Arthurs Seat: a park like no other
The new quarry will replace 94 acres of pristine bushland, equivalent to 21 MCGs. Quarries are not a contained operation - a giant mine will cause soil erosion, water and air pollution and loss of precious habitat.
A bird's-eye view of the proposed quarry site. Photo Joe Armao, The Age.
Granite outcropping has led to Arthurs Seat State Park being home to species that are varied from the rest of the peninsula. This area features numerous animal and plant species which are classified as rare, threatened or endangered and protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
A 2011 Fauna Survey of the Arthurs Seat Escarpment records four threatened species as listed in the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act:
White Bellied Sea Eagle
Southern Brown Bandicoot (presumed extinct in the park by the 2011 survey, but has in fact been spotted, albeit rarely).
A further 32 species are considered to be of regional significance and 11 species recorded are of high local significance.
Jacobs (consultants to the Ross Trust) compiled a list of potentially occuring threatened species. This list is out of date. Nonetheless, it can be viewed here.
The Peninsula Preservation Group (that's us) has asked the proponents for access to the quarry site land to conduct an independent survey of flora and fauna. The Ross Trust has refused access. We expected more from an organisation that promises to be open, honest and transparent.
The gates to the quarry site Boundary Road Dromana. The Ross Trust has denied access.
In recognition of the ecological significance of Mornington Peninsula parks, millions of dollars (by Federal and State governments) has been invested to establish a biolink - or wildlife corridor - across the Mornington Peninsula.
The proposed quarry site forms an essential component of this biolink, and its destruction would lead to inevitable and wide-spread loss of biodiversity. That 94 acres, so critically located could even be considered for mining, is beyond belief.
One of the giants at the proposed quarry site.
Broader environmental concerns
From August 2019 to March 2020, almost 126,000 km2 (almost the size of England) was burnt. The number of fires is increasing. 327 threatened species had a significant portion of their known distribution within the fire footprint and there is now a need to update the endangered species list.
The Mornington Peninsula has only 18% of bushland remaining
Arthurs Seat escarpment supports a number of significant species. It is also an area of high bushfire risk. Every hectare is precious and its preservation is critical. Blasting 94 acres for the commercial interests of the Ross Trust is simply inexcusable.