Coastal emus remain a priority in upgrade planning

31 August 2012

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is working to reduce the environmental impact on coastal emus in the Clarence Valley area as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.

An RMS spokesperson said an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the upgrade had been developed as part of the planning phase. It outlines measures being taken by RMS to mitigate impacts on the coastal emu. The statement will be on display later this year for the community to comment on.

The EIS and concept design have coastal emu preservation as a priority and focuses on:

  • Minimising impact and avoiding emu habitats
  • Maintaining and improving pathways and connectivity for the emus
  • Ensuring ongoing monitoring of the coastal emus and their habitats to ensure all the planning and solutions in place work well.

“A lot of work has gone into researching the coastal emu’s population, diet, movements, habitat and the potential risks the upgrade posed on their continuation when developing the strategy,” the spokesperson said. 

“The preferred route between Wells Crossing to Iluka including the adoption of the Tyndale to Maclean alternative route which was announced in 2011 has been selected after extensive environmental investigations, which included consultation with the community and key stakeholders.  

“Community and stakeholders will be invited to review the EIS document and submit feedback. A submissions report will then be prepared and lodged with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for approval.

“The project team has also had a number of meetings with key stakeholders during the development of the connectivity strategy including the Environmental Protection Authority and local interest groups,” the spokesperson said.

RMS has been invited to the Clarence Valley Conservation Commission meeting tonight to further discuss the strategy and reports with the community and will attend.

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