Move to save wet­lands

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Nico

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.”

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