Impacts on the Environment

Impacts on the environment – Balgowlah


The construction site and access road on Balgowlah Golf course will involve the removal of valuable green space and approximately 550 established trees, including a large fig tree approximately 150 years old.


The construction will involve diverting Burnt Bridge Creek, destroying the dam, creek and it’s surrounding vegetation and habitat that is a valuable green corridor for animals, birds and aquatic life. Critically endangered plant species growing on the site are the Seaforth Mintbush and Magenta Lilly Pilly, and endangered birds such as the Australasian Bittern and Red Knot also visit the site.


The site is categorised as flood-prone, and it is unacceptable for any waste water, pollutants or contamination by construction soils to enter the creek system and impact all catchment areas downstream.


The site is also in close proximity to the endangered Grey-Headed Flying Fox colony in Balgowlah, and any disturbance by construction noise, destruction of trees they feed on, or polluted sediment in the creek system poses a severe risk to these endangered animals.

Sections of Burnt Bridge Creek and Balgowlah golf course that will be destroyed with the planned tunnel

Impacts on the environment – Seaforth

The construction site in Seaforth is near a section of the Duffys Forest Ecological Community, a site with many highly endangered plant species, and a type of native bushland that is near extinct due to land clearing, development and weed infestation(1).


Construction is planned for a site within the Manly Dam Catchment zone. Many years of construction run-off is a significant risk to the creeks and riparian zones near waterways that flow into Manly Dam, into Burnt Bridge Creek and into Manly Lagoon, a catchment already under considerable strain.


Also impacted by the construction at Seaforth are numerous ancient Aboriginal rock carvings and middens. A government blueprint warned that the tunnel project would lead to some destruction that “cannot be avoided” and that “it will be difficult to justify major impacts” to the sites of high cultural significance to indigenous people. At these sites, the blueprint suggests excavating and removing the objects – an option unacceptable to indigenous leaders(2).


The reason these areas have not been developed in the past is because we used to value our natural and indigenous heritage, and protect endangered flora and fauna – do we still value these things?


Impacts on the environment – Middle Harbour


There is significant risk to Middle Harbour from disturbance of sediment during construction. When sediments are disturbed, devastating impacts could be forced upon the seagrass, aquatic life including endangered marine species such as the White’s seahorse, and people enjoying swimming, boating and fishing in the surrounding areas of the Spit, Clontarf, Beauty Point and Sailors Bay.

1) NSW Office of Environment & Heritage – Duffys Forest Ecological Community Final Determination

2) Beaches Link tollway construction threatens to destroy ancient aboriginal rock art (ABC news, December 17, 2018)