Environmental Issues

What is at stake

Banyule Flats and Warringal Swamplands are lowland riverine flood plains that are among the most threatened landscapes in Victoria. Banyule Swamp is the most intact and biologically significant shallow freshwater marsh in the Lower Yarra. Both are key wetland areas in maintaining the viability of populations of water birds and wetland ecosystems in the Lower Yarra. They contain a number of rare, vulnerable and threatened fauna, 23 species of water birds, 125 species of native birds, 11 species of native mammals and four bat species (NEROC Report 1997).

Kirstin Otto's Yarra is a great read to learn more about the Yarra and its history. Click here for more info.

The Victorian government is planning to build the North East link freeway right through the middle of Banyule Flats and Warringal Swamplands and continues to refuse to consider public transport solutions for Banyule, a municipality which is chronically under-serviced by sustainable transport.

This freeway, the so called North East Link, will not ease congestion but will destroy one of the most precious environmental and historical assets in the City of Banyule: the birthplace of the iconic Heidelberg School of painting, the first internationally recognised Australian art movement. If you want to read more about The Arts in Banyule click here.


Photos of Banyule Flats by Ross Spirou

Visit Photographer Ross Spirou's amazing Flickr webpage for a photographic journey through the Banyule Flats, Warringal Parklands and Bolin Bolin Billabong.


Photographic Tour of Banyule Flats by photographer Ross Spirou [slide presentation format]

As one reader wrote to the Nillumbik Banyule weekly:

Ross Spirou (..the hidden wonders of Banyule Flats...2 November 2010) emphasises the importance of parkland like the Banyule Flats for peace of mind, passive recreation walking and cycling, and habitat for many species. The north east freeway link not only threatens these values but also accentuates the trend to increasing illness and death from traffic pollution, for which there is ample Australian and overseas evidence. More people in Melbourne get sick or die from this pollution than from accidents. The illnesses include heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, respiratory infections and effects on the foetus. Building more urban freeways increases pollution by encouraging more car use at the expense of public transport and more truck use at the expense of rail freight. So health is another major reason for not wasting our limited resources on a North East freeway.

Article "My Place" by Ross Spirou, discusses the hidden wonders of Banyule Flats in the Nillumbik Banyule Weekly in Nov 2010


Another reader writes to the Heidelberg Leader:

"Building more urban freeways induces more car and truck traffic, both in numbers and in distance travelled. The pollution from this traffic is wrecking the planet with greenhouse gases and killing over 3000 Australians per year through increased disease and trauma. If you want a shift to more walking, cycling and public transport, a healthier population and a safe climate, spending billions on the urban North East Link freeway is perverse."

For your information - further Comments posted in the Heidelberg Leader on : "What do you think is the best way to reduce traffic on our roads?"  which followed the Editorial "Liberals urged to promise to scrap North-East Link road" by Danielle Crowe and Hannah Donnellan on 13 Oct 2010



Did you know that we have koalas living in and around the Banyule Wetlands ?   One of our friends, Shirley, kindly sent us some photos of a koala spotted at the southern end of the Banyule Wetlands


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Othe Environmental Issues

Street Lights

The Dark Side of Street Lights at Night [PDF]

Letter to Political Representatives - Astrological Society of Victoria [DOC]






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