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LETTER: Thriving habitat a loss for all

Posted by on 22/07/2019

I AGREE with Nina Horvath (Letters 31/1), the sight of a stinking industrial bog in place of Kooragang’s important and once beautiful natural wetland habitat is sad.
Shanghai night field

My wife is a wildlife carer and has to deal with the consequences suffered by these poor birds born into such an awful environment.

Nobody on behalf of the state government or mining companies involved appears to be ashamed – quite the contrary. They are working together to further expand this mess with a possible T4, along with the continued expansion of already overwhelming open-cut mining activities.

Our health, the health of water birds and other wildlife these wetlands are supposed to support, along with our air and water quality, sadly come second to the profits, ongoing employment and state government royalty revenue mining expansion brings.

Convoluted, ridiculous statements from the Environmental Protection Authority with regard to the wind being the cause, and the difficulty of absolutely ascertaining the origins and chemical composition of this dusty mess, confirm this.

I’m not holding my breath waiting for a change of approach (though filtering the air I breathe may be necessary soon).

Change would take vision, ethics, talent and political risk not suited to favourable economic outcomes in the current political cycle.

Paul Buckman,Belmont North

**FLOCKS of black swans, their young families and many species of migratory birds inhabited acres of Kooragong Wetlands beside the road for all to see.

Their replacement by dark mounds of coal is lamented by Nina Horvath (Letters 31/1).

It won’t be long before that memory is erased forever in our minds, and the glorious image of this wildlife paradise relegated to a picture book on the old days of Newcastle.

Today’s young will never have experienced this marvellous sight but may wonder why, in such a bleak landscape, the road should ever have been called Cormorant Drive.

It takes no time at all to forget that these little pearls ever existed and that the desolation was not always thus.

This is why we, as a community, must oppose the drear financial pragmatism that is always ready to absorb public recreational parkland.

A living example is in the struggle by the Friends of King Edward Park to stop the King Edward Park Headland Reserve from turning into a car park and function centre for invited guests.

The Kooragang site was probably doomed because it wasn’t ours, but the Headland Reserve is ours, and should be kept natural for the enjoyment of all people.

Kim Ostinga, Newcastle

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