Thomson River Diversion Tunnel and Horseshoe Bend

horseshoebemd.jpgFriends of the Earth Objects to Heavy Earth Works Planned for Thomson River.

Friends of the Earth have grave concerns regarding the planned construction of an eight metre wide "fishway" near the Thomson River Diversion Tunnel, located 4km south west of  Walhalla in Gippsland.

Heritage Victoria have recently approved the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s application to construct the fishway.

Friends of the Earth, whilst not opposed to a much smaller fishway have concerns that the planned fishway is “overkill” and will also lead to destruction of native forest and in-stream habitat of the Thomson River, a Heritage Victoria River

It is clearly inappropriate to FoE that a 3,000 cubic metre quarry operation will have to be constructed in stream and large scale earthmoving and tree removal will be needed to widen existing tracks to get access to the site. What precedent does this set for other Heritage Rivers?

The fishway is to be constructed to supposedly allow better fish movement of species such as the EPBC listed Australian Grayling.

FoE is not opposed to a much smaller fish ladder. To push forward with the current project without an adequate Environmental Impact Statement and without approval of the Federal Government under the EPBC Act, is foolhardy.

Please write to The Hon. Richard Wynne MP (Minister for Planning) and express your concerns about this approval.

richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

Dear Minister,

I am alarmed to learn that Heritage Victoria has just approved the construction of a massive fish ladder near Horseshoe Bend on the Thomson River.

This project is clearly too large in scale to be built in a Heritage River corridor.

Whilst not objecting to a much smaller fish ladder, it is my belief that the current project from the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority cannot in any shape or form be seen as an appropriate development for the site, particularly without going through an Environmental Impact Statement or referral to the Federal Government, under the EPBC Act.

Yours sincerely...