Move to save wetlands
MORE than 80 hectares of the Beeliar Wetlands are one step closer to being protected from development after a Bill to rezone the land was introduced to State Parliament.
Under the Metropolitan Region Scheme (Beeliar Wetlands) Bill 2018, tabled on Wednesday, 85.8 hectares of wetland slated for the Perth Freight Link could be rezoned from primary regional roads to parks and recreation.
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said if the Bill passed it would mean the area could no longer be used for road construction.
“The public gave us a mandate when they elected the State Government that the Perth Freight Link had to go,” she said.
“The people of this area and wider Perth made it very clear – they don’t want a road through these wetlands and this Bill solidifies our commitment to restoring this land for the community.
“Down the track, we will also be investigating what to do with the remaining part of the Perth Freight Link.”
She said environmental rehabilitation works on the site were ongoing.
Fremantle MHR Josh Wilson welcomed the Bill.
“This long-awaited move will help secure the environmental protection of a rare and precious wetland,” he said.
WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the Bill would remove the only viable solution to safety and congestion issues on Leach Highway and South Street.
“By playing politics with long-term transport planning, the Labor government is condemning our local roads to years of chaos to placate their green friends,” he said.
“I encourage Premier McGowan to drive on South Street or Leach Highway during peak periods and see what local residents have to contend with before he tries to destroy the only viable solution.”