Aside from the lack of consideration provided by the university to the local community regarding the matter and the secretive manner in which the university has conducted itself in this entire process, the situation remains the same as when the Independent Review Panel made its decision in 1991. The recommendations of the IRP have been fulfilled in that the Strathallan site provides an adequate buffer between the Habitat Link and the Gresswell Grange and Springthorpe residential developments, the Red River gums remain as a significant feature of the landscape: the site has been conscientiously managed by the golf club and it is an enduring public open space asset for the community.
The site has become a haven for a wide range of animal species and an abundance of birdlife including the critically endangered Swift parrot that has been sighted in recent years during their biannual migration to and from Tasmania. This species is but one species of a large variety of parrots, cockatoos, ducks, water birds, fowls and other bird forms. Amongst these is the Barking Owl that uses the tall structures provided by the River Red gums and Pine trees in the public walkway area, as ideal observations points for observing intended prey.
The site in conjunction with the Gresswell Lakes that form part of the southern boundary of the overall site attracts birdwatchers from all around the world.
It is unlikely that this proliferation of birds and the variety of species would survive any residential development that brings with it all the problems of a populated area (noise, traffic, pollution, pets, etc) that would significantly impact on the wildlife and local flora.
The site has become an extension to the adjacent habitat link and is used for grazing by the local kangaroo mob. It is populated by hares, and echidnas have also been seen on occasions fossicking amongst the undergrowth.
The site is subject to frequent flooding from the Strathallan Creek and in particular the western parts of the course including the adjacent areas of the Gresswell Grange estate are in a recognised flood zone. In fact significant flooding has occurred in these areas four times in the past 20 years, the last as recent as 2016. This flooding continues despite an extensive upgrade to the stormwater system in 2003. Any further residential development with its concentration of run-off water from hard surfaces will only exacerbate this situation.
If a residential development for the site was successful it would further impact on the local infrastructure that is already struggling to cope with the existing traffic and drainage requirements. These issues alone make it unsuitable for residential development. This begs the question of where would access to the site be located, through the existing habitat link or through the existing Gresswell Grange estate. The roads in this estate are already under engineered and often cannot provide adequate access for emergency services vehicles.
Once this open space is lost it is gone forever!!