I have discussed the habitat extension with three people representing WestConnex for the New M5. They actually work for CPB which is a construction company that works on the New M5.
Martha called me with the following information:
Site preparation has started. Some trees are not suitable for frog habitat and need to go.
In response to me noticing that site preparation has stopped and asking about it:
Contamination has been found. Westconnex will remediate. This requires approvals.
In response to me asking about the nature of the contamination (which I had not thought to ask on the 12th), whether Westconnex is still planning to finish in November and whether Martha is happy to mention her on my site by name:
Community Relations will get back to me with more information on the contamination. Westconnex is still planning to finish in November. Martha is happy for me to mention her by name.
Martha got back to me:
Contamination is due to the site having been a bus depot. Community Relations does not have more detailed information.
Mohamad called me and told me the following:
Contamination on the habitat site is minor. It is not where the ponds are to be constructed. He also could not tell me which contaminants were found. He confirmed to me that approvals are required before construction can commence.
Site clearing is actually complete. The dead lantana closer to the underpass is outside the scope of the clearing works.
Westconnex has constructed six frog ponds north of the M5 on the Kogarah Golf Course site.
I called Mohamad to ask him why five of the six new frog ponds north of the M5 are dry. Mohamad told me the following:
The frog ponds are still to be lined. The team is still waiting for access to the site. Mohamad will get back to me when the ponds are lined.
I had called Martha some time earlier to ask about the frog tunnels. Martha got back to me me and told me the following:
The current plan of management has the frog tunnels in it. But there is a new plan of management in progress. She doesn't know whether the frog tunnels will still be in it.
Martha promised to send me the plan when she becomes aware of its release. She expects that she would become aware of it as she sits in meetings where these sort of things are discussed. But if she doesn't hear anything, she will check at the end of September.
I asked again about the frog tunnels (as of November 11, when I was there, no work had started on it). T was not able to give me any answers. She said that she had forwarded my details to the RMS so they could get in touch with me (they haven't). I asked her whether the work on the tunnels is actually part of the work that Westconnex (in other words the CPB construction company) is contracted to fulfil. T had no answer.
I also asked about the expected completion date for the ponds themselves. T said late this year or early next year. I reminded T that the work was supposed to be completed by November. T said that there had been changes to the design.