Fast Buck$, Coorabell
At the last Council meeting Dailan Pugh, local deep ecology icon, addressed Council on a development proposal that involved some destruction of wetlands and the dedication of certain parcels as compensatory, so called, ‘bio banking’.
What I understand from Dailan’s talk is that it’s not good practice to dedicate disconnected parcels; they should form a corridor so that wildlife can range more widely.
Dailan may not be aware that the proposed Byron bypass similarly involves destruction of wetlands and Council has proposed a number of small existing and well-separated wetland parcels as ‘compensatory’ – all on Council land, not private property, of course.
So here we have a proposal where existing wetlands (that are already protected from development) have a magic wand waved over them, a process that ‘dedicates’ them as alleged compensation for destruction elsewhere.
The first question I’d like to ask Dailan is whether bio banking is an inherent con. The second question is whether bio banking as applied to the bypass is a con, even if the concept itself is not.
The reason I’m putting heat on Dailan is because a few months ago I had to get up in Council as the sole defender of the Cumbebin Swamp – a role in which I felt very uncomfortable given that I can hardly tell a tree frog from a rhinoceros beetle.
Another reason is that it’s been reported in The Echo that Dailan is a supporter of the bypass – on the stated basis that cars idling in endless queues is not good for the environment! Is this really his argument?
I’ll do a deal with you, Dailan: you save me having to speak up for wetlands and I’ll not ask you to speak on legal matters, due process or the dodginess of senior staff.