WRAP media release - 8 October 2020
Government paves way for prison development application through destruction of Wedged-Tail Eagle nest
Westbury Region Against the Prison (WRAP) believes that the State Government is trying to pave the way for the Northern Regional Prison by driving off any wedged-tail eagles which may be using the nest on the boundary of the nature reserve which is proposed for the prison.
"The Government has deliberately chosen peak breeding season to undertake exploratory sub-surface drilling next Monday. It must know from DPIPWE's own guidelines [see attachment 1 and attachment 2] that this would have potentially long-lasting impacts on the eagles' use of the nest.
The Government has said that the drilling activity will not occur within 500 metres of the nest. But guidelines published by DPIPWE's Threatened Species Section do not identify any distance as safe. Instead they say that loud noise or visual disturbance "within potential view or earshot of an eagle nest during breeding season" should not be created.
The Government has today said that no drilling will occur within line of sight of the nest, but it has refused to advise whether the nest is being used or not at the moment. The Department of Justice either does not know or does not care about this.
The guidelines say that disturbance occurring even many hundreds of metres away can cause breeding birds to place their eggs or chicks at risk, or even to desert their nest site for years.
It is apparent that not only does the Government not care about the impacts of the drilling on the wedged-tail eagle, it is deliberately choosing peak breeding season knowing that it might drive the eagles away from the nest altogether.
This outcome would clearly be a useful one from the Government's perspective." says Linda Poulton.
President, WRAP Inc