The Department of Transport and Main Roads has promised to protect the much beloved Eagleby Wetlands as the deadline for construction on the Coomera Connector draws closer.
Local community groups have raised concerns about the Wetlands, which they say are protected under international law.
A spokesperson from the Department of Transport and Main Roads says enviornmental surveys will be carried out, but that it does recognise the significance of the wetlands.
“We recognise the importance of the Eagleby Wetlands and are committed to minimising environmental impacts.
“Extensive flora and fauna surveys will take place over the next 12-18 months to inform the environmental assessment and approvals to support the business case development for future stages of the Coomera Connector.
“We will continue to work with the Department of Environment and Science and Federal Government on this project, noting the Eagleby Wetlands are not currently recognised as wetlands of national or international significance.
“Fauna surveys, including assessment of impacts to migratory birds, are starting early this year as part of the business case development and preparation of environmental approvals.”
In response, Chairman of the Eagleby Wetlands Community Wetlands Group Marilyn Goodwin says the Eagleby Wetlands should be treated the same way as the northern side of the river.
“ECWG believes there will be so much damage to the Unique Complex Wetland System which covers much more than the named Council managed “Eagleby Wetlands” at the end of Logan Street during construction and building that it will be virtually impossible to restore this natural asset.”
“ECWG understands that prior to Councils being Amalgamated some years ago the Gold Coast City Council had plans to have the Unique Complex Wetland System treated in the same way as Carbrook on the northern side of the Logan River. Each Wetland system is unique and Eagleby’s are fed from many different water sources including underground streams and paleo-rivers.”
She also believes that a road connection between the Redland Bay area and the northern section of the Coomera Connector should be seriously considered.
“ECWG believes that a connection that does not feed more traffic back onto the M1 when many of the vehicles will be heading south makes more sense and would provide an Alternate Relief Road in times of emergency.”