More than 75 leading organisations and individuals have signed our open letter, published in The Age newspaper on March 19, calling on the Ross Trust to withdraw its plans to open a new quarry on Arthurs Seat.
Environment groups signing the letter include Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Landcare, The Australian Wildlife Protection Council and the Australian Conservation Foundation. A number of major Mornington Peninsula tourism attractions have also signed, many of them concerned about the huge scar the quarry would leave on a signature vista of Port Phillip Bay. Also signing are a host of leaders from the philanthropic, business and environmental community.
To see the full list of names READ THE OPEN LETTER HERE.
3AW’s Neil Mitchell told radio listeners about the open letter on 18 March, saying:
“What could be an all out environmental war is about to erupt on the Mornington Peninsula. And some of the biggest names in Victoria are in the middle of it.”
Mr Mitchell added,
“To my eye this could determine the future of one of the most beautiful spots in Victoria."
The Ross Trust is the only philanthropic charity in Australia that funds its grant-making program through the proceeds of a quarry. It distributes around $4.5 million a year to a range of environmental, education and welfare organisations.
The application is currently going through an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) process, with a decision by Planning Minister Richard Wynne expected next year. To date, more than 40,000 people have signed a change.org petition opposing the new quarry.
The open letter was co-ordinated by and paid for by us (Peninsula Preservation Group - PPG). PPG President, Dr Mark Fancett, has said the open letter has showed the breadth and depth of concern about the Ross Trust funding its ongoing philanthropic operations through the destruction of an important wildlife area. He added:
“The Ross Trust can be a philanthropic charity focused on conservation or it can be the developer of a new open cut mine: it can’t be both. It’s the Trust’s responsibility to leave a better legacy for the Victorian community.”
You can hear Dr Mark Fancett's full interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW here.