by Alesha Capone
Proposed upgrades of Bulban Road in Mambourin could affect the habitat of endangered native species, an expert report has found.
Plans for the proposed upgrade – along with a report commissioned by the Wyndham Council on the potential impacts of the project, including on the environment – are available for public viewing on the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.
The Wyndham Council proposes to develop two sections of Bulban Road covering a total distance of approximately 8.6 kilometers of road reserve.
The first section consists of a 6.9-kilometer section that begins at the Edgars Road junction and ends approximately 500 meters from the Deer Park-West Werribee Railroad.
The second section covers a 1.7 kilometer section of Bulban Road between the regional railway line and stops approximately 100 meters from Lollypop Creek.
The council proposes that its upgrade in the two areas, including to the road seal, will increase the width of Bulban Road to seven meters.
The widening of the road and associated infrastructure will require clearing of an estimated 1.26 hectares of native vegetation, the report states.
The study commissioned by the council, which was completed by Ecology and Heritage Partners, found that 4.96 meters of Golden Sun Moth habitat could be affected by the widening of the road.
Golden Sun Moth is listed as critically endangered.
The report also found that the habitat of the endangered striped boneless lizard was likely to be affected by roadworks, although only one of the reptiles was found during studies of the site.
The report stated was “unlikely that the area supports an extensive population of the species”.
The study area is also a CFA-declared fire break and divides large areas with open grass areas located to the north and south, where cutting activities are carried out regularly.
Council documents stated that where Bulban Road design constraints allow, “strict conditions will be introduced to minimize the impact on areas of natural vegetation and suitable habitats for significant species in the weather reserve”.
The proposed road widening and associated infrastructure will be rerouted to avoid the area where the single-striped boneless lizard was recorded.