Win for people power as Belair National Park trees saved

The state’s peak environment body is delighted with the decision by Environment Minister David Speirs to reject the proposal to develop a section of the Belair National Park with seven soccer pitches, risking hundreds of ancient trees.


MEDIA RELEASE
6 May 2021

Win for people power as Belair National Park trees saved

The state’s peak environment body is delighted with the decision by Environment Minister David Speirs to reject the proposal to develop a section of the Belair National Park with seven soccer pitches, risking hundreds of ancient trees.

“We strongly welcome today’s announcement,” Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said.

“This is a positive decision that recognises that cutting down ancient trees in a national park is just not acceptable.

“The community voice is loud and clear: national parks are first and foremost a place for nature. 

“It’s great that Minister Speirs has listened to the community feedback and strongly and clearly ruled out a proposal that would have risked the loss of vital habitat,” he said.

Last week, Conservation SA released a report by arborist and eucalyptus expert Dean Nicolle which analysed the trees and other native vegetation at risk under the proposed 10-hectare soccer pitch layout. The report identified 336 remnant and semi-remnant trees potentially at risk with many classified as rare and of high biodiversity value, and with at least 16 over 200 years old.

“The evidence was clear: the proposal for 7 soccer pitches would have put at risk far too many trees and surrounding biodiversity.

“It must come as a heavy blow, though, to the Sturt Lions Soccer Club who are keen to find a decent home.

“It’s a shame the process reached this point, where the Club was encouraged to commit an enormous amount of time and effort pushing for a site that was clearly not appropriate from the beginning.

“We urge the Government and the local Council to now work with the Sturt Lions Soccer Club to find them a better option,” he said.

The report can be found at www.conservationsa.org.au/belair_tree_report

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, [email protected], or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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