Christmas Is.

To: <>
Subject: Christmas Is.
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 12:47:23 +0800
I have only seen a few small items about this project, including one a 
year or so ago in The Bulletin.

The proposal was to construct the rocket launching site down the far end 
of the island which has been mined for phosphate, and is a fair distance 
from the tall forest areas which the Abbott's Booby requires.  The latter 
is now all inside the national park.

If it is the area that I am thinking of, this is one of the earlier areas 
to be mined and has been very poorly rehabilitated, and has lots of small 
cleared areas, making this a good place to look for more open country 
birds such as pratincoles, swallows, pipits(?), possible rarities, etc.  
Hardly a valid reason to oppose the project, but a shame to see a 
different (even if man made) habitat go.  There was also a very important 
Chinese temple close by.

I read that they were estimating jobs for 350 people, and I would hope 
that most of these would be for the local people as there is a very high 
unemployment rate since the resort casino closed.  But I would still 
imagine that more housing would be required which would require some areas 
to be cleared.  Hopefully not areas where the owl exists ...

ANCA (Australian Nature Conservation Agency) has quite a high profile on 
Christmas Island.  So I would be quietly confident that the actual rocket 
launching site will have little impact on Abbott's Booby which is the 
number one priority species.  The introduced angry ants are probably a 
bigger threat.

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