James Matcott – Guest contributor
This Friday, February 2nd, is World Wetlands Day, a date commemorating the signing of the Ramsar Convention, and an opportunity to reflect on how our wetlands and wetland birds are faring.
Sadly, this World Wetlands Day, precious mudflats at Toondah Harbour, part of the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, are at risk of being destroyed with just the stroke of a pen.
Please urge Federal Environment and Water Minister, Tanya Plibersek, to protect Australia’s world-renowned wetlands, by rejecting Walker Corporation's destructive real estate project at Toondah Harbour.
If the Australian Government approves the destruction of threatened shorebird habitat within the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, it will send a dangerous signal to developers that bulldozers can rip up precious bird habitat, even in our most precious sites across Australia.
We must take action to protect our world-renowned wetlands!
Our handy tool makes it easy to email the Minister, and to ask that she reject Walker Corporation's nature-destroying project for Toondah Harbour!
Why saving Toondah Harbour matters for the world’s wetlands:
Walker Corporation has proposed to destroy the important natural wetland area at Toondah Harbour and build 3,600 luxury apartments and a 200 berth marina in its place.
Toondah Harbour is part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland, which means Australia has signed an international treaty to protect it.
All Ramsar Wetlands are globally significant, and must meet at least one of nine criteria for identifying Wetlands of International Importance. Moreton Bay is one of the few wetlands on Earth that meets all nine criteria!
A private project of the scale and impact that Walker Corp is proposing at Toondah Harbour has never been approved within a Ramsar Wetland.
If this proposal is approved, other precious habitat will be at risk, as developers across Australia and internationally could see this as a signal that protected habitat can be destroyed.
The Minister recently took action to protect wetlands in Victoria’s Western Port Bay, blocking a proposed expansion at the Port of Hastings, citing “irreversible damage to the habitat of waterbirds and migratory birds”.
Walker Corporation’s project impact area includes feeding and roosting habitat for Critically Endangered Eastern Curlews, as well as for other threatened wildlife.
Eastern Curlew populations have plummeted by over 80% in the last 30 years, mainly caused by human-driven habitat destruction across their range.
In short, if the Government approves the destruction of threatened shorebird habitat within the internationally important Moreton Bay Ramsar wetland, it will send a dangerous signal to developers that bulldozers can rip up precious bird habitat, even in our most precious sites across Australia.
The Minister could make a final decision at any time. So with major implications for our world-renowned Australian wetlands, we simply must act now.
Use our handy tool to email the Minister, today, and to ask that she reject Walker Corporation's nature-destroying project for Toondah Harbour!
James Matcott is BirdLife Australia's Digital Conservation Campaigner
Photo Eastern Curlew by Michael Toms