WRAP media release - 17 November 2020
Disturbance of wedge-tail eagles at Lake Malbena sends a clear message to State Government on Northern Regional Prison
Today the Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley released her reasons as to why the proposal for a luxury eco-lodge at Lake Malbena requires more in depth assessment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
One of the main reasons cited by Minister Ley is the unacceptable impact that proposed helicopter flights to and from the lodge would have on Wedge-tail Eagles in the area of the development. In particular, the Minister was concerned about the impact of bi-annual surveys which the proponent's own consultant advised would be necessary to minimise impact on eagle habitat and the eagles' breeding cycle.
"Minister Ley has determined that flying helicopters to and from the site would disturb the Wedge-tail Eagles habitat and breeding cycle. The proposed bi-annual low flying nest surveys that would be needed were of particular concern.
In essence, evidence given by the proponent's (Wild Drake's) own Wedge-tail Eagle consultant resulted in the Minister forming the view that the proposal needs a deeper level of scrutiny.
WRAP is heartened by the fact that disturbance to the Wedge-tail Eagles formed a major part of the Minister's reasons for requiring a deeper level of scrutiny of this unpopular proposal.
If 11-minute helicopter flights to and from Halls Island, even conducted with the utmost caution, were deemed to represent an unacceptable disturbance to the Wedge-tail Eagles in that area, how can the Government build a prison lit up like a Christmas tree just 500 metres away from an active Wedge-tail Eagles' nest in a bioregional hotspot? It is totally incongruous."
Spokesperson, WRAP Inc