Save Coomoora woodland reserve!

Are you aware that VicRoads plans to bulldoze much of Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve in Keysborough soon to make way for the Dingley Bypass? Coomoora is a natural oasis, and one of the few remaining green wedges in the south-eastern metropolitan region.

The VicRoads Dingley Arterial Project involves the construction of a four-lane, 3.5km dual-carriage extension of the existing Westall Road extension, from Springvale Road to the Dandenong Bypass.

The bypass extension will run directly through the Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve (Melway 88, K8).

Coomoora is a natural oasis used by bushwalkers and local school groups and the community. It is one of only five nature reserves in the City of Greater Dandenong, the only one in Keysborough, and one of the few remaining green wedges in the south-eastern metropolitan region.

As contracts for construction of the bypass are to be finalised by December (for works to commence in early 2010), urgent action must be taken now to protect this valuable nature reserve.

Negative impacts on flora, fauna and cultural heritage


A flora and fauna survey and cultural heritage assessment commissioned by VicRoads show that the Dingley Arterial Project will seriously damage Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve, which:


• includes habitats of potential national and state significance for fauna conservation,
including one Habitat Zone of “Very High” conservation value
• potentially supports 10 threatened and 4 endangered flora species
• potentially supports 1 threatened mammal, 10 threatened birds, and 1 threatened frog
• includes at least one registered Aboriginal cultural heritage place, a scarred tree, nearby that will be destroyed
• 38% of all significant native trees, and 33% of all trees with “High” conservation value, will be removed
Overall, up to one third of Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve will be bulldozed and the remaining section will be fundamentally compromised, thereby endangering the ecological integrity,biodiversity and sustainability of this valuable flora and fauna reserve.

Who to contact urgently

You can help protect Coomoora Reserve by contacting key decision makers now to urge them to:
“suspend all contracts and plans for the Dingley Arterial Project until a comprehensive Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and Cultural Heritage Assessment have been conducted, and the local community and wider public are properly consulted”.

The Dingley Arterial Project is adjacent to a Melbourne Water retarding basin and, together with the Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve, falls directly within the electorate of the State Minister for Water, Tim Holding. It is also in the electorate of the Federal ALP Member for Isaacs, Mr Mark Dreyfus, who is a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts.

Send a short email, fax, letter or phone call to:

Tim Holding (Member for Lyndhurst):
Suite 3
387-389 Springvale Road
Springvale VIC 3171
Tel: (03) 9547 6262
Fax: (03) 9547 2416
Email: timothy.holding@parliament.vic.gov.au     

Mark Dreyfus (Member for Isaacs)
Shop No.6, Parkmore Shopping Centre
Cheltenham Road
Keysborough VIC 3173
Tel: (03) 9769 1955
Fax: (03) 9769 1977
Email: mark.dreyfus.mp@aph.gov.au

Hon. Tim Pallas, MP

Minister for Roads and Ports

Department of Transport

GPO Box 2797

Melbourne VIC 3001

Ph: 9655 6210
Fax: 9655 6651

Email:
tim.pallas@parliament.vic.gov.au

If you are short on time, you may want to use our letter as the basis for yours

 

re: Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve

We write to express our great concern at the planned construction of the Dingley Arterial Project.

In particular, we wish to express our concern at the likely devastation of the Coomoora Woodland Flora and Fauna Reserve  by this major road project.

You will be fully aware that the bypass extension will run directly through the Coomoora Reserve, and that this small reserve is, in a very real sense, an oasis of biodiversity for the south eastern suburbs.

It is one of only five nature reserves in the City of Greater Dandenong, the only one in Keysborough, and one of the few remaining green wedges in the south-eastern metropolitan region.

It is clear that construction would have a range of significant negative impacts on flora, fauna and cultural heritage values (this is shown by the flora and fauna survey and cultural heritage assessment commissioned by VicRoads itself).

Impacts will include:
• damage to habitats of potential national and state significance for fauna conservation, including one Habitat Zone of “Very High” conservation value'
• at least one registered Aboriginal cultural heritage place, a scarred tree, will be destroyed,
• 38% of all significant native trees, and 33% of all trees with “High” conservation value, will be removed.

Overall, up to one third of the reserve will be bulldozed and the remaining sections will be fundamentally compromised, thereby profoundly fragmenting the ecological integrity and overall viability of this valuable reserve, and greatly reducing it's ability to continue to act as a reservoir of local biodiversity.

We would point out that this reserve also has a clear recreational value to the surrounding community.

As a key decision maker we write to urge you to suspend all contracts and plans for the Dingley Arterial Project until a comprehensive Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and Cultural Heritage Assessment have been conducted, and the local community and wider public are properly consulted.

Yours sincerely
 

For more information or to help contact:

Save Coomoora Reserve Coalition (SCRC)
Contact Damon Anderson
Mobile: 0425 784 983
Email: savecoomoora@hotmail.com