Residents fight to save bushland

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Carnaby's black cockatoo.
Camera IconCarnaby's black cockatoo. Credit: Picture: John Anderson, John Anderson Picture:

Residents say a public environmental review of an ecologically unique and diverse piece of bushland in the City of Kwinana is needed to help save it from destruction.

The Environmental Protection Authority sought public comment on the proposed subdivision of Lot 123 Mortimer Road, Casuarina, last week to decide what level of assessment, if any, would be done. The 45ha lot is proposed to be subdivided into two lots; one conservation lot of 7.9 hectares and a balance lot for residential development.

Casuarina Wellard Progress Association president Stephen Sturgeon said the entire lot contained “excellent quality” remnant banksia woodland vegetation, threatened fauna habitat and a conservation-category wetland.

He said it was a significant foraging and breeding site for the the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo and the vulnerable forest red-tailed black cockatoo.

Mr Sturgeon said the proposal lacked measures to avoid or reduce environmental impacts.

“The site is one of the largest and highest condition unprotected remnant portion of bushland in the City of Kwinana,” he said.

“The conservation value of this bushland is paramount to the survival of the threatened ecological communities located at the site as well as the critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable fauna that either live, roost or forage there,” he said.

“The conservation and resource enhancement wetlands on the site will be destroyed.”

City of Kwinana mayor Carol Adams said the City held “grave concerns” about any potential clearance of the site.

She said the City had been “very vocal” about the importance of protecting local bushland of significant conservation and environmental value in Kwinana.

"It is our intention to continue to advocate for the protection of flora and fauna in Kwinana well into the future," she said.

Ms Adams said the proposed subdivision would have “unacceptable direct impacts” on the site’s environmental value and should be assessed with public contribution.

The property has been privately owned by a single owner for the past 60 years.

A spokeswoman for the proponent said while the site had a greater environmental significance now than when it was purchased, it was zoned urban,and the proposed development was consistent with the relevant policies.

She said the environmental value of the site had been considered and an assessment had been carried out on behalf of the proponent to investigate the impact on the whole site, and the extent of the site as a foraging ground to threatened cockatoo communities.

“The EPA will make a decision based on the information provided (and the feedback from the public comment period),” she said.

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