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Community Saves Orielton Rivulet and Pittwater-Orielton Lagoon

Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tags: Planning, Environment, Wetlands

Ms Woodruff to move —That the House:—

(1) Congratulates the local community of Orielton Rivulet who are celebrating the announcement by the proponent of a proposed 40,000 chicken farm that the development will not proceed on that property.

(2) Understands the property was just 1.8km from the northern extent of the Pittwater-Orielton Lagoon, an internationally protected Ramsar wetland, with Orielton Rivulet running through the property and discharging into the lagoon.

(3) Acknowledges the proposed development would have inevitably resulted in significant volumes of high nutrient run-off from the facility into Orielton Rivulet, and then into the PittWater-Orielton Lagoon Ramsar Site and the PittWater Nature Reserve, with significant ecological and environmental impacts expected.

(4) Recognises PittWater-Orielton Lagoon continues to face significant environmental pressures from:—

(a) urbanisation, with more than 50 per cent of the area heavily affected by human development;

(b) extensive agricultural operations, as well as urban development, which have increased nutrient runoff entering the lagoon with significant impacts on the wetlands ecology;

(c) surrounding settlements that have restricted the capacity of the lagoon to adapt and move inland in response to sea level rise; and

(d) growing water demands from catchments that feed the lagoon which are being compounded by climate change, resulting in significantly reduced fresh water entering the lagoon.

(5) Further understands Tasmania is home to ten Ramsar Wetlands that provide vital habitat for migratory shorebirds and regionally significant flora and fauna, much of which is critically endangered.

(6) Further understands that this development did not proceed because of community and conservationist pressure, not because our federal and state environmental laws were good enough to protect Tasmania’s wetlands.

(7) Calls on the Hodgman Government to act to strengthen planning and environmental laws to account for cumulative pressures, and to help conserve Tasmania’s remnant extraordinary wetlands, and the species that depend on them, for future generations. (12 April 2017)