Court battle to protect the Regent Honeyeater

This case is currently in its third set of hearing days after having been filed more than a year ago – JR

Court battle to protect the Regent Honeyeater

A Hunter Valley residents group, Friends of Tumblebee, are in the Land and Environment Court today battling to save habitat for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.

Cessnock City Council has approved the clearing of bushland and the construction of an industrial building in an area where the Honeyeater is known to breed.

Friends of Tumblebee President James Ryan said “We will present expert evidence to the court that this particular bushland in the Hunter Valley is one of the most important refuges remaining for this bird. It is thought that only 300-400 remain in the wild.’

‘The Regent Honeyeater is so endangered that Taronga Zoo has embarked on a captive breeding program to try and prevent its extinction.’

‘We are bringing this case because every loss of bushland the Honeyeater needs matters. This is not a situation where a developer can propose another block of land in another part of the state as an “offset” for the loss of this habitat.’ said Mr Ryan. ‘These beautiful birds have, over a long period of time,  chosen the bushland area, now largely called the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ), near Kurri Kurri to breed in and the bushland must be protected if these birds are to survive.’

‘We will be putting to the court our expert evidence about the importance of the particular development site for the Regent Honeyeater’.

‘The Regent Honeyeater is one of the victims of death by a thousand cuts. We say the law has its limits in allowing the extinction of a species. Council cannot keep approving development by development when the cumulative impact is the inevitable extinction of our native wildlife’

The Land & Environment Court  hearing is scheduled for four days beginning Tuesday 3rd February and ending on Friday 6th February.

‘We are very grateful for the assistance of EDO NSW and our legal team in bringing this case.’ said Mr Ryan. ‘It is so important that groups like ours can take all steps to protect the environment.’

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