New park for emus "not good enough"

A REGIONAL park on the former St Marys ADI site is not good enough for environmentalists.

Western Sydney Conservation Alliance president Geoff Brown has called on the state government to scrap its park plans and set the entire 900 hectares as a nature reserve to protect the emu habitat and other wildlife on the site.

Widespread community support for the reserve was expressed during recent workshops attended by Environment Minister Robyn Parker, Mr Brown said.

"A regional park is not a nature reserve and is set up primarily for public recreation," he said.

"The regional park means only a small area will be set aside for the emus and kangaroos."

Mr Brown has upped the ante after Mrs Parker wrote to him reiterating plans for the park.

"I do not believe it is appropriate to revisit this agreement at this time," Mrs Parker wrote.

Mr Brown's petition on change.org has collected almost 600 signatures within a week.

Meanwhile, Lend Lease continues to manage the former ADI site in accordance with the approved macrofauna management plan.

A spokesman said no emus have been removed since Mrs Parker suspended plans to relocate the emus elsewhere and that no emus have escaped in recent months.

ENVIRONMENT minister Robyn Parker said the emus and kangaroos will stay on the ADI site.

‘‘No additional emus will be relocated, subject to safety and welfare conditions,’’ a spokesman said.

‘‘The health and safety of the emus remains paramount and the emus remain within a fenced area.

‘‘While the views of those who seek a nature reserve are welcome, there are also a large number ofpeople in western Sydney who wish to see the Regional Park established.

The creation of the Wianamatta Regional Park is a commitment made some time ago to the people of western Sydney and one the state government intends to uphold. ‘‘Regional parks allow for conservation and protection as well as sustainable public recreation and enjoyment.

‘‘The Project Control Group, consisting of senior executives from Lend Lease, the Department of Planning and Infrastructure and OEH, is working to expedite the transfer of some of the land as soon as possible.’’

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