Threatened birds recommended for listing - Vict.(Aust.)

To: "Lawrie Conole" <>, <>
Subject: Threatened birds recommended for listing - Vict.(Aust.)
From: "wendy" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2003 11:55:21 +1000
HI Lawrie and all,
Having actually worked at close hand with the EPBC referral process I am VERY cynical about its value also. Yes there is a process set down in law that can be used but ultimately the decission is entirely political NOT scientific.
In the particular case I am thinking of we were fighting a gas pipeline which passed through the habitat of several EPBC listed species (and lots of FFG) (including birds - even Plains Wanderer! of which there have been some discussions of late) including the only reserved site of one (a plant) (which has only 1? 2? other sites in Vic, and a some in Tas) and known breeding site of a   animal (frog).
1st we got a ruling that the pipe not go through the wetland (sp breeding site). We stood in ankle+ deep water surrounded by wetland plants where the pipeline was to go arguing whether or not this was a wetland as well as providing lots of documentary evidence (some from Ecol Aus!). When it became clear we could win on this point the Fed Ministers ruling changed to going through the wetland but before the breeding season of the frog.
SInce that season there has not been water in that (perched) ephemeral wetland. THe drought? We still wait to see if those actions permanently changed its hydrology!
In addition there were envronmental controlls of the activity laid down in an "Environmental Mgt Plan". We were picketting the site and so got to watch (and report to no avail) these being abused! One was that the machines were to be weed free/washed down before entering the sensative site. Repeatly we stopped excavators arriving at the site. They were shedding HUGE clods of dirt as they were unlaoded. At one point they took machines we blockaded around the other end (we could not blockade there) and snuck them in THROUGH A REFUSE TIP including a whole lot of medical waste. ONE of these machine then went to work IN the wetland. I stopped it after about 10min moving around UNDER the working excavation arm and we held it up for a week or 2 but eventually enough police and security came in to remove us.
Yes I still use  EPBC and FFB BUT neither is any garantee of the right thing being done.
wendy moore

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