ABC News: Airport expansion 'threatens grasslands'

ABC News: Airport expansion 'threatens grasslands'

Friends Of Grasslands logoABC News is reporting that the expansion of Canberra International Airport may have a detrimental effect on threatened species and protected grasslands.

Airport expansion ‘threatens grasslands’

An environmental group says it is concerned about the impact the expansion of the Canberra Airport will have on protected grasslands.

The Federal Government approved Canberra Airport’s Master Plan in August, which includes the establishment of a 24 hour freight hub.

The airport has now released an updated draft environmental strategy for public comment.

The strategy identifies the grassland earless dragon and golden sun month as two endangered species which live in native grasslands around the airport.

Friends of Grasslands president Geoff Robertson says natural grasslands are disappearing around the country.

“The expansion of the airport has mostly been at the expense of natural temperate grasslands which are a threatened ecological community,” he said.

“Across south-east Australia they are something like less than 1 per cent of their former area. So any reduction is a great concern.”

Mr Robertson says the group is preparing to lodge a submission arguing the expansion will negatively impact on the grasslands.

He says they have been discussing the issue with the airport for some time.

“They certainly understand our concerns, they attempt to address them which we’re pleased about,” he said.

“But nevertheless this is the development, it’s still at the expense of the grasslands and these threatened species.”

For more information visit the Friends of Grasslands website

Note: copyright of the material in the clipping resides with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: ABC News Online –  05 October 2009

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