OPINION: Gurmesh on the Road

DEAR News Of The Area,

WELL, what a backdown, first tunnels back in, now Grandpa’s Scrub saved, possibly saving from being dug up the only wild flowering specimen in the world of a new Fontania species, perhaps or is that some blossoms too far?

Come on Gurmesh, and I haven’t raised the Jetty Foreshores yet, or the proposed Great Koala National Park, ending native forest logging on public land, reducing land clearing, cleaning up our estuaries, reducing the damage by kangaroos to Look At Me Now Headland, or reviving the Solitary Islands Marine Park and expanding its sanctuary zones to meet agreed State, Federal and international standards.

Just one more, a former colleague in the Environment Department is responsible for the recovery of a critically endangered moth that only lives locally and was recently included on the Federal Government’s list of 100 national priority threatened species – saving the moths habitat could also do with some more support.

The road to environmental sustainability is far more than saving 0.5ha of rainforest, as important as that little patch is, and I haven’t mentioned combatting climate change yet.

You cannot be held directly responsible for the flawed vegetation surveys by the TfNSW that missed the critically endangered rainforest or the two tree species, subsequently found to be new to science, on the bypass route.

Both you and your Nationals ministerial colleague Sam Farraway got closer to owning the poo pot though when you supported the blatantly false TfNSW claims that protecting Grandpas Scrub would cost an extra $50m and delay completion of the bypass by eighteen months – both claims now shown to be absolute rubbish.

We’ll wait with interest to see where your apparent road trip leads next.

Meanwhile, the TfNSW villain under various guises, has been running wild on the North Coast for about 20 years and through about twelve EIS’s for the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Each EIS has apparently been a learning experience in how to avoid serious environmental responsibilities.

The Pacific Highway upgrade has potentially had more impact on the environment of NSW than any project before it, ever.

A lot of habitat was lost when upgrade was, wherever possible, steered through our valuable remaining native forests and, with hindsight, there’s a lot to learn.

With more major development likely to come, possibly a very fast train and maybe with widespread withdrawal of development from floodplains and low lying coastal areas, it would help to have a high level and open inquiry into handling of environmental issues during the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Just to put the final candle in the cake and perhaps you could support that too Gurmesh.

Ashley LOVE,
Coffs Harbour.

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