lee St study site.

 marking trees that have possible habitat to ensure that they are removed appropriately.

 confirming the species as listed in the flora and fauna assessment

 remaining onsite during the tree removal works to check and safely move fauna prior to
tree removal.

The wildlife handler we have engaged is a qualified ecologist and zoologist with 25 years’
experience.

The EPA guidelines referred to are in relation to hours of work. Work for this project will be
carried out in line with EPA guidelines between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am and
1pm on Saturdays.

Your email included concern at the sale of Melbourne Water land in the Frankston area and the
potential loss of biodiversity. We have passed this on to our Property Team who will respond to
you direct.

Once again, thank you for your email.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Lawrence
Melbourne Water Project Manager

 

ORIGINAL LETTER FROM CRAIG THOMSON TO MELBOURNE WATER ABOUT REMOVING TREES FROM LEE ST RETARDANT BASIN

Letter from Craig Thomson, President AWPC
Dated 23 January 2017.

Subject: Lee st Retarding Basin Frankston

Addressed to: David.Fairbridge@frankston.vic.gov.au (Biodiversity Officer at Frankston Council), lisa.neville@parliament.vic.gov.au (Minister for Police and Water) rbupgrades@melbournewater.com.au (email address for Melbourne Water retardant basin upgrades).

The Australian Wildlife Protection Council understands and recognise the needs to protect our communities from potential danger. We are also aware that the removal of vegetation has an impact on wildlife species. In fact it is a guarantee that wildlife will be killed during works that clear vegetation. As such we expect that every possible measure is undertaken to see if in fact clearing is necessary and if so that appropriate actions are taken and that local wildlife shelters are not left too pick up the pieces of poor planning.

We have received concern from the local community members that the threat of flooding to the local community at the Lee St retarding basin has not deemed a risk in the past and believe the proposed clearance of vegetation is excessive and will have significant impact on fauna as well as other issues, particularly of erosion and dust as well. So the Australian Wildlife Protection Council would greatly appreciate if you could answer the following questions;

-What pre-fauna surveys have been carried out and when?

-What species have been identified on site?

-What are the actions have been put into place for fauna pre, during and post construction activities for fauna?

-Which wildlife rescue groups, wildlife shelters and vets have been contacted to look after or treat any injured wildlife?

-What arrangements have been made to financially compensate these groups?

-Do local wildlife shelters have the capacity to look after injured wildlife, as they could be attending to heat stress events or bushfire effected wildlife?

-What measures have been taken to install nest boxes or other artificial habitat for displaced wildlife?

-Do they have appropriate wildlife handling permits as well as permits to have protected wildlife euthanised if injured or unable to relocate wildlife in a safe distance from their habitat loss?

-What community groups have they contacted to work with as stated in their community information sheet?  [Ref: ] “We understand the importance of trees to the local community and are committed to working closely with council, residents and community groups to develop an appropriate plan for reinstatement of trees else where in the area” in the information document provided for this project https://www.melbournewater.com.au/sites/default/files/2018-01/Communitybulletin-LeeStreet.pdf

-Where are other trees being planted, what species are to be planted and how many?

-Are offsets being provided?

-Is there an arborist report of the trees health?

-Can records of water depth be provided for the Lee St retarding basin to show threat of flooding to neighbouring properties over the years of its existence?

-Can modelling or records be provided of local flooding for once in a 40+ year storm event?

-What are the EPA regulations you are keeping to with to for this project?

-Can you provide a copy of the ANCOLD guidelines?

The Australian Wildlife Protection Council also has the understanding that you are in the process of selling off land on McClelland Dve to Ambulance Victoria for an ambulance station and another permit application has been made by Log Cabin Caravan Park. In fact we believe that all land owned by Melbourne Water from Skye Rd to Frankston/Cranbourne Rd is being considered surplus land by Melbourne Water. So it appears there are several sites across the Frankston city council municipality owned by Melbourne Water that poses a potential loss of biodiversity.

So the final question we have to you is what is Melbourne Water’s commitment to biodiversity in Frankston?

 

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AWPC AGM Sept 30th 2018

Dear Member/Supporter,

We have changed the venue of our AGM to be at The Briars Information Center (450 Nepean Hwy, Mount Martha), still to be held on the 30th September 2018 from 11am – 1pm.

Our agenda is:

Welcome and apologies
Memberships
President’s report
Secretary’s report
Treasurer’s report
Committee of Management elections
Discussion- fundraising, AWPC moving forward

The Nature Nook visit (a short stroll into the nature reserve to look at the AWPC’s current grant project)

If you would like to nominate for the committee please let me know, we would love to have more volunteers on board. We welcome ‘ordinary’ committee members too! Currently we have just one nominee each for the roles of President, Secretary and Treasurer, therefore we won’t need to vote at this stage.

There will be tea, coffee and biscuits but please bring some lunch if you wish.

Please RSVP your attendance, if you haven’t already, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

Eve Kelly
Secretary, AWPC
eve.awpc@gmail.com
0425 842 618

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AWPC Call for VicRoads to Cease Clearing Plans on the Mornington Peninsula

*cover photo is of one of the 13 ringtail possums brought into care at stage 1. She had a deep facial injury which eventually recovered; she has since been released back into the wild. She was one of the lucky ones, many animals were mulched alive or run over by the heavy machinery that VicRoads used.
Autumn has arrived and re-planting of the cleared median strip has not commenced, I would assume that it’s because they haven’t yet finished installing the safety barriers. This begs the question why did they go ahead and clear in spring, if they were going to take this long to complete the barriers? They could have left nesting birds to fledge.
Picture by Eve Kelly
VicRoads have tendered new contractors for stage 2 of the clearing. This time the clearing is said to commence from Rosebud back to Dromana.
The AWPC sent an email to VicRoads on the 20th of April and again on the 2nd of May asking for the name of the new contractor, the date they intend on starting the clearing and information about how many zoologists will be onsite. The AWPC have had no reply from VRs about the preparation work that was agreed to in their own ‘Vegetation Clearing Action Plan’.
Page 4 of the preparation plan was for the contracted zoologists to contact wildlife shelters and vets to gauge capacities and organise wildlife intake. To date, no wildlife shelters have been contacted. Wildlife shelters have been clear that we need plenty of time to plan for the wildlife that might need to come into care. With no confirmation date from VicRoads this planning is still up in the air.
However, one of the wildlife shelters who got tired of waiting and contacted via the phone and got contact details of the contractor. She said that the new contractor gave a date around the 13th of May for the recommencement of the clearing. If this is true, they are failing to prepare and are already not adhering to the agreed and consulted plan.
How can VicRoads be trusted to follow the rest of the plan if they are failing in the preparation stages? Again, VicRoads’ communication is very lacking.
I would also like to draw your attention to an article printed in the Irish Times in 2007 about the danger that the wire safety barriers cause to motorcyclists. Back some countries were considering removing these types of barriers from their roads. Why clear vegetation and injure, kill and orphan protected wildlife if they may need to remove the barriers later because they are unsafe?
In 2014, it was reported ‘They are banned from use in a number of European jurisdictions: Norway, France, Denmark and The Netherlands among them.’
 
Whilst VicRoads claim that it was the CFA who recommended ALL of the vegetation to be cleared because it was a fire hazard, we find the CFA has also warned against these types of barriers. It is clear that if the median strip is not replanted and maintained, and grows weeds and grass, this also presents as a fire hazard. Along with the addition of wire barriers, these conditions create more hazards for motorists and will not make the roads safer.
“Mr Chapman warned that if a grass fire breaks out along a highway, motorists will have “nowhere to go”.
 
 
There has recently been a second wave of community outrage about the clearing of the median strip and doubts about the safety barriers. Mornington Peninsula residents feel ignored and blindsided. They feel the now barren median strip has ruined our green gateway to the peninsula. 
 
 
One community member wrote on FB (24/4/18): “Safety barriers? Really? Making what safe? Are they claiming that cars can’t drive through those horrible steel rails? To me they are simply making a mess, ruining habitat, making everything look ugly and fenced off. Seems like a massive waste of time, money and resources. Fix Eastbourne and Jetty Rds instead of this.”
And another: “Vic roads are a joke this has been the longest project for so little work done since last year. Trees were to be planted already but nothing has been done what so ever, its like driving down a tunnel with all the barriers on both sides of the road , night time driving must be hell with on coming traffic blinding the cars on the other side of the road. The whole area looks like a bomb has been dropped on it.”
Brenda Marmion of Crystal Ocean Wildlife Shelter wrote: “Travelling to Mornington on Sunday where vegetation completely cleared were two corpses of juvenile kangaroo joeys”
 
Wildlife volunteers are not satisfied with VicRoads’ response to our concerns, they have failed to communicate and adhere to the plan that they funded. There is no point in having a plan if they are not following it. 
 
Picture by Eve Kelly
The AWPC wants the plans to clear the median strip of the freeway to cease immediately and for VicRoads to re-think the entire project. 
 
Sincerely,
 

Eve Kelly, Secretary

Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc.

 

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AWPC Complains to Members of Parliament re Melbourne Water rush project & wildlife impact

To Lisa Neville, Lily D’Ambrosio, Paul Edbrook:
Good morning Honourable members of parliament,

Official complaint against Melbourne Water retarding basin upgrades.

I am sending you this email this morning in regards to Melbourne Water’s retarding basin upgrade in Lee St Frankston. Melbourne Water have used a very short period of time to communicate with the community about this project.

The way they have proceeded has not been open and transparent, they have used excuses of potential danger to the community without backing these claims with scientific data. When they have been approached to do so, they have communicated that we need to put in a freedom of information request (which we are in the process of doing).

We have no issues in improving infrastructure that will improve efficiency and safety to the community, as long as it is done in the guidelines of the law that does not have a negative impact on the environment, community groups and the community.

It would seem to us and members of the broader community in Frankston (who have expressed concern about wildlife welfare) are concerned with the rush to undertake this project and lack of transparency. which may in fact lead to breaches of the law and impact wildlife, local wildlife shelters. As such the Australian Wildlife Protection Council is filing this as an official complaint to you against Melbourne Water. Attached is correspondence of this project to date.
[For correspondence see “AWPC TO MELBOURNE WATER RESPONSE ON TREE REMOVAL LEE ST RETARDANT BASIN”

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