Mrs Peulich said that neither the Greens nor Labor could oppose the motion because it is clear that the legislation requires this referral under the Ramsar Convention.
“This is not an option for Daniel Andrews. It’s a legislative requirement,” Ms Peulich said.
Significant penalties including possible imprisonment can be imposed on parties who defy the Federal legislation which mandates that such a project must be referred for assessment to the Federal Government because of the potential impact on a Ramsar listed wetlands of Edithvale-Seaford.
Mrs Peulich said that the convention requires the project to be assessed for its potential negative impact on the hydrology, ecology of protected and endangered species and the flight paths of migratory birds protected by the convention.
Mrs Peulich told the Victorian Upper house that Sky Rail could be constructed 1.4 kilometres away from the wetlands at Edithvale and approximately 400 metres away from the Seaford Wetlands.
“Premier Andrews has failed to release a business case for Sky Rail. He has failed to take it to Cabinet. He has failed to ensure that a proper Environmental Impacts Study is undertaken because he has the power to do so. But he cannot defy Federal legislation and international conventions to which Australia is a signatory and his departments and agencies are contracted parties,” Ms Peulich said.
The wetlands are a home to the endangered Australasian Bittern, and Australia’s rarest bird, the critically endangered Orange-bellied parrot has been seen in the wetlands system.
“Premier Andrews must without further refer the construction of Sky rail along the Frankston Line to the Federal Government for environmental assessments under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Ms Peulich said.
“This motion passed because all parties recognised that defying Federal legislation and the Ramsar Convention by not referring Sky Rail for Environmental Assessment would place Australia in conflict with its national and international obligations as a contracted party to the Ramsar Convention.
Ms Peulich’s motion and speech can be found online at: http://hansard.parliament.vic.gov.au/isysquery/667cbf26-432b-4513-a9c8-bb4fa5253e2d/2/doc/?WholeSpeech=Y