November 04, 2019

Save the Mitchell's Rainforest Snail

Please help me save the Mitchell's Rainforest snail and its primary habitat!

The critically endangered species, the Mitchell's Rainforest snail could be fatally impacted by the Butler Street Bypass in Byron Bay.

We are in an extinction crisis and have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our biodiversity.

If you are as concerned about this as I am, please join me in writing to the Minister to voice your concerns.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Compose a new email to [email protected]
  2. Use the subject line below
  3. Write the first paragraph in your own words
  4. Choose, copy and paste from the suggested dot points
  5. The deadline is 13th November


Subject: I believe the EPBC referral proposal 2019/8562 Byron Shire Council Bypass proposal will have a significant impact on matters protected by Part 3 of the EPBC Act

Dear Minister,

I believe the EPBC referral proposal 2019/8562 Byron Shire Council Bypass proposal will have a significant impact on matters protected by Part 3 of the EPBC Act

My reason for opposing the biodiversity destruction is that it is unnecessary and avoidable.   

The clearing and filling of known habitat for Critically Endangered Mitchell’s Rainforest Snail is unacceptable.  The loss of habitat for this species which cannot withstand further loss is unacceptable, especially in a Biodiversity Hotspot like Byron Shire.

The presence of koalas in the vicinity has not been prioritised despite many community sightings in the area. The Bypass is within a wildlife corridor and Australia's iconic species must be protected. Koalas require a precautionary principle approach before we lose them. Please apply attention to what may not be known but is likely.

There is another route that would avoid and minimise the biodiversity destruction – it's the Preferred Route from the 1998 EIS that was previously presented in the BSC Bypass Development Application in 2001, it's within the rail corridor so that biodiversity destruction and fragmentation is limited. 

The proposal represents a significant impact on nationally recognised biodiversity values that is avoidable. 

Other reasons for concern with the proposal and the potential for significant impact on biodiversity, are the failure of this proposal:

  • to self-refer the project under the EPBC requirements for a ‘controlled action’ prior to gaining approval from the JRPP and the NSW Land & Environment Court due to limited assessment and denial of biodiversity values
  • and the Development Application and EIS to comprehensively assess the impact on biodiversity and meet the legislative requirements for the preparation of an EIS to allow comprehensive assessment
  • to consider the viable alternative to the destruction of biodiversity of this proposal - (1998 EIS didn't recommend this route due to ecological impact - instead, Preferred Route was in the rail corridor)
  • to conduct comprehensive surveys to assess the biodiversity values, including a failure to do nocturnal and seasonal surveys and relied on old surveys, up to 20 years old, so there may be other biodiversity values that have not been assessed
  • to investigate the likely occurrence of a Critically Endangered Threatened Ecological Community and other species
  • to comprehensively assess the impact of the excavation and filling of the SEPP 14 Wetland and any resultant impact on the vegetation and species due to Acid Sulphate Soil
  • to identify the scale and impact of the excavation and fill on the SEPP 14 wetland, including the incorrect information in the EIS that 4,100 cubic metres of fill will be placed in the wetland and the fact that the permit obtained from Fisheries NSW is for 30,000 cubic metre
  • to adequately assess the flooding and storm water impacts 
  • to recognise the 'avoid and minimise' principle by using the previously defined Preferred Route

Yours Sincerely,
(Your name)
(address & phone number in case the department needs to contact you)


Please help me save this species and the important wetland ecology that is the primary habitat of this endangered fauna.


Tamara Smith MP

Member for Ballina

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