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Movement consolidating to protect Frankston Pines Reserve from Brumby

Ed. This article is adapted (with insertion of headings) from the introduction at www.savethepines.net This reserve is located at the top of the Mornington Peninsula, which extends south of Melbourne like a boot. Until Jeff Kennet became Premier of Victoria, this area was zoned rural. With his arrival it was rezoned into 'Greater Melbourne' and thus became targeted for continuous urbanisation. There is a video of the freeway route & landscape at the bottom of this article.

Brumby to bulldoze tollway through Pines

Premier Brumby has announced his intention to bulldoze the Peninsula Link Freeway through the centre of Frankston’s 220 hectare Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve. He pre-empted the “Independent” Panel report reviewing the South and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority’s Environment Effect Statement thus wasting $5m of taxpayers money and thousands of hours of submitters time.

This land was recommended by Victorian bureaucrats in 1993 for reservation as a National Park. They also recommended that Vicroads remove the road reservation.

Vital for wildlife corridor to save Peninsula species

This is the closest place to Melbourne where the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot and other endangered species survive in the wild. It’s also the closest place in Melbourne’s South and South East where Swamp Wallabies, Echidnas, Koalas and other iconic Australian species roam freely.

The Department of Environment and Sustainability said “The potential impact of the proposed bypass may cause the local extinction of this species.” This advice was repeated to the EES Panel by many experts including the Government’s ecological consultant.

In 1995, the Minister for Conservation (Mark Birrel) advised Parliament that “This is the most botanically significant reserve in south-eastern Melbourne.”

214 Regionally significant flora


Parks Victoria advise that two hundred and eighteen flora species recorded in the Reserve are considered to be regionally significant within the Gippsland Plain Bioregion. Land abutting the Reserve’s edge was the last place the Frankston Spider Orchid was found in the Peninsula’s north. It numbers now fewer than 40 plants in the wild.

Alternatives not being considered

There are alternatives. If fly-over’s could be built over Burke, Toorak and Tooronga Roads, then so to can Cranbourne road be overpassed and the delays alleviated.

Mark Birrel’s statement followed 20 years of public controversy regarding successive proposals to subdivide and quarry this land. The issue first came to media prominence in 1975 when a group of residents hoisted the Eureka flag and claimed the land for Frankston residents.

The time has come to reclaim this land.

The time has come to reclaim this land.

But there is more.

Most precious reserves sacrificed to unnecessary urban expansion

The 20 odd kilometer swath cut into the landscape from Carrum Downs will destroy an extraordinarily rare patch of herb rich grassy wetland. DSE says it can’t be replaced. The road will plough through 60% of the Belvedere Reserve in Seaford, the Pobblebonk/Willow Reserve and the Wittenberg Reserves in Langwarrin, destroy a pristine remnant at the heritage listed Westerfield property and bisect precious farmland the length of the Moorooduc Plain.

Help us save this priceless landscape and species that are our Australian heritage.

The www.savethepines.net asks readers to "Please contact your local member and Federal Minister Garrett to voice your opposition."

Comments

The following was e-mailed to me in response to this article - JS,

I have just read the comments about the forthcoming loss of the Pines
Reserve in Frankston due to the planned Frankston by-pass. I have never
heard of candobetter.org. I have lived on the Mornington Peninsula for
well over 40 years and have seen much degradation and total loss of
Habitat all along with the well wishes of the Shire Council. I am
appalled at the seemingly total disregard for our environment and the
future of our quality of life. Unfortunately Governments, from local
level to Federal Level, are totally hell bent on Economics and the wrongly
perceived well-being of only human beings. I have personally witnessed
loss of habitat in areas protected by Council overlays simply for the
aesthetics of that property; hectares removed without any penalty
whatsoever. As with the Dredging of the Bay, the Desalination Plant, the
massive white elephant Marina at Safety Beach and the Pulp Mill in
Tasmania, money and power talk, and ALL governments are the same. So what
if an animal goes extinct? will that change the way the "average"
Australian lives? would they really care? NO. Why not? simply because
they do not get the ramifications of loss of our environment.
Unfortunately the Frankston By-pass will go ahead because the Brumby
Government says so. The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve will be no longer
and the Southern Peninsula will be a massive traffic bottleneck...all in
the name of economics and progress.

My apologies for my ramblings but until Environmental Groups somehow
Unite, all individual groups who have their causes to fight - which are
all very valid, unfortunately will achieve nothing against Governments.
Even the Greens don't appear to achieve much these days.

Thanks for your comment. No need to apologise for your 'ramblings'. It is great to hear from someone else who also feels the anger that we feel about the wanton ecological vandalism committed against Mornignton Peninsula.

That said, I will address a few points in this post.

I dispute that wrecking the environment can be good economics. It can only be considered good economics if we accept as valid the badly deficient ways that many economists measure prosperity and fail to measure the loss of natural capital including biodiversity which is necessary for a healthy environment and, ultimately, an economy.

You wrote:

"... until Environmental Groups somehow Unite, all individual groups who have their causes to fight - which are all very valid, unfortunately will achieve nothing against Governments."

Unfortunately many supposed environment groups have been co-opted into the system.

Nevertheless, it is necessary that genuine environmental groups, and the rest of us who share their goals, begin to pull in the same direction.

That's why it is in our best interests to get behind those fighting against the destruction of Old Growth Frest in Gippsland and why they and the rest of us should give what support we can, for example, to those fighting the ecologically criminally World Rally car race on the far north coast. of NSW.