Airport Rail Link impacts
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Airport Rail Link impacts
The construction of the Airport Rail Link will impact numerous significant grassland sites across the West: Solomon Heights Grassland, Mathews Hill Grassland, Denton Avenue Grassland (the old Sunshine landfill), as well as numerous smaller patches along the rail corridor. The loss of some of the smaller patches is inevitable. No-go zones have been specified to limit the impacts to the most significant areas, but the noise, vibrations and dust will still result in negative impacts for the flora and fauna that call these grasslands home. Major construction works like this can have less obvious impacts too, such as permanently affecting hydrology.
The Grassy Plains Network recognises the importance of the Airport Rail Link. We ask for absolute best practice in minimising damage to and loss of the precious remnant patches of grassland along this project’s path.
Rocks, graves and trains
Old cemeteries and rail corridors, along with the rockiest patches of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, have been places of refuge for our grasslands. Protection from grazing, ploughing and “improvement” by superphosphate has been their salvation. Places like St Albans Rail reserve are incredibly important – it is a tiny patch near the St Albans Train Station and home to several critically endangered species, with immeasurable significance in terms of the history of grassland research in Australia.
Keep offsets local
We know grassland is going to be lost. Those losses will be offset. The Grassy Plains Network believes those offsets should be kept local. We ask that Rail Projects Victoria acts in a transparent and proactive manner with respect to its obligations to protect threatened grasslands, and that offsets are directed to helping save important grasslands such as like Solomon Heights, Ajax Road and Burns Road.
Here’s some more info
These are some of the EPBC documents being considered by the Federal Government in relation to the Sunshine section of the Airport Rail Link.
- 2021-9040 – referral
- 2021-9040 App A – MNES Overview – V2-2021-09-10
- 2021-9040 App B – MNES Impacts Mapping – V2-2021-09-10
- 2021-9040 App C – Permanent Impacts Map – V2-2021-09-10
- 2021-9040 App D – Construction Impacts – V2-2021-09-10
- 2021-9040 App H – Assessment of MNES Report – V2-2021-09-10
- 2021-9040 App K – Threatened Species Management Plan – V2-2021-09-10
You can find the full set here. Search for “2021/9040”.
How you can help
Mathews Hill Grassland: landscape architecture by Pollen.