Musings of a Wolli possum

Anna Le Masurier

Look, I’ll be honest, handing out leaflets to humans about the WestConnex toll road takes me right out of my comfort zone. But I think it’s important.

The folks over at Wolli Creek Preservation Society have been talking for a couple of years now about the possibility of a tunnel being built right through where I live.  I spend most of my time fossicking about in the bush near where Bexley Road comes off the M5 East motorway. It’s a pretty good neighbourhood most of the time. We’re used to the low rumble of trains between Bexley North and Bardwell Park railway stations. And we quite often look down from our tree to see big and small happy humans wandering along, occasionally running through with floppy-eared canines. Sometimes there are groups of khaki-clad humans with bright red t-shirts moving slowly around the forest, delicately picking out introduced weeds and nurturing the types of plants my family are more used to seeing.

But back to why I stayed up late the other day to let commuters at Bardwell Park Station know what might happen to my neighbourhood.

Apparently, there’s a human government department called the WestConnex Delivery Authority. They’re currently looking at different designs to build another road through the Wolli Valley (yes, another one! I thought we’d had this conversation 20-odd years ago). One of the road options may be to dig up two hectares of the land I live on and put an enormous concrete car tunnel in, spewing out toxic smoke at either end. My favourite tree, the beautiful Sydney Red Gum on which I have fond memories of branch parties when I was a younger possum, will be cut down. The endangered Lilly Pillies, the Coachwoods and the Turpentine trees will all be bulldozed. The kookaburras and fairy wrens will have to look elsewhere to build their nests. The frogs and blue-tongue lizards will wither away.

A few of the humans were a bit surprised to see a Wolli possum while they were grabbing their morning coffee. Most of them took my leaflet; I hope they read it on the train and looked up the website links to find out more.  (A couple of them even said I was “so cute”! That definitely took me out of my comfort zone.) The links are below in case you’d like to read them too.

Some of the commuters agreed that building another big road in Sydney wasn’t the answer to the city’s congestion. But they also asked what the alternatives are? Good question I said. Go to those clever peeps over at EcoTransit – they’ve got some great ideas about how how human-payers’ money could be better spent.                                                                                                                                                                

Thanks humans for listening. I’m scampering back to my tree now. You won’t be seeing the last of me!

Signed,

A Wolli Creek possum