The Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) has released for public comment Humane Society International's (HSI) nomination to list the Victorian Western Basalt Plains Grassy Woodland as a critically endangered ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
There is now only 3.7% of the original extent of this community left in Victoria, and what remains is in mostly small fragments of less than 1 km2. It is severely threatened by weed invasion and stock grazing, but more imminently a number of urban development plans. The community falls within the plans for Melbourne 2030 (a 30-year plan to manage growth and change in metropolitan Melbourne and the surrounding region); the Mernda Strategy Plan of the council of Whittlesea; and the area featured recently in ' The Australian', consisting of land sold to a developer for 2500 homes, a train station and a freeway interchange.
This community was first nominated by HSI in 1999 and was initially rejected on invalid grounds. It is now undoubtedly even more depleted, and urgently needs the protection offered by the EPBC Act.
Submit your comments to Graeme Barden (Director, Species Listing, Recovery and Policy Section, Department of Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601, email@example.com) and support this community being listed as Critically Endangered. Point out that it easily fulfils the criteria required by the EPBC Act for this category as well as being severely threatened by imminent extensive urban development.
Send copies of your submission to Senator, the Hon. Ian Campbell, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Assoc. Prof. Bob Beeton, Chair, Threatened Species Scientific Committee, Species Policy and Listing Section, Department of the Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601 (email@example.com)