To whom it may concern,
I am writing to make a brief submission on the Review of Environmental Factors for the Wakehurst Parkway Improvements works currently on exhibition.
Firstly, I welcome this overdue but very significant investment in this crucial arterial road in our area and am very supportive of the works.
While I fully understand there will be unavoidable environmental impacts from these upgrades, these must be minimised wherever possible, as well as taking the opportunity of significant works happening in the area to implement wildlife protection measures.
In particular, I am keen to see:
- Installation of continuous wildlife exclusion fencing from Northern Beaches Hospital to the end of the work at Oxford Falls Road.
- Install gates to allow the passage of animals in the event of bushfire.
- Upgrade existing culverts and provide new culverts adapted for animal use in all weather.
- Minimise loss of high-quality bushland, in particular by building additional lanes on the north side of the road, preserving the higher quality bushland on the southern side.
In relation to the loss of trees as a result of the works, I want to see as many replacement trees as possible planted back within the proposal area or at the very least within the LGA.
The REF outlines the Biodiversity Offset Scheme requirements of the upgrades, but I am concerned that these will be procured through the biodiversity credit market or through payments to Biodiversity Conservation Fund, delivering biodiversity benefits outside the Northern Beaches.
The REF outlines that 448 new trees will be required under the Tree and Hollow Replacement Guidelines for the project but that these can also be substituted with a payment to Transport’s Conservation Fund. If the required number of trees cannot be feasibly replanted within the project footprint then they should at least be planted within the Northern Beaches LGA.
Michael Regan MP
Independent Member for Wakehurst