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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26777

Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 19 July 2004:

With reference to the Walker Corporation's proposed marina development at Ralphs Bay, Tasmania:

(1) Which species recorded from Ralphs Bay, which is listed on the Register of the National Estate, would trigger the requirement for an environmental assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

(2) (a) Is the Minister aware that the area regularly holds 3 to 4 per cent of the entire Australian Pied Oystercatcher population; and (b) what action will the Minister take to ensure that this population is sustained and increased.

(3) Should Ralphs Bay be considered part of the Pittwater/Orielton Ramsar site, given that birds regularly move between these sites.

(4) What action will the Minister take to ensure that the shorebirds of Ralphs Bay are protected.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) There are a number of species listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) which are likely to occur at Ralphs Bay, including: Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax fleayi); Red Handfish (Brachionichthys politus); Australian Grayling (Prototroctes maraena); White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster); Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca); Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis); Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus); Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva); Hooded Plover (eastern) (Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis); and the Fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus). Any action likely to have a significant impact on these species would require approval under the EPBC Act.

(2) (a) I am informed by my department that the Derwent Estuary supports significant populations of the Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris). (b) The Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) is not listed under the EPBC Act.

(3) Proposals for listing of new Ramsar sites which are not on land under Federal jurisdiction are nominated by the Australian Government at the request of the responsible State or Territory Government. No such request has been received from the Tasmanian Government in relation to Ralphs Bay.

(4) My Department has advised the Walker Corporation of the potential application of the EPBC Act. The company has indicated it intends to refer the proposal.