Fears for the grasslands | Brimbank & Northwest
Supporters of the Solomon Heights Grasslands fear the construction of the Melbourne Airport rail link will impact the flora and fauna of the area.
The rail link will be built northwest of the existing rail line, which borders the meadows.
While the route of the airport rail link is still in the consultation stage, Grassy Plains Network facilitator Adrian Marshall said the group believed it would be built off-site on land next to where the rail link would meet the Solomon Heights breakaway.
He said there were seven or eight grasslands that would be affected by the construction of the airport rail link.
Mr Marshall said a number of burial sites had been discovered along the Maribyrnong River, adding that there was a hypothesis that the entire Solomon Heights escape is culturally significant.
The scope of the construction works is going to be enormous, âhe said.
âThere could be temporary impacts on kangaroos that will not visit the area for a few years.
âThere will be light and sound pollution which will disturb the fauna. “
The Solomon Heights land has been vacant since its inception as a residential subdivision in the 1920s and its industrial zoning in the 1940s.
Victoria University honorary ecology researcher Megan O’Shea said the grasslands are home to a number of species of national environmental significance.
She said the grasslands are home to 29.5 hectares of natural temperate grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, which are critically endangered; 436 critically endangered thorny rice flowering plants; endangered striped legless lizards; and are a habitat of the Golden Sun Moth.
She said it was important that the environment of these animals was not disturbed.
âThese are very good quality grasslands and they are near the upper level of the grasslands,â she said.
âWe have to take care of them and keep them in this high quality category because they are becoming increasingly rare.
“It’s also the only place in Sunshine where you can see Eastern Gray Kangaroos, it’s part of an important corridor.”