Adam Foster, E.L.E.M.E.N.T. : 13th
following interview took place at Community Television
Channel 31 at a studio at Leichhardt
is a community group that helps protect the beautiful
Malabar Headland, near Greg Tingle's home suburb of
thanks to the ELEMENT Yahoo! Groups website for transcribing
Tingle: Welcome back to Around the World With Joy.
I'm the new Greg Tingle (just went with blond hair
colour), and this is Adam Foster from E.L.E.M.E.N.T.
Welcome to the show.
Adam Foster: Thanks very much, Greg.
My pleasure. So, Adam, we met about a month or so
ago out at Malabar Headland. Please explain to our
viewers all about what E.L.E.M.E.N.T. is.
E.L.E.M.E.N.T. is a relatively new environmental group.
It was formed a couple of years ago now, and was formed
with the intention of getting local people involved
in local environmental issues on a
volunteer basis. But at the same time it is a national
organisation so we're hoping that that can add some
weight and impetus to the local issues that are as
important and as pressing as national or
That's right. So it's about bringing attention to
some of these important matters out at Malabar Headland
and things like preserving the environment?
Yes, and also recognizing, for example, the Malabar
Headland is owned by the Federal Government so at
a local level, if we only got local people involved
and local government involved, we wouldn't
actually ever be making a difference to the Federal
...who is the actual owner of the site.
So the Federal Government is much more interested
when our Perth branch and our Melbourne branch and
our Sydney branch are all working on that issue together
because all of a sudden it's taking a national influence.
Yes. And we met up, and other community groups and
the like met up recently with the Honourable Premier
Bob Carr. So at least he was there showing his face
and hopefully all the right things will be
done on a Federal level as far as protecting this
area for the future.
We certainly hope so.
What would you see as the ideal outcome for all the
parties concerned with the Malabar Headland?
Ideally we'd like to see the Headland remain undeveloped,
or not developed any further is more accurate. There's
some complex issues out there with some contamination
from a tip that operated many years ago but the protection
of the flora and fauna that's out there - some amazing
plant life and amazing bird life out there - protection
of those things. At the same time though a clean-up
of the contamination that is there is a necessary
thing that has to happen.
I've witnessed some of that in person - some of it's
not pretty. Even things like, you see dumped cars
and that, and you might see a dead bird or something
- you don't like to see this - and you just
have the feeling that it didn't happen all naturally.
That's exactly right. So if we could see it protected
as a national park, providing provision for public
access where it was consistent with protecting it,
so in other words we don't want to see the land abused,
we'd like to see it restored and regenerated...
...and most importantly we don't think there should
be any further development out there and unfortunately
that is where the pressure is at the moment. There
is one section of the Headland that
is already zoned residential.
And there is as such a high risk that it could be
carved up and sold as residential development and
that exact area is also where some of the Eastern
Suburbs Banksia Scrub community is, which is
already listed as an endangered species of plant life
Right. So some of the plants, like the banksia, are
in many cases one of a kind, where you could go all
around the state and not actually find these same
exact species of these plants, so they really need
to be protected.
And it's even more complicated than that. This is
a community of plants that co-habitate together, so
unless there is a large enough size of that community
they can't survive. So if the community is
decimated further - and keeping in mind, there's only
a couple of percent of it left -...
If it's decimated further we may lose it forever.
Oh geez! So for the people watching, what would you
suggest would be the right form of contact? Like I
believe you've got a website set up if you go looking
in the search engines and the like.
Yes, we do. I'm not sure whether you'd prefer people
to contact here or contact us directly but we do have
a webgroup, of course email and telephone, we're running
bushwalks out there. People can
get involved in a way that they're comfortable with.
We certainly need the help.
Great. So they'll contact the station and any support
from the community will be greatly appreciated.
All right, thank you. Well, it's been a pleasure to
meet you. Thanks very much and we'll see you next
the interview, a video taken at Malabar Headland by
another member of this Yahoo group, Steve Ottery,
was shown to illustrate both the beauty and the contamination
of the Headland. Thanks, Steve! It was very impressive
following text was superimposed on the screen as the
20 minutes from Sydney CBD...
the last remaining undeveloped rocky coastline between
Port Jackson and Botany Bay.
Headland is an area of unique and fragile beauty.
Commonwealth owners, DoFA,
Refuse requests to disclose their intentions for development
Refuse access rights to local groups for research,
regeneration and clean up
"The site is posing a significant risk of harm."
EPA Draft Record of Decision
The headland is at risk from...
Toxic contamination and uncontrolled landfill
Feral pests and weeds
Vandalism and illegal dumping
Removal of natural wetland
Current mismanaged, inappropriate usage
Public access where negative impact on conservation
An educational facility
Extension of Bondi to La Perouse Coast Walk
A combination of Reserve, National Park and Public
Conservation of cultural, natural and historical sites
E.L.E.M.E.N.T. and Friends of Malabar Headland save
this magic place.
up a brochure to find out more...
: Yahoo! Group
of Malabar Headland: Yahoo! Group
Beach: Greg Tingle's website
Beach: Greg Tingle's website
& Press Releases:
Man Australia: Press Releases about Maroubra Beach