Brick pit 'ecological disaster'

Next big thing: Earth works on the Kirrawee brick pit site.  Picture:Sam Moore
Next big thing: Earth works on the Kirrawee brick pit site. Picture:Sam Moore
Two Ringtail possums  Picture: Rick Stevens

Two Ringtail possums Picture: Rick Stevens

Eastern Long-neck Turtle. Picture: Natalie Boog

Eastern Long-neck Turtle. Picture: Natalie Boog

Eastern long-neck turtles and Coots.

Eastern long-neck turtles and Coots.

THE South Sydney branch of WIRES has condemned the clearing of the Kirrawee brick pit site, claiming it is an "ecological disaster" for Sutherland Shire.

Branch president Michael Alesandro, of Miranda, said the site had been graded down to bare soil and criticised Sutherland Shire Council for not imposing a flora management plan.

"The site is known to contain eastern long neck turtles, more than five species of frogs and toads, ringtail and brushtail possums, microbats, coots, moorhens, ducks and other water birds, snakes (wood snakes and red bellied black snakes) and blue tongue lizards," Mr Alesandro said.

He said WIRES had been denied access to the site, and that he had grave fears for many of the animals which had been living there.

"The management of the development by Sutherland Shire Council has been a total failure and no provision was made for the safe removal of the animals before clearing started," Mr Alesandro said.

A Sutherland Shire spokeswoman said the developer Payce had been fined for removing a tree which was thicker than 100mm and therefore prohibited from being cleared.

She said a number of blue tongue lizards had also been relocated to nearby bushland.

"The works have included the removal of vegetation comprising of weeds and non-endemic species such as the Cape Leeuwin wattle, cotoneaster, golden wreath wattle, lantana and large leaf privet," the spokeswoman said.

A Payce spokesman said he was not aware of any animal being injured on the site.

"Payce is committed to protecting wildlife during the clearing of the site and is working closely with Sutherland Shire Council to ensure the protection of any native animals," the spokesman said.

He said site was home to feral cats, and clearing had involved the removal of many noxious weeds.

"We will continue to do everything possible to protect natural fauna on the site," the spokesman said.

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