SHOTS FIRED

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Jon Bas­sett

War has bro­ken out in Mos­man Park over plans to chop down as many as 45 old trees to re-cre­ate a his­toric World War II view at Buck­land Hill.

Friends of Mos­man Park Bush­land is at log­ger­heads with the Royal Aus­tralian Ar­tillery So­ci­ety of WA, which runs the Leighton Bat­tery mu­seum, be­cause of a pro­posal to clear trees and prune bushes. It's part of a plan by the Town of Mos­man Park, and a stoush that will ul­ti­mately be de­cided by the State Gov­ern­ment.

BUSH lovers and mil­i­tary history buffs are bat­tling over a council pro­posal to chop down up to 45 trees in reg­is­tered rare habi­tat at Buck­land Hill Park in Mos­man Park.

The Town of Mos­man Park last month asked the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion (DWER) for per­mis­sion to prune plants down to 1m on the hill’s west slope, and then po­ten­tially fell up to 45 ma­ture trees to re-cre­ate views serv­ing sol­diers saw from the his­toric gun bat­tery when they de­fended Fre­man­tle from the lo­ca­tion dur­ing WWII.

Buck­land Hill is one of the high­est points in Perth and be­came part of Aus­tralia’s mil­i­tary de­fence points in the early 1900s when de­fence fa­cil­i­ties were built at North Fre­man­tle and on the south side of the harbour at Arthur Head.

Dur­ing WWI the Bat­tery Ob­ser­va­tion Post also served as the Port War Sig­nal Sta­tion, a naval fa­cil­ity used to sig­nal ves­sels leav­ing and en­ter­ing Gage Roads.

The council wants to prune the plants and po­ten­tially re­move trees as part of $4000 of work to be done over two years as part of the Buck­land Hill Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Plan ap­proved in 2019.

The 2.2ha is con­sid­ered a Threat­ened Eco­log­i­cal Com­mu­nity (TEC) hous­ing species in­clud­ing the pur­ple-backed fairy wren and western bearded dragon.

“It is ut­ter mad­ness in to­day’s world that this level of de­struc­tion would ac­tively be con­sid­ered, but the council has sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion for a per­mit to re­move trees for views from a slit in the ground avail­able for pay­ing cus­tomers at the hill’s mu­seum,” Friends of Mos­man Park Bush­land con­vener Sue Con­lan said.

FOMPB ob­jec­tions to DWER’S pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion in­cluded the re­moval of healthy na­tive trees that pro­vide shade and habi­tat.

Dur­ing the 1980s, res­i­dents fought and won a bat­tle with the then-state gov­ern­ment and de­vel­op­ers to en­sure a third of Buck­land Hill re­mained un­touched by de­vel­op­ment.

Royal Aus­tralian Ar­tillery His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety WA pres­i­dent David Carter said the shrubs and bushes to be pruned were 30 years old and hin­dered WWII views from be­ing par­tially re-cre­ated in an 80-de­gree arc.

“Any ma­ture trees to be re­moved would be to­tally up to the council, done by their con­tac­tors and in con­sul­ta­tion with the council’s staff,” Mr Carter said.

Mos­man Park Mayor Brett Pol­lock said only 0.11ha of the TEC was sub­ject to the clear­ing re­quest and it was un­likely 45 trees would be felled.

Pic­ture: Andrew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d497969

Friends of Mos­man Park Bush­land mem­bers Penny Tay­lor and Sue Con­lan are op­posed to council’s pro­posal to prune bush to re-cre­ate World War II views at Buck­land Hill.

Pic­ture: Andrew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d497974

RAAHS pres­i­denst David Carter and vice-pres­i­dent Gra­ham Mcken­zie-smith in the ob­ser­va­tion post at Buck­land Hill Ar­tillery Bat­tery

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