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Thread: Beach Stone Curlew Habitat Threat - Invitation for submissions

  1. #1
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    Default Beach Stone Curlew Habitat Threat - Invitation for submissions

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    This is a photo of the southern most breeding pair of BSC's on Australias East Coast -( as verified by some knowledgeable birders )
    The parents arrived in the Soldiers Pt area mid last year and raised this chick over this summer on a nearby island. At present there is a development proposal to extend a marina complex toward this island.
    This proposal would narrow the current navigation channel forcing more boat traffic closer to the island, increasing wash ,noise and fumes. The proposed narrower 'gap' to the island would also create easier opportunity for more foottraffic and domestic pets visiting this island. Ospreys have bred there for the past 2 years along with cormorants, oyster catchers and others no doubt.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Above photo is a google map of the area showing the tip of Soldiers Pt, Dowardee Island to the west and the approximate area and direction of the proposed extesnion shaded in orange.

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    Above is a copy of the notice of proposed development.

    I would encourage anyone with an interest in protecting the habitat on Dowardee Island for the benefit of breeding and roosting birds to write to or email Port Stephens Council to lodge an objection stating grounds of eg, increased wash and erosion of beaches on the island, greater noise and light intrusion onto this habitat, increased human activity making the area unsuitable for bird breeding, the chance of the development adversly affecting tidal flows and tidal flats used by many birds including northern hemisphere migrants. Increased risk of domestic pets on the island.
    Any objection must include grounds of objection, and should include reference to the DA No:16-2012-57-1
    Post Address: Leonard Allen. Senior Development Planner, Port Stephens Council PO Box 42 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324.
    email: leonard.allen@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

    or
    Assessing Officer: Mrs. A. K. Garden
    Port Stephens Council
    PO Box 42, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324
    amy.garden@portstephens.nsw.gov.au
    Thanks for any interest in and submissions about this matter, and also if you know of any birding or conservation groups that could be of assistance please let them know about this issue, or let me know of a contact for them. Closing date for response is the 5th May 2012.
    Last edited by Trevor Murray; 09-04-2012 at 11:33 AM.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  2. #2
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    Great stuff Trevor! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. If you had the time to write an example draft letter that people could use (with some modification) that might help get people to do it too.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS

    Aus Life List IOC= 688 - Carpentarian Grasswren
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  3. #3
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    Thanks David, I'll get a copy of some draft leters a community group has put out. There are also plenty of community objections to this on grounds other than bird habitat.

    SEE SAMPLE LETTER BELOW, PLEASE REPLACE ANY OF THE OBJECTION POINTS ( OR ADD TO THOSE BELOW ) WITH OBJECTIONS OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL NATURE< AS WELL AS BIRD HABITAT THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO RESTRICT A CHANNEL THAT IS USE QUITE OFTEN BY DOLPHINS TRAVELLING FRON THE THE CROMARTY BAY SANCTUARY ZONE.

    Date: 18th March 2012
    Assessing Officer: Mrs. A. K. Garden
    Port Stephens Council
    PO Box 42, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324
    amy.garden@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

    RE: Proposal for Extension to Marina and alt to Car parking, Soldiers Point Marina.
    File No: 16-2012-57-1
    I wish to lodge an objection to this Development Proposal on the following grounds:

    1. This proposal seeks to extend a privately owned Marina and add an additional 58 floating berths over the waterway between Dowardee Island and the current Marina at Soldiers Point. This transfers a large area of this waterway from public use to a private, commercially based, business without compensating the public for the loss of that amenity.
    2. The proposal seeks to remove many of the current boat moorings in the area and replace them with fixed pole moorings. This will reduce the amenity of many boat owners.
    3. The proposal will extend the current Marina by 72 metres in a westerly direction reducing tidal flow in the waterway. The tidal flow is North/South and this will cause an accumulation of floating debris against the proposed expanded marina and reduce the water quality in the area.
    4. Since the last expansion of the Soldiers Point Marina a large amount of sand has been lost from the beaches to the North and South of the Marina. If this proposal is accepted this problem will get worse and more sand will be lost from these public beaches.
    5. The current channel to the west of the Marina is over 100m wide. This is used by many dolphins to move around the Bay. The proposal plans to narrow this channel to 30 metres. This will limit the ability of the resident population of dolphins to travel through this channel in safety.
    6. The existing Soldiers Point Marina complex consist of the current 100 berth marina, two 100 seat restaurants, a boat hire company, slipway and a marine workshop. There is serious traffic congestion in and around the Marina and surrounding streets at the moment. This proposal, if accepted, will make this problem even worse.

    I declare that I have made no reportable political donations within the last two years.
    Yours sincerely
    Signature: __________________________
    Name: __________________________
    Address: __________________________
    __________________________
    __________________________
    Last edited by Trevor Murray; 09-04-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Trevor, perhaps Hunter Birders could provide some assistance or know of other groups that you could contact.

    Do you think that an objection from someone in (say) Victoria would carry much weight with the authorities?
    Cheers,
    Geoff


    reposts welcome

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    Hi Geoff, Hunter Birders have been approached, I think any objection would be noted as it represents an awareness of the issues well outside of our geographic area. It is outside our area that money is spent trying to attact tourists. It could also be mentioned in submissions that birders will come as tourists to this area to see these birds. Better a positive environment image than a negative one, ie losing habitat if your trying to attract visitors.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Thanks for doing this Trevor. Given that I'm one of those visiting tourists I've lodged my objection.

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    Good on you Gerard, thanks very much.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Mrs. A. K. Garden is on extended leave, so send your objection to Leonard Allen. Senior Development Planner, Port Stephens Council PO Box 42 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324.
    email: leonard.allen@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

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    Default More info on the BSC

    Hi Folks, This is my first post. Treat me gentle!
    I live at Soldiers Point and I was out the fron this morning when I heard a continuos whooping sound. It turned out to be the famous BSC pair from Dowardee Island.
    So shot some photos of them feasting on the Soldier Crabs. I have a few photos but I only seem to be able to load this one. I would make a plea to all interested to get active and follow Trevors' lead objecting to the proposed expansion of the nearby Marina. I would hate to see these guys disappear from our area.
    Thanks Colin.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Welcome aboard Colin Good looking image If you are after critique and camera advice etc then feel free to post in the Aust. Bird forum or in the "new to bird photography" section

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    Welcome Colin. Yes I have submitted my objection too.
    Cheers and have a good time here
    Eric SJ Tan
    Mountains & Beyond

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    Good on you Eric, hope this rain clears for your pelagic trip. The BSC's were on the beach yesterday in the rain as it was keeping the tourists under cover and off the beach.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Hi again, just an update. The submission period has closed, local community action and general opposition to this proposal saw 550 submissions with the majority in opposion according to the local paper. I was interviewed on NBN television last week on the bird and environmental side of the opposition arguement. Hopefully the strength of submissions will get the local threatened species officer from environment and heritage involved. I will, along with many others speak before the Joint Regional Planning Panel which is the body that makes a decision after receiving advice from council planning staff and others. I'll keep the forum posted.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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    Hi to all, well a lot has happened over the nearly 3 years since the DA to extend this marina started. Thanks to strong opposition and particularly submissions regarding the critically endangered Beach Stone Curlew the Coucil made a recommendation to the Joint Regional Planning Panel to reject the DA. The JRPP met last night where I made a presentation on behalf of the Hunter Bird Observers Club. There were many other presentations from individiuals and groups with wide grounds of opposition. The JRPP unanimously voted to reject the DA they also denied the developer an extension. So a good win for the birds.
    If the developer does try again, opposition would be now easily reformed and his opposition have much more experience now thanks to this 3 year battle.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  15. The following 4 users say thank you to Trevor Murray for their reply:

    Chris Martinez (13-06-2014), Derek Willcox (13-06-2014), Lachlan Hall (13-06-2014), Paul Randall (13-06-2014)

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    That's a great outcome, Trevor - and the exact opposite of what happened down in Shellharbour, where the local wetland has been destroyed to accommodate rich boys floating toys. Good on you for bringing this to the attention of the forum when it first started. It just shows what can happen when concerned citizens make their voices heard.

    John

  17. The following user says thank you to John Laing for their reply:

    Trevor Murray (14-06-2014)

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