Media Release 17/6/16


State Planning Policy – Bush Forever

The Friends of Trigg Beach have offered to send Kieran Kinsella the CEO of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority a copy of State Planning Policy 2.8 Bushland Policy for the Perth Metropolitan Region.

Convenor Robyn Murphy said that it was apparent that Mr Kinsella and the MRA either were ignorant of the policy or were choosing to ignore it.  “The State Planning Bushland Policy protects important and regionally significant natural areas from unnecessary development. There is no doubt in our minds that the two new roads planned by the MRA north and south of Scarborough Beach constitute unnecessary development, and Mr Kinsella should be aware of this.”

“The routes of the proposed roads would destroy significant areas of the coastal dune systems that are protected under the State Planning Policy on Bush Forever areas.  The areas are included in the Quindalup Dunes policy because of their regional significance and their conservation value, and because they remain relatively intact.”

“The section of the Bush Forever policy that protects Quindalup Dunes emphasises the importance of keeping a sufficient area intact to enable natural coastal processes to continue and to provide the variety of habitat necessary for the reptiles and birds that inhabit the dunes.”

“The policy emphasises the fragility of this coastal environment particularly as it remains a relatively narrow strip of vegetated dunes which have been subjected to incursions of car parks and tracks causing damage and weed invasion.  This makes the remaining intact dunes worthy of protection now and for future generations.”

We wonder if Mr Kinsella is aware that a clearing permit from the Environmental Protection Authority will be required before work commences on these roads and that the area’s Bush Forever status should make this approval unlikely.  Now is the time for the MRA to put a hole in this “thought bubble” and abandon these road extensions.

Ms Murphy said the route of the proposed Esplanade extension at south Scarborough Beach will destroy a significant area of Bush Forever site 310.   She said it made no sense to build a road so close to the beach and recent storms in Eastern Australia had shown the dangers of building structures close to the coastline which will only get worse with climate change and rising sea levels.

State Coastal Planning Policy

There is another State Government policy of which the MRA appears unaware, that is the State Coastal Planning Policy.  This policy provides guidelines for the protection of the coastal environment and reports that development should not occur on or adjacent to unstable or mobile dunes.  Perhaps we should also forward a copy of this report to Mr Kinsella.

The standard width for two lane roads in WA is 7.4 metres and given the likelihood of parallel parking and a bike and pedestrian lane, we can safely assume these roads will be much wider.  We have also been advised by the MRA that given the depth of the valleys and the height of the sand dunes along the road route, retaining walls or embankments will be necessary.  Not only will this destroy the dunes along the route, the impact on the remainder of the reserve will be devastating, during construction and forever afterwards.

Public opinion – Roads along the beach – 20th century planning

Local residents and conservation groups are mobilising to oppose this unnecessary and environmentally destructive road.

“Public opinion opposing the extension of the Esplanade north and south of Scarborough is growing and our campaign will continue until the road proposal is abandoned.  These coastal dune systems north and south of Scarborough are the “lungs” of Scarborough Beach and they should be valued as a unique remnant of how our coastline looked before white settlement, this alone makes these areas worthy of conservation.”

If the State Government is committed to making Scarborough Beach an international tourist attraction then it makes sense to keep these natural coastal dune systems intact as research shows overseas visitors marvel at our beautiful natural areas close to our cities.  This is what makes Perth and WA unique; it seems unbelievable that in the 21st century the MRA would plan to build roads through these areas.

Robyn Murphy
Friends of Trigg Beach
17 June 2016

IANJ9580-81-82 Pano CA C LR

Deeply dissected ‘chaot’ dunes, in pristine condition, which would be destroyed by the MRA’s proposed new road, which would not overlay the dual use path, but run further towards the ocean.