MY CONCERN IS the survival of Southern Brown Bandicoots (SBB) east of Melbourne and especially within the biosphere region around Western Port Bay. This is the site where during the last twenty odd years 95% of them were lost. The reason for the loss of the SBBs was the combination of incompetent and unwillingness by the then governments of Department of Environment and Sustainability, and Parks Victoria, failure to properly protect them there.
(So the very government agencies we expect to uphold the protection of wildlife and habitats are actually failing! Promoting urban sprawl now is endemic to our culture, our economy? Editor)
And now, the new Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) plans to create a large new urban estate adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens Cranbourne (RBGC) called the Botanic Ridge & Devon Meadows. This area was previously covered with prime bandicoot habitat land — and now have to be somehow compensated for.
(Strange how the names of some streets and housing estates take on names that represent exactly some of the natural features lost under concrete — “botanic” and “meadows”, editor.)
Since then. I have attended four workshops with DELWP, SBB experts, public servants and environment consultants, about 25 people per session.
I now urge DELWP to urgently carry out their obligation and to put those SBBs safely into some large reserves the same way they are protected in the RBGC. I will be extremely frustrated if this is not done. Only the highest possible protection for them can now do.
— Hans Brunner