Brisbane Region Environment Council


MEDIA RELEASE
April 9 1998
Willowbank Raceway : Governments fail to protect rare plants

Flat Chat, Fast Track and Thats That !

The Queensland Conservation Council and the Brisbane Region Environment Council today issued a joint statement about the approval of the raceway development.

The Local and State government had failed to protect a threatened plant community at Willowbank, near Ipswich, says conservationists. The raceway will destroy one of the last remnants of the Melaleuca tamarascina subspecies irbyana thicket and push that plant community closer to extinction.

"The Ipswich City Council has failed to protect rare plants at Willowbank They have taken view that they have the right to destroy threatened plants. Perhaps they feel because its looks a bit shabby its not valuable or viable" said Michael Petter Coordinator of BREC.

"We have neither the moral or legal right to aid in the extinction of a plant community. This may not be pristine remnant but none the less it still exists. With good planning and coordination it could definitely survive and be expanded" he continued.

"The State Government, in particular the Planning Minister, should act to ensure that local authorities are mindful of existing agreements to protect Australia’s natural heritage and biodiversity" said Lindsay Holt Project Officer for QCC.

"Governments must ensure that endangered plant communities are not cleared or disturbed. We call on the Minister for Environment to urgently amend the Nature Conservation Act to provide for greater legal protection of endangered ecosystems" he continued.

Mr Petter said "The Willowbank raceway development also had deficient hydrological studies and waste management plans. The raceway development could lead to serious pollution and other downstream effects. We believe that these matters have yet to be dealt with".

"This is another example of the "fast track flat chat and that’s that" attitude rather than balanced decision making. No wonder environmentalists are concerned about the new Integrated Planning Act" he concluded.


For More Information

Lindsay Holt Project Officer,
Queensland Conservation Council 3221 0188
Michael Petter Coordinator, Brisbane Region Environment Council