Keith Stallard, Andrew Wood

News from Blue Wren Sub-Committee, Bulletin 5/2021 July 2021

Last month the Blue Wren Subcommittee, together with the Society President, Janet Wahlquist, and Convenor of the Bays and Foreshores Subcommittee, Asa Wahlquist, met with Keith Stallard, a Balmain resident and Society member, to discuss his proposals to have wildlife corridors included in the State Government’s Bays West Place Strategy. Keith demonstrated that an eco-corridor should be an important and essential part of the Strategy with links to similar corridors in Glebe and Annandale and to Callan Park and the Greenway (see solid green line in diagram; the dotted green lines are the connections to Glebe/Annandale and Callan Park and the Greenway). The meeting supported his plans.

Proposed wildlife eco-corridor (image: Keith Stallard)

Keith’s proposals were initially submitted to the Department for Planning, Industry and the Environment in response to their invitation for comments on their consultation draft of a Bays West Place Strategy. After speaking with Keith, Jamie Parker (state member for Balmain) supported Keith’s wildlife corridors submission and presented a copy of his plan to Rob Stokes (Minister for Planning and Public Spaces). Jamie also sent a copy to the Chair of the Rozelle Parklands Working Group, who in turn forwarded it for review by Transport for NSW.

Further, Keith has recently met with John Stamolis, the independent councillor for the Balmain ward of the Inner West Council, who helped arrange a meeting with the planning team at the Inner West Council and they ‘strongly support the eco-corridors initiative’. In addition, the Strategic Planning and Urban Design team at the City of Sydney confirmed that the eco-corridor proposal is consistent with their policies and their submission to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and recommended that ‘the Department consider biodiversity and ecology growth opportunities as part of a range of sustainability considerations’. That is, the City’s objectives are aligned with the objectives of the wildlife corridors concept.

In speaking with the team responsible for finalising the Bays West Place Strategy, Keith discussed the dire need to reverse environmental decline in our area of Sydney, how eco-corridors might do this, and how essential it was for the Bays West Place Strategy to establish and maintain inner city wildlife corridors – concepts which have the overwhelming support of local residents.

In conclusion, Keith’s objective is to get ecological regeneration, preferably by eco-corridors, as a non-negotiable objective of the Bays West Place Strategy as this document will set the parameters for development of the Bays West precinct over coming decades. The Place Strategy should be finalised and published in July.