Greens welcome numbat reprieve; urge Government to update landfill laws

Greens Biodiversity Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC has welcomed a decision by Wheatbelt shires not to proceed with a landfill that would have had devastating consequences for numbats but says the situation calls for improvements in WA landfill laws. 

“I welcome the Great Southern Regional Waste Group finally seeing the writing on the wall, and opting not to proceed with the proposed Wandering Road landfill site,” Ms MacLaren said. 

“Numbats in the wild are struggling to survive; it is reckless to increase predators. 

“There was a clear danger that the proposed tip site, just 6km from the proposed national park at Dryandra Woodland Reserve, would have increased the number of feral predators, particularly cats, in the area. 

“The cats would have bred and preyed on endangered numbats, woylies and other vulnerable native animals at Dryandra. 

“This decision, which the Shire of Cuballing today confirmed at a shire meeting by voting unanimously to withdraw the tip development application, is a big win for WA biodiversity, the Greens and community members who campaigned strongly to stop the tip at the location and successfully appealed the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision not to assess it. 

“The tip proposal would never have proceeded as far as it did had the shires received better advice from Government agencies including the Department of Environmental Regulation. 

“Although the existing landfill guidelines used by WA state that landfills should not be sited near vulnerable fauna populations because tips create habitat for cats and other predators, the shires did not become aware of this concern until they had already spent time and money on an inappropriate site. 

“Since there is now good scientific understanding about the distances over which feral cats range, their impact on native animals and the way that poorly managed regional landfill sites are increasing feral cat populations, it is time for the Barnett Government to update and strengthen the rules regarding the siting of landfills and also require shires and private operators to improve controls on feral animal numbers at existing tip sites.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Numbat Task Force