Warnervale orchid stops Woolworths’ Distribution Centre expansion
Plans by Woolworths to expand their Distribution Centre at Warnervale have been stymied by the Federal Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek after a so called ‘field of critically endangered orchids’ was found growing in a lawn planted on the site by the company.
Ms Plibersek made her decision to block the expansion in mid-December, with her declaration that the development would have “clearly unacceptable impacts” on the environment made public last week.
According to reports around 500 Wyong sun orchids were found on the site making it the largest population of the so-called rare species ever discovered and representing 35% of the total population.
They were discovered growing on a regularly mowed grass lawn surrounding the Centre and were not present when the facility was built in 2005.
Woolworths signalled to the Department of Planning in December 2021 that it had plans to invest $68 million in expanding its Warnervale warehouse and distribution centre.
The State Significant Development was for alterations and additions adding an extra 27,767 sqm of warehouse storage and upgrading outdated technology and increasing capacity to handle more product lines and provide faster deliveries.