We welcome the opportunity to provide comment on the draft biodiversity strategy and wish to acknowledge the good intentions of the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council in developing it. Although we enthusiastically support the purpose of the strategy, in our view, the strategy shies away from opportunities to improve the way biodiversity is protected and managed in Australia.
The Nature Conservation Society of SA has a number of key concerns with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed temporary weir near Pomanda Island. These involve matters of National Environmental Significance, the ongoing management of the Site as a Ramsar wetland, and the lack of accurate information on the period for which the weir will be operational.
We applaud the South Australian Government's proposal to create Marine Parks over 46% of the State’s marine waters. However the initial definition of these parks and their outer boundaries offers no protection, and it is the next stage of this process, where the location of zones within these parks, and the activities allowed within these zones will be decided, that will ultimately dictate whether the these parks will “protect and conserve biological diversity and marine habitats” (excerpt from Primary Objectives Marine Parks Act 2007).
The Nature Conservation Society of South Australia (NCSSA) has serious apprehensions concerning the proposed Belair National Park Trails Masterplan prepared by Taylor, Cullity and Lethlean (RE01_9).
We feel that trail development as proposed in the plan has significant potential to result in deleterious and unmanageable ecological impacts on Belair National Park's biodiversity, native vegetation, threatened species populations, wildlife and natural features.
We appreciate that there is public demand for recreation facilities and infrastructure however we feel that as an integral part of South Australia's Protected Area System, Belair NP needs to be just that, protected, from adverse human impacts.
The Parrakie Wetlands are located within the West Avenue Range Watercourse and contain over 720 hectares of naturally occurring wetlands and intact remnant native vegetation. The area has not been grazed in over 30 years and has never been cleared.
This property makes up one of the largest privately held wetland in near perfect condition in the Upper South East of SA. In fact The West Avenue watercourse, of which the Parrakie wetland is a part, has been described by the minister's own department as 'arguably the largest and most pristine area of watercourse in the upper South East'