It has been interesting to read about plans for off-road motorcycle racing in remnant bushland in Leongatha South. There is already an official off-road racetrack in the South Gippsland Shire at Hedley so this potential site should be closely scrutinised.
Remnant bushland is a quiet achiever. Without us noticing, it maintains the quality of the water, air and soil that we all depend on. It is not only pleasing aesthetically but supports the majority of the state’s biodiversity.
A 2011 government report into the Victoria’s remnant native vegetation makes uncomfortable reading for South Gippsland.
This area of Victoria has one of the poorest covers of native vegetation in the state and the report recommends conservation of remnants be given high priority whether on private or public land.
The remnant bushland in question lies in the upper catchment of Pound Creek and is one of the last blocks of any significant size in the shire.
Not only is it the refuge of the endangered lace monitor, it has an environmental significance overlay (ESO5) due to risk of erosion.
The three days a year of racing are planned for the wet months when runoff from soil disturbance will be highest.
The resulting sediment and turbulence in Pound Creek will negate the efforts of multiple agencies currently involved in improving the water quality of this same creek.
Bushland really does matter. At the heart of this block are trees older than settlement in the area. What a privilege it would be to own such a rare piece of history.
Kate Danby, Leongatha South.