Coast Park Still Threatens Tennyson Dunes
Despite a legal win by other coastal groups that will at least delay the Coast Park through the dunes in front of houses, the Tennyson Dunes Conservation Reserve itself is still at immediate risk of an environmentally destructive bike track.
We believe that the coast belongs to everyone to enjoy, but with that comes a responsibility to preserve these places for future generations. The Tennyson Dunes Group, are volunteers who have devoted over 1000 hours each year since 1995. We protect the dunes through revegetation, weeding and community education such as school tours and our annual Open Days where some of the state's best scientists give their time freely.
State Government are adamant that a bike track straight through the dunes will happen. Therefore, we decided to work collaboratively with them to ensure this path had minimal ecological impact.
We have had some positive outcomes such as the dedication of the dunes as a Conservation Reserve, and made countless walks through the dunes with Ministers, who made specific promises for a minimal impact "Discovery Trail".
We both agreed to a genuine Discovery Trail that sticks to the existing path's footprint, minimises damage to native vegetation and fauna, has a permeable surface, permits slow safe cycling and encourages people to enjoy the dunes, not race through them.
We thought these were genuine promises, but last week the tender for the path's construction was advertised without our prior knowledge. We were shocked and heartbroken by it. There were new things not consulted on and many of our previous objections had been ignored.
We are still upset by the width of the path, extent of vegetation damage, construction materials and the rush to get this done by the end of the year. It is the worst time for wildlife. Considering the fate of the path on either side of the Reserve is still unknown, this could be a bike track to nowhere.
Consequently, we are meeting with Ministers Hunter and Mullighan on Wednesday 24th October to hopefully persuade them to change their designs. Unfortunately, however, they have refused to rule out awarding the tender before our meeting, which means construction could still begin any time now.
We will update our supporters after our meeting with the Minister, but if you love the dunes, its flowers, wildlife and natural state, be prepared to lend your voices to protect one of the most significant dune systems along any Australian metropolitan coastline.