A few days ago wildlife biologist, Hans Brunner, came to see me to ask me to publish the following report on the continuing failure of Victorian government to responsibly protect bandicoots. He also reported his personal experience on a recent visit to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (accompanied by Gillian Collins, Michelle Thomas, and David Nichols).
Today at the Australian Wildlife Protection Council AGM I interviewed Craig Thomson, Animalia wildlife carer, about the events that may have led to Sean the Koala travelling down a busy highway in Langwarrin. Turns out he was probably following a traditional migratory route of male koalas in search of romance, which takes them from islands of habitat like the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens, down four-lane highways towards The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve in Frankston, or further south, across the massive Peninsula Link tollway that cuts the Peninsula in half. Why are koalas being forced onto highways? It is another terrible cost of the unwanted human population expansion that is being forced on Victorians by the State Government, in its bid to grow Melbourne faster and faster. Animalia has $10,000 outstanding power bills; you can help by donating to WESTPAC BANK BSB 033138 Account 434072
Video added inside. Headings in this highly informative paper include: How people get to Frankston Station, Social needs and mobility, The household transport cost burden, Peninsula Link, East West Link, The VicRoads Point Nepean Road Study, The Container Port at Hastings, The Cranbourne/Pakenham rail corridor project, and remarks on Road Spending. Only about 0.6% of Frankston residents who travel to work, work in locations that would be accessed by the Napthine government's proposed East West link, if they chose to drive. Poor frequency of service is a major issue in Frankston and on the Peninsula for bus services. The Stony Point train service is in danger of death through neglect and indifference if its service frequency is not improved and locals do not mobilise to support it. Local government can and should play a major advocacy role in this space.
Jill Quirk of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), Victorian and Tasmanian Branch, writes about the many problems of Plan Melbourne. Indeed there are so many problems that it is crazy to go ahead. But most of us realize that the Planners and Ministers behind Plan Melbourne intend to just go on driving bulldozers until something bigger stops them or they run out of oil. There is no plan B and so no room to listen to comment. This is a real problem for the rest of us because we live here.
That the Baillieu government is to embark upon a study for a possible freeway extension on the Mornington Peninsula is not much of a surprise in the wake of the catastrophic decision of the predecessor Labor government to construct the $760 million Peninsula Link freeway between Carrum Downs and Dromana. Absent sensible policy intervention, freeways provide impetus for ever more freeways.