Residents query quenda ‘facts’

JANDAKOT residents battling to save the Glen Iris Golf Course from being turned into a residential estate claim the developer is relying on incorrect information about the impact on local quenda.

Eastcourt Property Group bought the 52-hectare privately owned golf course in March 2020 with plans to build 600 – 800 homes on the site (“A rough deal say residents,” Herald, March 14, 2020).

On March 10 Eastcourt posted four “project information sheets” which included one on fauna and flora which made the claim quenda get all the water they need from their food.

“Quenda do not need supplementary water (e.g. via watering stations) as their water intake is generally through ingestion of plant material, insects and bugs containing water, rather than actually drinking from water sources,” the sheet said, attributing the information to its “highly experienced consultants”.

But Leanne Chaproniere, who’s leading the charge on behalf of the Jandakot Residents and Ratepayers Association said residents had found quenda drowning in their pools since the links’ reticulation was turned off.

“We have not had rain since November and there is now no water on the site as the developer has drained all the lakes” said Ms Chaproniere said on a gofundme page that’s so far raised more than $9000 to help mount a challenge to the development.

She says residents are putting out supplementary water sources such as buckets and large containers, but were aware it wasn’t a sustainable and natural drinking water sources are essential for wildlife. 

Water

Jandakot resident Mike Smith said there was readily available information which countered Eastcourt’s claims about the quenda’s diet and water intake.

He pointed to a 2012 “community quenda survey” released by the state’s parks and wildlife department which found 16 per cent of quenda deaths in urban areas were due to “animals drowning in pools” while looking for water.

Eastcourt’s project manager Acument Development Solutions said advice from a quenda fauna sheet published by the state’s environment department does not mention providing supplementary water, as quenda were able to find it from a variety of sources including their food.

But Acument project director Jarrod Rendell said because of residents’ concerns the company was organising trial water station across the site in the coming days.

“The project team is also meeting with one of Western Australia’s leading vertebrate experts to look at a best practice approach to keeping the quenda at Glen Iris happy and health – now and when any redevelopment of the site occurs into the future,” Mr Rendell said.

Mr Rendell said their environmental consultants regularly visited the site to monitor quenda and other wildlife, including ducks, parrots and black cockatoos. 

A representative from Native Arc also visited the site once a month.

by ALEX EL-RAGHY

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