By Colette Day, Board Member and Chair of Science & Education Committee
We have three new advocacy statements on our website addressing issues of significance.
We believe that there is a need to develop a Strategic Framework for Western Port by the State Government (DEECA). This is a top priority if we are to assure the future of biodiversity and the Reserve ecosystems that support it. With a clear strategy in place, stakeholders will be able to more confidently develop and implement policies and strategies consistent with community expectations for action on climate and environmental protection, while allowing on-going and sustainable development of community infrastructure and amenities. The Biosphere Foundation is keen to be an active participant in the development of any future framework.
There is a proposal to develop a Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal at Hastings. The development of renewable energy is generally supported by the Biosphere Foundation, so too the development of Port of Hastings to facilitate this. We are concerned, however, of the potential impacts on Western Port’s ecosystems by commercial activities such increased shipping traffic. We expect that a robust environmental regulatory process will address these matters as a priority to ensure protection of the environment.
We strongly support the conservation of the remnant woodlands and facilitation of a bio-link through the area known as the Western Port Woodlands. The Western Port Woodlands support flora and fauna of national significance in proximity to internationally significant Western Port. We advocate for robust enforcing of regulations of, environmental responsibilities and fulsome and transparent community engagement by sand quarry leases holders in the area.
As issues arise which effect our Biosphere Reserve, we take Advocacy positions that will be evidence-based, guided by scientific research and expertise from internal and external parties. We seek to protect the conservation areas legally recognised and protected by international and government agreement and law. We will also seek to educate about the practices and benefits of sustainable interaction with the natural environment and commerce within the Biosphere Reserve.
We are currently collecting information on the proposal for the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain development at Hastings and recommend that you check our website for updates. (Link https://www.biosphere.org.au/advocacy/)