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Submission for: Light Horse Interchange Business Hub Eastern Creek

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Rigel Best

DOONSIDE, New South Wales

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SUBMISSION: Light Horse Interchange Business Hub Eastern Creek - Western Sydney Parklands / creek realignment proposal.
I am opposed to this development on the grounds that it will irreversibly destroy the biodiversity associated with the area including Eskdale Creek.
Twenty two years ago, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Published an URBAN BUSHLAND BIODIVERSITY SURVEY. Since completion of the Reports, the NSW Scientific Committee released a Final Determination to list the Cumberland Plain Woodland as an ENDANGERED ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY. Today, twenty two years later, the NSW Government, councils and developers are showing no regard to this dire status; indeed, the Cumberland Plains Woodland is being destroyed at an alarming rate. Ecological communities have been trashed throughout western Sydney – to the north, south and west. Urban planning has not considered sustainability of the natural environment and The Light Horse Interchange Business Hub at Eastern Creek is yet another huge nail in the coffin of our natural environment. Once it has gone, it cannot be retrieved. With “a million extinctions” currently occurring in this country, how can you justify this outrageous devastation to occur on our Western Sydney Parklands?
I quote from the Urban Bushland Biodiversity Survey: “The greatest threats to biodiversity apply across Australia and in western Sydney are habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. Loss of habitat probably has the greatest influence on species survival and on extinction rates.
Fragmentation occurs where native bushland is bisected or otherwise compartmentalised by urban development such as roads and housing. Such developments represent barriers to free movement of seed, spores, pollen, invertebrates and other fauna. Isolation can lead to genetic specificity and subsequent loss of fitness. The findings are a clear indicator of fragmentation and, as such, a cause for concern. Fragmentation can lead to localised species extinction when numbers fall below a threshold minimum needed to maintain succession. Different species have particular area requirements and fragmentation can result in a patchwork of isolated habitat "islands". Many of these islands may be of inadequate size to maintain succession of resident species over the long term. The risk of extinction is greatest where patches become isolated without migration corridors. Events such as wildfire can decimate populations of fauna. Fragmentation leaves the surviving species stock unable to be replenished from adjoining areas due to the lack of connectivity.
Degradation of remnants can be caused by several factors. Altered hydrology of streams and other aquatic systems impact on ecosystems in numerous ways. Reduced streamflows from impoundment can change active stream systems into stillwater environments. Increased siltation causes turbidity, nutrient increase and changed oxygen levels. Channellising natural streams into concrete drains eliminate much natural habitat, leaving minimal shelter or food resources for native species.
Pollution from the new industrial environment would be continuously poisoning the environment. Toxic water run-off, chemical spills, plastics, proliferation of weeds, etc. would sabotage any attempt at rehabilitation of the natural environment. Just look at Eastern Creek; the water is filthy and the riparian corridors (where they do exist) are weed ridden.
Page 53 of EIS per Light Horse Interchange WSPT Development Eastern Creek states:
“The proposed development has been identified as having ‘prescribed biodiversity impacts’ under clause 6.1 of the BC Reg, including impacts to water quality, water bodies and hydrological processes that sustain threatened species and threatened ecological communities. This includes impacts to Eskdale Creek and its hydrological processes that support the 'River-flat Eucalypt Forest' Threatened Ecological Community (TEC).”
The proposed realignment of Eskdale Creek will destroy the existing biodiversity and it will not be recoverable. Extinctions of local ecosystems would be irreversible.
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) should not allow the NSW Government to realign Eskdale Creek. Years ago, Blacktown Workers Club was prevented under the NSW Water Management Act from realigning Bungarribee Creek for warehousing, so why should the State Government be allowed to do the same on the Western Sydney Parklands purely in the name of profit?
The Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) has as its principal objectives under law to:
• Ensure compliance with, and enforcement measures for, the natural resources management legislation, and
• Maintain public confidence in the enforcement of that legislation.
Surely the NRAR isn’t doing its job under these objectives if it allows realignment of Eskdale Creek!
What kind of political corruption is going on to allow the theft and destruction of our public parklands by industrial developers?

Rigel Best
14D Perigee Close, Doonside, N.S.W., 2767
rigelbass@gmail.com
10/09/2019