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Froggy Highway

29 December, 2006
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Mr M. McGOWAN: He points out in the report that there would be a dramatic impact on fauna and flora along the route of the canal, a dramatic impact on surface hydrology, movement of fauna across the region in the area of the canal, an impact upon national parks and A-class nature reserves along the route of the canal, and a potential impact on the Ramsar Convention’s list of wetlands. In addition, 33 000 hectares of land would be cleared to build the canal. Of course, as the water was transported along the route, 200 gigalitres of water would be lost that this state –

Mr P.D. Omodei interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the Leader of the Opposition to order.

Mr P.D. Omodei interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the Leader of the Opposition to order for the second time.

Mr M. McGOWAN: We would lose 200 gigalitres of water along the route every year, which this state can ill afford to lose, and it would be environmentally disastrous. It gets worse. This report directly refers to the canal being an opportunity for what it terms dangerous biota to move along its length. Dangerous biota is basically cane toads.

Several members interjected.

Mr C.J. Barnett: Cane toads coming down the canal! Cane toads in swimmers surfing along the canal!

Mr M. McGOWAN: The member for Cottesloe thinks he is not only C.Y. O’Connor, but also Ferdinand de Lesseps. Now he thinks he is David Suzuki. He knows everything about engineering and the environment. The member for Cottesloe knows everything about these things. There is a prospect that cane toads will come from the north of the state into backyards and the wilderness areas and wetlands of the southern part of this state under this proposal.

Several members interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the member for Cottesloe to order again and the member for Roe.

Mr M. McGOWAN: This report refers directly to that prospect. Anyone who has seen cane toads will understand that they are an ecological disaster. We do not need a cane toad autobahn transporting them from the north to the south of the state. This canal would be a river of ecological ruin. Fortunately, the people of the state recognised that at the last state election when they gave us a thumping victory.

Subject: Appleyard Report [Legislative Assembly – Questions Without Notice]

Date: 3 May 2006

Hansard reference: pp. 2089c – 2090a [online (pdf)]

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