BirdLife Australia are calling on Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) to honourtheir commitment to conserve Ellalong Lagoon and adjoining bushland when theydecide on a buyer for the block, which they have now placed on the market. Theproperty is located along Congewai and Sanctuary Roads at Paxton and comprises400ha of significant wetland and woodland habitat. It was purchased by PWCS in2012 to partly offset the loss of Deep Pond on Kooragang Island through theill-fated T4 project. With that proposal now off the books, PWCS have put theproperty up for sale via an EOI process.

“This is the jewel in Lower Hunter’s conservation crown” says Mick Roderick,NSW Woodland Bird Program Manager at BirdLife Australia. “This single blockcontains one of the best known wetlands in the Hunter, listed on the Directoryof Important Wetlands of Australia, as well as some of the most intactwoodland left on the floor of the Hunter Valley. A remarkable array of floraand fauna occur here, including several endangered vegetation communities andis an important site for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and SwiftParrots. It needs to be protected.” Mick said.

BirdLife Australia are concerned at the promotion of the sale, includingslogans such as “Large land holding with subdivision potential.”

“Back in 2012 Port Waratah made a commitment to protect this site” Mickcontinues. “Hennie Du Plooy stated at the time that the bottom line isEllalong Lagoon has been locked away from developers forever. BirdLifeAustralia urge Port Waratah to not make this a financial decision and act inthe public interest. There is broad community support to have the siteprotected and managed as a conservation showpiece.”

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