NSW Greens MP and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare and the Environment, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has said that the approval of the Western Sydney Zoo at the Western Sydney Parklands is bad news for the environment and bad news for public green space.
Dr. Faruqi said:
“The approval of the Sydney Zoo, which will gobble up 16.5 Ha of public space, is bad news for animals and bad news for public access to green space. Wild animals, like elephants and lions, naturally range tens of kilometres a day in the wild, something that simply cannot be replicated in a zoo.
“We cannot allow genuine conservation to be a fig leaf for what looks like just a big tourist attraction at the expense of animal welfare. The reality is that zoos are old-fashioned and there are many other more effective ways to raise awareness of conservation without condemning animals to a lifetime of captivity.
“The best way to ensure the survival and health of wildlife is to protect and enhance hteir natural habitat.
“The only animal welfare conditions placed on the zoo by the Planning Assessment Panel is that it complies with exhibited animals’ law which we know are completely insufficient to meet the needs of animals.
“The Government has never revealed what alternative uses of space were considered before the zoo was awarded the lease, including those that could have preserved public space and access. Imagine the possibilities for improving the Bungarribee site for the public.
“The Western Sydney Parklands were designed to be the ‘lungs’ of Sydney’s west, and provide open space as well as preserve the local environment. How on earth does a privately operated zoo fit into that vision?
“As Sydney grows in population and size, large urban green spaces such as Western Sydney Parklands will become more precious and vital to the amenity of our city” she concluded.