Jan Barham.
Jan Barham. David Nielsen

MLC claims environmental study flawed

THREATENED species and protected Aboriginal land could be put at risk due to a flawed environmental assessment of the Pacific Highway upgrade from Broadwater to Coolgardie claims Greens MLC Jan Barham.

The former Byron Shire mayor said after talking to local ecologists who had studied the route, she found the environmental impact assessment for the upgrade did not properly consider the impact on koalas and the long-nosed potoroo.

"Roads minister Duncan Gay has given me a guarantee he will make enquiries and stated if it hadn't been done correctly it will be reviewed," she said.

"It's an important thing that we do protect vulnerable species and protected Aboriginal land." she said.

Ms Barham said there should be different route options for the highway considered.

"They have just put forward one route option and if it's flawed then I think the minister accepts it needs to be reviewed and reconsidered."

"There is another option that is 2.5km shorter and poses a lower risk to biodiversity and protected Aboriginal land that was previously presented about two years ago."

A Roads and Maritime RMS spokeswoman said the RMS carried out extensive investigations in the selection of the preferred route between Broadwater and Coolgardie.

"In developing the program, RMS consulted with local communities and stakeholders on a wide range of competing factors, including functional, social, and environmental, as well as ecological constraints and economic criteria since planning for this section of the highway began in 2004," the spokeswoman said.



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