ALEGAL ACTION FILED BY THE Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT), which appealed against the Australian Federal government’s decision to allow Tasmania to proceed with the construction of the Meander dam, has been withdrawn.
The construction of the 48m high roller compacted dam on the Meander river was approved by the Federal government in September 2003, and the TCT filed its appeal in federal courts in November 2003. TCT had argued that the construction of the dam could seriously damage the habitat of two fauna species; the spotted tail quoll (Dasyuris maculatus) and the eastern barred bandicoot (Parameles gunii), listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), as well as impact some threatened plant species including Epacris aff exserta.However, further investigations led to the removal of the Epacaris aff exserta from the list of threatened plants in early February. Other mitigation measures proposed by the state government include an enlarged habitat of about 407ha for the quoll. Now that TCT has withdrawn its legal objections, state legislators have asked Tasmania to proceed with the construction of the dam expeditiously. The state Minister for Water, Steve Kons, has indicated the work will proceed after submitting the draft environmental impact mitigation plan to the federal