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Bushland connection gets support

Artist’s impression of the proposed Hillsborough Road upgrade Wildlife Overpass, near Crockett Street. Picture credit: Fiona Bartley

People have latched on to the idea that a wildlife overpass at South Cardiff, as part of a major link road upgrade, needs to be incorporated into Stage One of the project. On August 6 2021, Hillsborough Road upgrade needs a wildlife overpass, Munibung Hill Conservation Society says. by Damon Cronshaw, TOPICS editor, was published in Newcastle Herald. 

We can’t find anyone who is opposed to the concept. 

A cursory glance at the initial plans and it’s understandable that a common comment would be:
    ‘The plans outlined by Transport for NSW look pretty good. They seem to have taken everything into consideration.’ 
But on closer inspection and taking a more holistic view, we point out that nature doesn’t get a look in.
    ‘ This is an opportunity to connect two bushland areas. What happens to the wildlife that can’t cross the road with any kind of safety?  The plans aren’t up to scratch at all.’  
What this road upgrade proposal needs is an overpass as part of a Wildlife Movement Solution. Without this our approval rating for the project plummets. It turns our support into one that is conditional on there being adequate provision for nature: 
    ‘Of course a wildlife overpass needs to be incorporated into the project.’

Vegetated Wildlife Overpasses are not new. There are many examples around the world with the most studied overpass being in Brisbane – see the next story.

The Compton Road Effect – Saving our wildlife

Professor Darryl Jones (Griffith University, October 26, 2016) has sparked a revolution in road design that is saving our wildlife. His research at Compton Road, south of Brisbane, centred on the implementation of a range of different structures to allow animals to cross a busy road that bisects one of the largest areas of remnant bushland.

The area has been recognised as of national significance with Compton Road carrying 70,000 vehicles a day. In the 10 years since the structures were built there have only been three (3) marsupials killed on the roads—and that was due to someone cutting a hole in the now well-documented and copied Compton Road fence.

The Compton Road land bridge is the most studied land bridge in the world and has been copied around the world.  It is also sparking a wave of new research on the movement of individual animals, including microbats, birds and koalas.

Professor Jones is Deputy Director of the Environmental Futures Research Institute at Griffith University.  Take a quick look at the YouTube clip

MMM > Issue 22, October 2021