Cameron's Corner wetlands are vital
WETLAND ecology expert Mark Graham says the Cameron's Corner Wetland is without a doubt “among the most significant wetlands in the Bellingen Valley” of which there are few remaining.
“Over 90 per cent of the wetlands in the valley have already been cleared or drained,” Mr Graham, who is also a Coffs City Council councillor, said.
“It is in fantastic condition with very few weeds, a closed canopy and a diverse range of plants and animals. Most of the other remaining pockets are overrun with weeds.”
Mr Graham was addressing a crowd of more than 60 concerned residents who gathered to learn more about the importance of wetlands at a forum in Bellingen on Wednesday night.
The wetland, which has become the focus of a sustained community campaign, is under threat from proposed RTA plans to upgrade the Waterfall Way.
Last week the RTA released its updated Review of Environmental Factors for the area.
It concludes the proposed route would not have significant impacts on endangered ecological communities in the wetland.
Mr Graham however said the REF significantly downplayed the importance of the site.
“It is primarily a desktop study and does not include a robust assessment of what's actually on the ground,” he said. “It only takes into account the narrow road corridor without considering the wider impacts.”
The Cameron's Corner Action Group will be releasing their own community options paper soon.