Westconnex threatens few surviving Green and Golden Bell Frogs at Arncliffe

 ( Ed: This piece is by scientist Grant Webster.  He writes that the EIS underestimates the negative biodiversity impacts of the New M5. As Grant informed the Federal Department of Environment last year, he has photographed a Green and Golden Bell Frog breeding event on the Kogarah Golf course, a large part of which will be taken over by Westconnex for a massive construction site for the New M5.  Many hoped that the Federal government would refuse consent for WestCONnex to occupy the site which is home to what is probably one of only two colonies of Green and Golden Bell frogs in Sydney but instead the Federal Minister Greg Hunt delegated the decision to the NSW Department of Planning. You would have assumed the consultants would have contacted Webster or at least read his submission. The People’s EIS finds it disturbing that the consultants who prepared the EIS seem to have ignored the photographed breeding event. You can read the Biodiversity EIS study in Vol. 2h Appendix S  

The new M5 (WestCONnex) EIS makes it clear, there will be unavoidable serious impacts to the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) and the critically endangered community Cooks River Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, if the road is to go ahead.

 Green and Golden Bell Frog threatened

The Green and Golden Bell Frog was once one of the most common frog species found on the east coast of New South Wales and it was once abundant in the swampy eastern suburbs of Sydney.

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Traffic and Transport Construction Impacts of New M5 – Summary of AECOM’s EIS

Ploughing through the whole EIS can be time consuming and tedious as there is so much repetition in the Westconnex EIS documents.

Researcher Anthony McCosker has provided us with a summary of the construction impacts as set out in New M5 EIS Appendix G on Traffic and Transport which consists of 298 pages.

This post should  be read in conjunction with Anthony McClosker’s comment on this section.

Later, we will provide a summary of the information in the EIS relating to the operation of the WestConnex project (note that some information deemed relevant to both summaries will cross over and be repeated or revisited).

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Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong says Christmas release of EIS is unfair

Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong has accused the Baird government of unfairness and cynicism in its release of a massive EIS for the new M5  last week just weeks before Christmas. She has called for a review of the end of January deadline for submissions.

“The NSW Government has released the New M5 Environmental Impact Statement just before everyone breaks for the year but it’s no gift to the residents, councils or organisations that will be forced to digest this massive document – made up of 149 individual multi-page attachments – during the holiday period.  Submissions are due at the end of January, just as many families will be returning from summer holidays.”

“The Government is trying yet again to avoid community accountability.

“It’s such a cynical move, requiring residents, councils and organisations to comment on a huge planning document like this over the holiday period, when they should have the opportunity to spend with their families and friends. Many councils are having their final meeting for the year in the next couple of weeks and aren’t due to return until February.

“Giving residents only until the end of January to make submissions on the New M5 is completely unfair and is yet another example of the Government attempting to fast track this project without due diligence or concern for those people who will be severely affected by this project.

Read more and sign the petition.