Proposed motorway link may ‘devastate’ koala sanctuary

NoPRC-protest bannerDean Burns

A non-profit wildlife reserve in the Logan suburb of Berrinba is likely to have a portion of its land consumed by the planned motorway extension, the Park Ridge Connector (PRC).

The Berrinba Sanctuary is home to a number of native species and is situated between the Gateway Motorway and the PRC’s potential intersection with Browns Plains Road.

The 200-acre property is recognised by the Australian Koala Foundation as a koala habitat, and several koalas were spotted there during an official Logan City Council koala count in late October.

Sanctuary resident and No PRC member Barbara Robinson said neither level of government involved in the motorway link project was concerned about protecting local wildlife.

“This is a devastating and serious threat to the local koala population,” Ms Robinson said.

She said other native species that could be seriously impacted by the plan included the powerful owl, the spotted quoll and several frog species.

Ms Robinson said community consultation regarding the project had been poor, and said the election of the LNP’s Michael Pucci to the previously safe Labor seat of Logan had not improved the situation, despite Mr Pucci’s attendance at several No PRC meetings before the March election.

“In every change [to the proposal], this property has been affected; they just don’t care,” she said.

“He [Mr Pucci] attended several meetings and kept saying he couldn’t do anything until he was elected.

“We even received an incorrect resumption notice…[Transport Minister] Mr Emerson eventually apologised.”

In a statement to residents in July, Mr Emerson apologised for incorrect resumption notices being sent to residents and advised there was still more consultation to come.

“I apologise for any inconvenience and have asked my Department to investigate how this error occurred,” he said.

Ms Page said her organisation was also dissatisfied with the government’s communication with the public.

“[Logan MP] Mr Pucci organised a meeting [for us] with Mr Emerson,” she said.

“It lasted 17 minutes. We were promised 30 minutes. The planning has gone underground…they think they can divide and conquer.”

Ms Page said the public consultation process had been “unsatisfactory”.

“They have made changes [to the project] because of feedback that no-one has seen,” she said.

“They haven’t even confirmed or denied [if] it will be a toll road.”

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