NSW Greens MP, Dawn Walker has raised concerns about damage to the habitat of endangered species and potential breaches of Commonwealth laws following the commencement of construction works at the new Tweed Valley Hospital site.
“Excavation works have started at the new Tweed Valley Hospital site with the construction of extensive water holding ponds and associated earth works that appear to discharge directly into State-protected wetlands.
“These wetlands have been identified in Commonwealth legislation as vital habitat and a corridor for a number of Threatened and Endangered Species, including the Critically Endangered Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail which is known to live in this area.
“I’ve written to the State Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton asking her to investigate potential breaches of environmental law and whether Health Infrastructure NSW was legally obliged to refer works that impact on the habitat of Mitchell's Rainforest snail to the Commonwealth Government, as required by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
“Indeed, any activity that is likely to adversely impact habitat critical to the survival of an endangered species is regarded as a matter of national environmental significance and must be referred for assessment under federal environment law.
“I stand with community members who are rightly concerned about the rushed nature of the excavation works that are being carried out for the new Tweed Valley Hospital and the environmental impact on adjoining wetlands and the endangered species that live there” said Dawn Walker, NSW Greens MP.