Why did the MRA reverse the City of Stirling’s decision to close the road reserve?

On 1 May 2012 the Council voted to close the Esplanade road reserve north of Reserve St Scarborough and incorporate the land into the adjacent Class A Reserve (South Trigg Beach Reserve 46248).  (link to letter from CoS to StB 16 May 2012 and advertisement in the Western Australian 28 Jan 2012)  The Council’s reasons for closure of the 2.8 hectare road reserve were set out in a letter dated 16 May 2012:

  • To maintain an ecological link into adjoining “A” Class Reserve;
  • Existing flora and fauna has a continuous relationship with the current dune structure;
  • Existing entry and egress points along West Coast Hwy and Reserve St cater for any future development;
  • A “No Road” decision would bring this location into conformity with the southern end of the Esplanade (no road).

Despite the above, during the early stages of planning the Scarborough Redevelopment, the MRA intervened to place the road closure on hold, and in July 2014 took full statutory planning control of the area.  This stopped the road closure proceeding, overriding the City of Stirling and halting the amalgamation of the road reserve and the adjacent Class A coastal reserve north of Scarborough and south of Trigg Beach car parks.  The whole of this area is environmentally significant and has been declared a Bush Forever Area under State Planning Bushland Policy 2.8.

Although we have been told on numerous occasions that this reserve is “…outside the Scarborough Redevelopment Master Plan” the MRA clearly planned to use the existing road reserve to extend the Esplanade north to West Coast Highway creating a new intersection and a major road through an environmentally sensitive and regionally important coastal dune system.

This is an example of a State Government authority stretching its powers to override a democratically elected Council and ignoring environmental protections established by the Department of Planning’s Bushland policy.  What or who gave the MRA this extraordinary power, what and to whom is it accountable?

Robyn Murphy for the Friends of Trigg Beach – 29 September 2016

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