Ecologists and community groups in Bathurst have come together ahead of Threatened Species Day on Saturday to express their opposition to the destruction of local threatened species and parts of two native vegetation communities that will occur if the building of a Go Kart track on the top of Mt Panorama/Wahluu goes ahead.
Prominent local ecologist Dr David Goldney said that he was not opposed to the construction of a new Go Kart track in Bathurst, but it should be put elsewhere.
“We are pleased that Bathurst Regional Council is supporting the development of a Go Kart track for young people but the proposed location is not appropriate and other places are available,” Dr Goldney said.
National Threatened Species Day is commemorated across the country on September 7 to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction.
“In the Central Western Region of NSW, including Mount Panorama, we have the worst record of species extinctions since 1815 and also the number of threatened species in danger of becoming extinct than any other region in Australia,” Dr Goldney said.
Bathurst Regional Council approved an amended Development Application for the track at its December meeting. It was opposed by Councillors Monica Morse and John Fry.
The threatened species habitats that will be destroyed or impacted by the development include the koala, microbats and native birds as well as iconic Australian Yellow Box trees and Blakely’s Red Gum in the threatened plant community.
“Koalas are heading towards becoming ‘functionally extinct’ in New South Wales,” Bathurst Community Climate Action Network president Jack Fry said. “It’s death by a thousand cuts, and this Go Kart track will be one of those cuts.”
Mr Fry said that while the Development Application for an extensive Go Kart track on top of Mt Panorama had been approved, it was still not too late to urge Council to locate the Go Kart track elsewhere.
Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders remain opposed to the location of the proposed track, as it is a profoundly important local site for ceremony and culture.
The community of native trees and grasses on Mt Panorama/Wahluu, commonly referred to as Box-Gum Woodland, is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community by the NSW Government and as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community by the Commonwealth Government.
The Statement of Environmental Effects presented to Bathurst Councillors ahead of their approval of the Development Application last December lists the following ecological impacts of the proposal:
- The permanent removal of 0.79 ha of White Box Yellow Box Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Biodiversity Conservation Act of NSW (formerly the Threatened Species Conservation Act).
- Removal of 3.57 ha of exotic and planted vegetation including exotic non-native Hawthorn and Pine trees which may provide over wintering foraging resources for native birds.
- The removal of three (3) hollow bearing trees containing approximately eight hollows and two dead trees providing potential habitat for hollow-dependent fauna including threated microbats.
- Reduction of 0.79 ha woodland habitat for Koala (listed as Vulnerable under the Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act including the removal of two Ribbon Gum trees listed as primary feed trees for the Central Tablelands region
- Indirect impacts to 2.95 ha of White Box Yellow Box Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland vegetation listed under the Biodiversity Conservation Act (formerly TSC Act), and potential injury or mortality of small, terrestrial fauna within the proposal footprint.
The report listed the presence of the following vulnerable and threatened animals:
- Diamond Firetail
- Dusky Woodswallow
- Brown Treecreeper
- Gang-gang Cockatoo
- Flame Robin
- Scarlet Robin
- Threatened microbats including the Yellow-bellied Sheathtail Bat, the Eastern Bentwing-bat; the Large-footed Myotis, and Corben’s Large-eared Bat.
In light of the above, the signatories below call on Bathurst Regional Council to reconsider its support for the location of the Go Kart track on the current proposed site and to locate it elsewhere.
Dr David Goldney AM Greening Bathurst
Dr Meredith Brainwood, Applied Ecology P/L
Dr Richard Medd Plant Ecologist, Orange
Dr Anne Kerle, Local Ecologist
Tiffany Mason, Ecologist
Raymond Mjadwesch, Ecologist/Conservation Biologist
Jack Fry, President, Bathurst Community Climate Action Network
Ashley Bland, Chair, Greening Bathurst
Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders, A community group of Wiradyuri Elders and Elders from other First Nations in Bathurst
Gunhigal Mayiny Wiradyuri Dyilang Enterprise, a local Aboriginal owned and operated business
Wiradyuri Traditional Owners Central West Aboriginal Corporation, a local Aboriginal charity and corporation
Mallyan Brian Grant, Wiradyuri Elder and Traditional Owner
Sr Patricia Powell rsm, Acting Manager, Rahamim Ecology Centre
Sally Neaves, Education Coordinator, Rahamim Ecology Centre
Cr John Fry
Sam Renzaglia, Resident, Mt Panorama/Wahluu
Lyn Burgett, Resident, Mt Panorama/Wahluu
Bathurst Wholefood Co Op
Bathurst Kangaroo Project
Kay Nankervis, Bathurst Resident
Niall Macneil, Bathurst Resident
Monica Morse, Bathurst Resident
Alison Charters, Bathurst Resident
David Ashton, Bathurst Resident
Warwick & Marianne Artis, Bathurst Residents
Rosemary Stapleton, Citizen Scientist, Orange
Jenny Medd, Conservation Supporter, Orange
Margaret and Marcus Croft
Jock Roxborough, Vice President, BCCAN
Stephanie Luke, Bathurst Resident
Tracey Carpenter, Bathurst Ratepayer
Rebecca Turnbull, Bathurst Resident
Marcus Turnbull, Bathurst Resident
Cherri Browne, Resident
Brenda Doney, O’Connell (as individual)
Tracy Sorensen, Author, BCCAN Secretary
Jock Cheetham, Bathurst Multicultural Storytelling Festival
Cyril Smith, Central West Resident
Elizabeth McFarland, Bathurst Resident
Karen Rowland, Bathurst Resident
Christine Perrers, Bathurst resident & former National Parks Manager
Bob Hill, BCCAN Member, Bathurst ratepayer
Cathie Hale, Bathurst Resident
Dave Hughes, Bathurst Resident
Vianne Tourle, Bathurst Resident
Jen Barry, Bathurst Resident
Patrick Forman, Bathurst Resident
Susan Douglas, Bathurst Resident
Jim Glen, Bathurst Resident
Denise O’Grady, Bathurst Resident
Joanna McLachlan, Bathurst Resident
Cilla Kinross, President, Central West Environment Council
Sophie Meredith, Bathurst Resident
Elizabeth Barrett, Bathurst Resident