Tetratheca juncea.

Tetratheca juncea, or black-eyed susan, is a small native shrub that has been a prized weapon in the armoury of anti-development protesters. They find the low-growing plant with the small purple flower anywhere and everywhere in Lake Macquarie and surrounding areas then wail about its rarity and its vulnerability to the development they don't want. The Threatened Species Conservation Act continues to list the plant as endangered, and it seems a listing in that act is as good as a seat for life on bureaucracy's gravy train. Coal & Allied, which is seeking to subdivide land in southern Lake Macquarie, has just announced that a parcel of land it is giving the State Government in exchange for development approvals has 20,000 clumps of Tetratheca juncea! That's double the relevant government department's assessment of Tetratheca juncea numbers in the world!

It's a welcome debunking of those who have waved black-eyed susan in the face of hundreds of developments in this region over 10 years. Maybe now they'll try the truth, that they don't want to share, that other people should go somewhere else, that they like things the way they are.

I reckon Coal & Allied should present a potted Tetratheca juncea to everyone who's been so fervently distressed about black-eyed susan's vulnerability.

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