Way cleared for Men’s Shed

Eastern Reporter Bayswater & Bassendean - - NEWS - Kristie Lim and Michael Palmer

EARTH­WORKS will go ahead for a new Bassendean Men’s Shed after a fauna assess­ment re­port said it would have min­i­mal ef­fect on a mag­pie colony.

Ten trees, in­clud­ing high bush, sheoak and gum trees that range from 3m to 15m in height, will be lost as part of the devel­op­ment on May Hol­man Drive.

Ex­perts were on the site last Thurs­day and Fri­day to as­sess trees ear­marked for re­moval on the cor­ner of May Hol­man Drive and Rail­way Pa­rade.

The in­spec­tion on Fri­day morning found a com­pleted nest and a mag­pie build­ing a nest, both in trees sched­uled to be re­tained.

One nest was empty and the nest be­ing built was still in very early stages.

The Town of Bassendean had halted the re­moval of the trees pend­ing the re­sults of the re­assess­ment.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Peta Mabbs said the earth­works were now sched­uled for this week.

The mag­pie seen con­struct­ing a nest on the site could be ei­ther pre­par­ing for a late first clutch or a sec­ond clutch. If the ex­ist­ing nest is not oc­cu­pied and works start be­fore the sec­ond nest is com­pleted, the birds will leave the area dur­ing earth­works, the re­port said.

Ms Mabbs said the Town was mind­ful of the birds’ pres­ence and wanted to en­sure min­i­mal im­pact on any fauna.

Last week vol­un­teer bird res­cuers and lo­cal res­i­dents Graeme King and Mar­lene Smith said in a joint state­ment mag­pies were ter­ri­to­rial and would be at­tacked if moved into an­other group’s ter­ri­tory.

“Re­mov­ing the trees and build­ing a large shed with a tar­mac carpark the size of the av­er­age house block will turn a di­verse bush oa­sis into a hot ster­ile area de­void of birds,” they said.

“We feel that both the shed and trees can co-ex­ist and were hop­ing a com­pro­mise could be found.

“Spring is also the breed­ing sea­son so is the worst time to clear trees.”

Bassendean Men’s Shed sec­re­tary Clive Brown said the group al­ways wanted to be pro­tec­tive of bird species and ap­pre­ci­ated trees.

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