23/11/2004 - 21:00

Reader Response: Worry over wetlands claim

23/11/2004 - 21:00

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Comments attributed to Coalition for Property Rights advocate Leo Killigrew in your report “Critics hammer bush plan” (WA Business News, November 18) are incorrect.

Harvest Lakes was not previously a wetland. It was 115 hectares of grazing land that had effectively been fully cleared but contained two small winter wet areas that had become significantly degraded due to the grazing, and which were considered by environmental authorities to have low biological values.

In any case, LandCorp has not filled those wet areas and sold them off for housing, as Mr Killigrew claims. It has retained and enhanced those wetland areas.

The southern wetland has been transformed into a permanent waterbody by lining and replanting around it, creating a valuable permanent open water and a drought refuge habitat for wildlife.

In the northern wetland, all the remnant trees have been retained and supplemented by extensive new plantings of Indigenous species. This area will also be used for education by school and community groups via a series of specially constructed walkways.

The environmental values in these areas are now undoubtedly greater than before development, with excellent recharge of the underground aquifer and the return of significant numbers of native fauna to the area.

The outcomes achieved by LandCorp at Harvest Lakes, in particular its treatment of the degraded wetland areas, has won the agency numerous awards, including a WA Environment Award and finalist in the prestigious national Banksia Environment Awards.

Most importantly, it has fulfilled LandCorp’s aim of demonstrating that land development can be both environmentally and commercially sustainable.

Finally, I wish to point out that LandCorp is subject to exactly the same Bush Forever requirements as other developers and any suggestion that it is treated more favourably is unfounded.

Ross Holt

Chief executive, LandCorp

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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