Roads and Maritime Services have released their submissions report on the proposed Princes Highway upgrade along with a Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment and the locations of extra koala survey plots undertaken by the OE&H.
A positive outcome is that RMS will suggest to the OE&H that a copy of the document ‘Koala survey in Kooraban and Gulaga NP’s and adjacent lands’ (Allen,C. 2011) , is made available to those who participated in the survey, as it should have been long ago.
They also provide the map below showing OE&H’s koala locations in the area and this would seem to confirm, because they are well outside the ‘Koala cores and corridors’ project area, that little has been learned since the ‘functional extinction’ of the Tantawangalo koalas, that were all in National Park.
On that theme and although acknowledging it’s existence, the RMS have largely dismissed concerns about die-back, provide a map suggesting areas with BMAD are in good condition and of course, it wasn’t a concern raised in the OE&H submission.
However they do provide anecdotal evidence that in the order of 3,000 – 4,000 cubic metres of gravel was extracted from Dignams Creek in the late 1970’s for the passing lane and a similar volume from Blind Creek for the Quaama bypass in 1972.
According to the Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment a recreational pass time was ” . . swimming in Dignams Creek, particularly around the deep pools near the bridge” but, ” . . . the creek no longer has enough water to form pools for swimming’.
It seems most likely that all of these issues are associated with the ‘massive landscape change‘ identified in the Murrah catchment in 1999 but are yet to be acted on.