Government can’t see the forest for the trees

I feel compelled to formally state my objection to the proposed roadworks through the Ironwood Forest.

I am made to understand that the alternative environmentally-friendly proposal for a two-lane road on the northern border (rather than a four-lane 0.6m road on the southern border as planned) is not being considered by the Government.

Moreover, the statements being made to the press by the Government do not make sense to me. First, it was reported that the roadworks were adjusted to ‘skirt or border the forest’. However, putting the road on the southern end of parcels 15C1 and 15B67 is straight through the forest.

It was also reported that the Government claims the alternative road on the north border would be prohibitively costly. However, using the northern border would apparently only add approximately 400 feet more road than the current road plan. It is difficult to see how those 400 feet would cost additional millions of dollars as is being suggested.

I am not in favour of any roadworks through this area, which should be protected. Our priority should be preserving our natural resources.

If there is no other alternative to roadworks through this area to alleviate traffic congestion, I would prefer not to create the road at all. At best, this road would only reduce – but cannot eliminate – traffic congestion.

It is not worth destroying an irreplaceable natural forest just to reduce driving time by 40 or so minutes.

There are other feasible alternatives to reducing traffic congestion on Walkers Road, such as buses for the Catholic and Prep schools, which can accomplish the same objective – reduced congestion – without destroying the Ironwood Forest, and at significantly less cost.

All schools receive Government funding already, so the $7M funds could be used to subsidize buses for Truth for Youth, Catholic and Prep schools.

I suppose the PPM will point to these great new roads during the next election.

However, I for one will not be happy about unnecessarily destroying mangrove wetlands and indigenous forests to do so, especially when there are feasible alternatives available, such as buses for the private schools.

I am also concerned about the extensive power of the Government to acquire private property.

I would encourage the Compass to undertake a thorough investigation and report on this issue for the public’s benefit and education.

Mary McField

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