The Greens are renewing their call for the Government to take serious action to tackle the ongoing environmental disaster unfolding at the St Kilda Mangroves caused by hypersaline brine leaking into the environment from previously decommissioned ponds managed by Buckland Dry Creek Pty Ltd. This has led to a mass die-off of mangroves and saltmarsh, with impacts still occurring almost a year later since the issue first became apparent.
The St Kilda Mangroves Alliance has alerted the Federal Environment Department of a breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act as the mismanagement of the Dry Creek salt fields has failed to protect migratory shorebirds in the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary. Under the Act, proposed actions that may impact matters of environmental national significance are to be referred to the Federal Environment Department for consideration and may need formal assessment and approval. No such referral was made by Buckland Dry Creek.
The Greens currently have a motion before Parliament condemning the inaction of the Minister for Environment and Water and the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy in dealing with Buckland Dry Creek, and calling on the Ministers and their Departments to work with the public to close the ponds and restore the surrounding wetlands.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“This is an ongoing environmental disaster, and we’ve already seen widespread impacts from dead mangroves to dead backyard trees. No, it’s the migratory shorebirds being harmed by the failures of our State Government to act in a timely way.
“This all could have been averted. Had the Government first stepped in last May when we first learned the ponds were leaking, we wouldn’t be staring down dead mangroves and underfed migratory birds today.
“We keep seeing action too little and too late on this issue from the State Government. What more will it take for them to really step in and stop passing the buck between the Departments?