Platypus living in Moggill Creek in Brisbane’s westside are at risk from chemical run-off if a proposed service station goes ahead, concerned locals claim.
Wessel Petroleum said its project, at 2250 Moggill Rd in Brookfield, would actually improve the site because it planned to revegetate areas near the creek which were currently cleared and of low ecological value.
But its plans have triggered a flood of objections, including that the proposed entry and exit points were dangerously near a curve on the busy road.
Some residents said there was no local need, as there were other service stations nearby, and the project would add to traffic congestion.
Aerial view of the site where the service station will be located.
But the main concern was with run-off into the creek and fears proposed on-site wastewater treatment would not be enough to keep platypus and other wildlife in the creek safe.
“The stormwater management plan raises several ecological concerns … and clearly notes that during the operational phase the service station will generate pollutants including sediment, faecal coliforms, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, surfactants and nutrients,’’ one objector wrote.
“(The developer) proposes the installation of a stormwater treatment device, but it’s unclear to what extent this device will mitigate against pollution entering the environmentally sensitive Moggill Creek catchment.
Professor Richard Kingsford from the University of NSW says in many river systems, platypus populations are ‘declining, or they are in trouble’.
“The ecological assessment report conducted by Green Tape Solutions fails to take into
consideration the potential impacts of the service station and associated pollutants generated during the operational phase on the adjacent platypus populations in Moggill Creek catchment.
“Despite a detailed report, platypus are not mentioned anywhere in the 108 pages, which appears to be a major oversight.’’
Artist’s impression of the service station proposed by Wessel Petroleum.
The Moggill Creek Catchment Group’s annual surveys have found platypus 185m upstream from the service station site.
“The lower section of the creek adjacent to the proposed development is highly important for movement of platypus from the Brisbane River to the upper sections of Moggill Creek,’’ the objector said.
“Platypus are regularly spotted at this site and observations indicate that this may be an important burrow or nesting site.’’
Wessel asked the State Assessment and Referral Agency for a temporary “stop’’ on its assessment, which will end today (February 16).
Conservationists and scientists say Australia’s platypus populations are in free fall due to habitat loss, pollution, bushfires and other challenges.
Council has asked Wessel for more information, including another stormwater management plan that adequately addressed how run-off would be contained on the site.
“Site plans must be presented that demonstrate all run-off will be directed to these proposed (stormwater quality improvement) devices before discharge off-site,’’ Council said in a letter to the developer.
It asked for details of where the on-site wastewater treatment system would be sited and said there had to be a “fail safe’’ backup, in case of power failure, so run-off did not enter the creek.
Green Tape Solutions said no significant native trees would be affected and, while the entire site was within waterway corridor, rehabilitation would “enhance the values of the minor watercourse’’ by stabilising it against erosion.
“No threatened flora or fauna species listed under the Environmental Protection BiodiversityConservation Act were found present on the site during the survey,’’ it said.
More details on Council’s development application portal pdonline. Search for application number A005600514