Alarm bells are ringing about the proposed sand mine on a large tract of occupied koala habitat in a key wildlife corridor. The Sutton Forest Sand Mine in the Southern Highlands is a NSW Major Project under public exhibition and should be rejected, environmentalists say.
“The majority of the site is mapped as high quality koala habitat in the NSW Koala Habitat Information Base and there are over 30 Koala Sightings on the quarry site in the official NSW BioNet Atlas. This proposed quarry fragments a narrow part of a designated wildlife corridor.” said Stephanie Carrick, Sydney Basin Koala Network.
Figure 1 - Core Koala Habitat Mapping on proposed development area.
“58.26 ha (47.84 ha of which is intact) is set to be cleared and offset in another area, and there is nowhere for the koalas who will be displaced by this development to go. We should not be offsetting endangered animals' habitat if we want them to recover. ” said Jeff Angel, Director of the Total Environment Centre.
“The significant impacts on other endangered animals are also concerning, with 3 Threatened Ecological Communities within the subject land and 14 Threatened Species found within the subject land and 44 threatened flora and fauna species within 5 km of the quarry area. The indirect environmental impacts of this proposal are also unacceptable, especially to an endangered koala population already vulnerable to disease.” said Stephanie.
Figure 2 - Threatened Species sighting on proposed development area
“We are calling on the government to keep critical wildlife green belts here and around the Sydney Basin intact,” said Jeff Angel.
Key facts on the Sutton Sand Mine:
- The majority of the site is mapped as high quality koala habitat in the NSW State Government Koala Habitat Information Base
- There are over 30 Koala Sightings on the quarry site in NSW BioNet Atlas
- The proposed quarry is within a narrow part of a recognised Wildlife Corridor (Southeast and Tablelands Regional Plan Corridors)
For more information on developments on the Sutton Forest Quarry proposal follow the Save our Sands Alliance.