Major Developements at Avaon & Moolap

Subject: Major Developements at Avaon & Moolap
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 17:49:05 +0800

         Why don't you start an online petition thro Get-Up. 

        Col H

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 23:21:49 +1100
From: Russ 
To: Birding Aus 
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Major developments planned at Avalon and Moolap
Saltworks - ACT NOW

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Hi everyone

I?ve just found out about a couple of proposed developments around
One is at the former Moolap Saltworks, the other is for Avalon
Anyone who has been to these sites will know of their importance and
biological diversity. Moolap is one of the few places in Geelong
itself to
see birds like Spotted Crake, Marsh Sandpiper, Great Egret and
Crake. More importantly, it is one of the important feeding grounds
for all
three of Red-necked Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and Banded Stilt. There
is a
development planned to make this area into a new residential estate.
developers are using all the old tricks, such as claiming the area is
low-quality, degraded industrial wasteland, and that they will enhance
ecological and environmental aspects of it by turning it into parkland
amidst the homes and shops. Here's an extract from one of their

"restore the ecological values and conserve biodiversity, both of
which are
presently at risk at both sites. In particular it will put the
carrying capacity of the sites for listed migratory shorebirds on to a
sustainable basis. This carrying capacity was increased by the advent
salt works operations and has declined since the cessation of these

The plan is to redevelop most of the 465 ha site at Moolap, and create
ha reserve through "environmental rehabilitation" by "the concurrent
conduct of earthworks, hydraulic engineering works and landscaping
for the creation of 75 ha of conservation reserve."

This is from the proposal document dated 16 November 2012. Public
submissions close THIS FRIDAY 30 November 2012. You can read more of
documents here:

Let's hope this development is not allowed to go ahead unchecked.
submit a brief letter of opposition to the proposal around the issues
raised above to the Federal Environment Minister, or as follows:

Email address for Public Comment


*Fax*: 02 6274 1789 Or post to:

*Referral Business Entry Point, EIA Policy Section (EPBC Act)*
Approvals and Wildlife Division
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

I will try to get some more info to the list asap.

Russell Woodford

Birding-Aus List Owner


Message: 3
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 23:29:37 +1100
From: Russ 
To: Birding Aus 
Subject: [Birding-Aus] More about Moolap and Avalon proposals

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Hi again everyone

Here is a more detailed analysis of the key issues surrounding the
developments at Moolap and Avalon - thanks to Geelong Field
Naturalists for
the permission to post this.






*In 19TH century, coastal salt marsh on the southern shore of Corio
Bay was
converted to 460 hectares of salt works, run by Cheetham. Active until
2007, it has been decommissioned. Though artificially constructed it
provided essential feeding and roosting grounds due to its non tidal
for 20+ species of shorebirds. The site also provides important
roost sites not available elsewhere. Many of these birds are migratory
species breeding in the Arctic regions of Siberia and Alaska migrating
Australia via the East Asian Australasian Flyway, and are therefore
protected under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity
Act (EPBC Act) The site provides refuge and feeding grounds for a
total of
48 bird species with significant populations, some breeding, or having
special conservation status.

Although an industrial site for much of that history, and managed to
end, the nature of construction and management of the site has
significant ecological values at the local, regional and international
scale. Though somewhat degraded in recent years, it maintains much of
ecological value.


* *

- Approximately a 235 ha residential and industrial/employment
development at the Moolap site, constructed substantially from infill
the existing wetland/coastal lagoon system.

- Construction of large (100 ha) ?embayments? in the adjacent coastal
waters in Stingaree Bay from substantial dredging operations (and from
which ?fill? for the proposed development site will derive), producing
the order of 6-7 million cubic metres of material. Corio Bay is well
to contain large amounts of toxic substrate and heavy metals and there
concerns about contamination of fisheries and water qualities for
aquaculture, as well as reducing the quality of infill that makes up
?conservation reserve?.

- Construction of an ?offset reserve? at the old Avalon salt works
Much of this is degraded over 30 years of disuse.


The fundamental significant impacts of the development are:

1. Permanent and irreversible destruction of a precious wetland that

2. Provides food, foraging, shelter for a number of threatened and
migratory bird species of national and international significance.
are multiple international treaties, legally binding under the EPBC
Act, to
which Australia is a signatory that behold us to protect the birds and
their required habitat, since they move between international
Rapid development and reclamation in crucial East Asian feeding
sites have already put immense pressure on these birds. Further
pressure on
these birds at their over wintering sites in Australia is likely to
in further declines in shorebird populations. The site is one of the
few breeding sites in Victoria for the threatened Fairy and Little

The loss of a 460 hectare chunk out of the jigsaw of the few available
wetlands has to have a significant impact on the remaining bird
of the region. This will have this impact on relevant species or
populations of species overall, i.e. in the context of their
mobility patterns and habitats, feeding, roosting, breeding.

The proposal should be considered as *having clearly unacceptable
significant environmental* *impact*.

We also have great concerns on issues relating to, but not limited to,

*preservation of this inundation prone site as a buffer and
zone in the face of predicted rise in sea levels, as they have in many
other parts of the world.

*contamination of fisheries and aquaculture by raising 6-7 million m3
bay substrate for infill.

* Geelong region already has many planned housing developments
many 10?s of thousands of homes in other less sensitive areas.
G21 Regional growth plan states that it is designed to avoid areas of
inundation etc


The Geelong Field Naturalists? Club is the oldest environmental
organisation in the Geelong region. The GFNC has had a long
association and
interest in the Moolap Salt works site. The Club and its members have
undertaken regular studies, observations and analysis of flora and
fauna at
the site, notably its avifauna, ecology and vegetation for over 40

We are writing a formal submission to the Federal Environment Minister
oppose the proposal and at the very least request formal environmental
assessment. We urge that the degraded wetlands be returned back to
productive environmental habitat.

We are meeting with many relevant local and State politicians over the
several weeks to flag this unacceptable proposal.

Longer term GFNC aim to work towards creating a single West Port
Bay Coastal Park incorporating the many fragmented coastal wetlands
Geelong and Point Cook.


Please submit a brief letter of opposition to the proposal around the
issues raised above to the Federal Environment Minister *to be
received* *by
Friday 30th November* at website below with the following title;

* Submission in response to Ridley Corporation Limited Geelong
Salt Fields Urban Renewal Project, Reference Number: 2012/6630***

Email address for Public Comment


*Fax*: 02 6274 1789 Or post to:

*Referral Business Entry Point, EIA Policy Section (EPBC Act)*
Approvals and Wildlife Division
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601


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