Endangered species ‘poisoned’

By Tate Papworth

Critically endangered flora and fauna could be wiped out to make way for a large-scale development in Delahey.

Digital4 Pty Ltd, which trades as Broadcast Australia, has put forward a proposal that involves the rezoning, clearing and development of a 46-hectare greenfield site at 250A Taylors Road, Delahey.

The site is home to the critically endangered native spiny rice flower and endangered wildlife including the golden sun moth and the striped legless lizard.

The proposal has been submitted to the Department of Environment and Energy.

It’s the latest in a series of environmental concerns that neighbouring property owners have with the land.

Judy Ingram, who has lived opposite the site for decades, said Broadcast Australia had neglected its responsibilities.

“There’s been a serrated tussock problem in there ever since Broadcast Australia took over ownership in 2004,” she said.

“It spreads quickly, so each summer I can’t use my backyard for four months because it’s filled with it.

“We’ve complained a lot, but were told that we just have to live with it because to get rid of it, they’d have to poison the land and that would be harmful to the endangered wildlife.”

But Ms Ingram said that no longer seemed to be a concern.

“The site has been poisoned and slashed right back,” she said.

“There’s been developments proposed for this land twice in the past and both have been knocked back because of the endangered species. But poisoning the land gets rid of those species …”

Brimbank city development director Kelvin Walsh confirmed spraying of the site had been reported to the department. He said any development of the land would require an amendment to the Brimbank Planning Scheme.

No application has been submitted to the council.

Documents show that the development may result in the loss of up to five spiny rice flower plants, up to 10.281 hectares of golden sun moth habitat and up to 20.544 hectares of potential striped legless lizard habitat.

The proposal is open for public comment at epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/invitations until May 24.