It was heart-warming to see so many friends of wombats and koalas turned up at the rally near Frensham school on Friday, December 10.
I fully support their action to raise awareness and try to save the unique wildlife corridor along the Nattai River.
What a shame that the board of Frensham is ready to destroy the integrity of such an important forested flood plain in the name of a marketing coup to raise the profile of the school by offering "bush cabins accommodation" to their boarders.
If they want to give their students some bush experiences and hands-on environmental studies, their land with its trees and wildlife is all they need. If they want to go further, why not re-forest part of their land that has been deforested?
I do hope that the voice and sound arguments of the community opposing the project will be heard and that the Lower Holt will be saved from this destructive and senseless development project which Wingecarribee Council also does not want in its current location.
It is clearly disappointing that Frensham School is still wanting to go ahead to build a number of cabins on the Lower Holt site. I cannot understand their short sightedness, as if this construction would not have an impact on the biodiversity of this area. Destruction of habitat is the greatest threat facing our wildlife in Australia. In the Lower Holt, we have wombats and platypus plus many other species. Any building activity will destroy this fragile eco-system.
This site is in a crucial part of the Primary Biodiversity Corridor running between Mt Gibraltar and Mt Alexandra and near a category 1 Riparian Zone of the Nattai River.
It just isn't about erecting six eco-cabins for the students, two staff cabins and a multi-purpose hall; the scope of the work is far greater: it would entail the removal of over 240 trees (including 16 koala feed trees); the development of fire trails with passing bays; a bridge over the watercourse which is capable of supporting a fire truck, onsite parking and underground electricity and water trenches, all which impact on the ground habitat.
I say "Stop the Chop" Frensham and lead the way forward as an example of saving our precious area and at the same time, setting a great example to your students.
Yes, Frensham School, please, "STOP THE CHOP".
The silent gathering of general public on the last day of Frensham term, Friday, December 10 was totally justified. Ecologically the project is an act of destruction and I am appalled that Frensham School as educationalists demonstrate to Frensham students that staff and governors condone carrying out such an environmental tragedy.
A wombat colony, koalas, platypus, not to mention the thousands of precious birds living in the 249 trees, all to be removed - I will reiterate, it is appalling!
I believe Frensham School had suggested publicly there were alternative sites on their campus that could be useful for their purpose. Why not look at alternative and leave such an ecological valuable area well alone.
Students in every school globally should currently be taught that ruining the environment indeed contributes to the detriment of all.
The proposed construction of the school's controversial bush cabins in a critical wildlife corridor has been met with local opposition and more than 2500 people have signed a petition to the Frensham Board asking them to find an alternative location for the cabins.
No response from the school and the school has refused all requests for a meeting with locals and ignored the council's motion to find an alternative location.
The protest that was held outside the school last Friday demonstrates that the community is growing increasingly frustrated with the board's unwillingness to listen to what they have to say.
Frensham in particular needs to show its students that it will honor their decision to designate this piece of bushland a "Land for Wildlife" area by protecting it for the rehabilitated animals that were released there. Otherwise, its social license will be forever damaged.
I was driving past Frensham on Friday morning when I saw a protest on the footpaths outside the school. It was actually more a vigil than a protest as the people were silent, holding signs and leaflets. They were standing in the rain. One was seated on a walker. They were mostly senior citizens. I am aware of their reasons for protesting and entirely agree with them.
I have been very surprised from the beginning that Frensham was taking any action to despoil the area known as The Lower Holt. This area has been a place for study of our local flora and fauna for many years.
I have been even more surprised that this proposed vandalising of a forested area was happening in a school. Young people have been taking the initiative on the natural environment ever since Greta Thunberg sat down outside her school, declaring "School Strike for Climate Change", so it was staggering to see a proposal for environmental destruction coming from Frensham School, flagrantly ignoring the ideals and the lived experience of its founder, Miss Winifred West.
The numbers outside Frensham School on Friday show only too plainly the sadness of the community at finding itself in opposition to a school that has been so widely respected.
The Greens have long considered themselves as the 'protest' party. However I think they are better described as the dangerous party, in particular our own local Highlands Greens. Last week this party led by council candidate Sarah Cains pulled one of the most disgusting and insensitive political stunts that I have witnessed in local politics.
It is absolutely shameful that both students and parents where subjected to bullying and verbal intimidation, which was orchestrated by the Greens and WinZero. This was a day that was meant to be a celebration for the end of the school year and to recognise the girls' achievements after what has been trying time for all of us, particularly a young person trying to complete their education.
I recognise everyone has the right to express an opinion, no matter how ill-informed it may be. However no one has the right to be disruptive, insensitive and make others feel uncomfortable and scared as a means to gain attention or recognition. This behaviour displays that the Greens are not fit to hold elected office and I beg to ask the question if this is the way they are acting in public then how would they conduct themselves within the private constraints of the council chambers. I urge everyone to put Sarah Cains and the Greens last come September 2022.
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