Coal Action Road Signs on Point Cook Road

From 6.30 am until 9.30am on Wednesday 14 June 2012, motorists in Point Cook Road were treated to a number of signs informing them about the threat of coal mining in the Wyndham municipality.

“The signs gave motorists stuck in the traffic something to think about while they tried to get to work” said local activist Paul Harder.

“Now that they’ve decided to replace the green wedge with more houses the traffic will deteriorate further” he said.

“The Traffic situation will only get worse if we allow the coal mining to begin in the Wyndham area” according to Harry van Moorst from the Western Region Environment Centre.

“In the US they found that more than 1,000 truck trips are required for every Coal Seam Gas mining well. According to Regal Resources they will construct 200 mining wells in Balliang and this may require more than 200,000 extra truck trips on our roads in Melbourne’s West” van Moorst said.

The Western Region Environment Centre has warned Wyndham City Council about the coal mining threat, pointing out that the Baillieu Government is promoting the brown coal export industry in Victoria and two mining companies have already invested more than $4 million in exploration and pilot plants in this region.

The Western Region Environment Centre today released a Traffic Impacts Of Coal Mining Fact Sheet, outlining the traffic implications of a coal mining industry in the region. They are also preparing a Fact Sheet outlining the health risks for families in the region.

“We have until September to convince the Government and the regulators not to renew the mining company’s license, after that it will be increasingly difficult to stop them implementing their mining plans”.

“Only fools would put their heads in the sand when the companies and the government have made their intentions abundantly clear” van Moorst said.

The Western Region Environment Centre intends further actions over the next few weeks to let residents know the threat to the community from the coal mining activities in the region.

For further information contact: Harry van Moorst 9731 0288 or 0431 121218.

Point Cook Growth And The Environment

Since moving to Point Cook almost 14 years ago, I’ve seen the suburb grow from mainly paddocks consisting of mixed farm and grass landscapes. Infrastructure was less than minimal, with the closest real shopping centre being Central Square in Altona Meadows. Sneydes Road was one lane with cars passing in opposite directions having to move on to the gravel verge… It was not unusual to travel from Point Cook Rd to Hoppers Lane and not see another vehicle!

Today Point Cook is a fully-fledged suburb, with road and facility infrastructure struggling to keep pace with housing development. No doubt you are aware that we now have shopping centres, licensed clubs, service stations, medical centres, community centres, a library and a golf club to name a few of these additions to Point Cook’s landscape over time. However, what many residents may not be aware of is that Point Cook is part of an important and world recognized bird migratory route, with birds visiting from as far away as Siberia. It is the winter home of the Orange Bellied Parrot, of which only 60 individuals remain. It provides habitat for a number of flora and fauna species listed by State and Federal Governments as Endangered, Threatened and Rare.

So while as Point Cook residents, we should be proud of the suburbs growth, I believe we must also be aware of the needs of other species and balance our development growth with an awareness of the unique and valuable natural heritage of the area.

In 2011, Wyndham City Council proposed that a large area of Green Wedge land at the Airbase end of Point Cook Road be considered for rezoning in order to allow more housing development. This action disregarded the community need for open space. It disregarded the previously mentioned Threatened, Endangered or Rare species and the very real need for their protection. It was a decision that future generations will see as ill considered, or even downright stupid.

I ask all Point Cook residents to share my concern for the need to provide habitat for our indigenous natural wildlife and in doing so seek to reach a balance between human growth, our natural need for recreational breathing space and our moral obligation to allow other species to exist.

Should you be interested in finding our more information about our local natural environment and/or take an active interest in our natural environment some of the local environment related groups that you may wish to make contact with are:

Western Region Environment Centre (Includes Shoestring Gardening Inc)
Meets 4th Wednesday of the month. 6.30 pm at Eco Centre, 28 Ridge Drive, Wyndhamvale
03 9731 0288 or 0431 121218

The Australian Plant Society – Wyndham District
Meets 7.30pm, third Wednesday of each month at The Old Shire Offices, Cnr Duncans Rd & Watton St, Werribee

Werribee River Association
Meets 7.30pm, third Thursday of each month at The Old Shire Offices, Cnr Duncans Rd & Watton St, Werribee

See Media: Urban Growth for some of the media related to urban growth.

Do you have any suggestions as to how we can better reach a balance between human growth, our natural need for recreational breathing space and our moral obligation to allow other species to exist? Tell us about it in the comments below.