Greens (WA) MLC for the South West, Diane Evers, has called on the State Government to protect the land earmarked for housing development in Dalyellup by including it within the boundaries of the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park.
The proposed plan at Greenpatch, by developers the Satterley Property Group, seeks to bulldoze the existing green space to build 213 new residential lots.
Ms Evers said it was understood the proposal would destroy an area of high conservation value and would not safeguard the existing biodiversity.
She said while part of the area slated for development was not owned by the Government, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti had confirmed that the state does have the authority to include the lots in the Regional Park, subject to detailed assessment.
“This would be an ideal solution to protect this valuable land and provide a buffer for nearby sewage and waste facilities. In the interim, it is important that the Government does not act rashly in giving the green light for the proposal,” Ms Evers said.
The determination ultimately rests with the Western Australian Planning Commission.
Questioned by Ms Evers in Parliament last week, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the WAPC would not be directed to delay its decision despite the fact that Tuart woodlands and forests of the Swan Coastal Plain were currently being considered for classification as threatened ecological communities.
“Mr Dawson’s stance is disappointing given that he is aware of the biodiversity values of the region,” Ms Evers said.
At a meeting last week, in front of a 60-strong public gallery, the Capel Shire Council unanimously voted to recommend to the WAPC that the plan be refused.
More than 120 individual submissions from local residents were received objecting to the proposal, including a 727-signature petition, when it was advertised from February to March last year.
“I hope the State Government also listens to the voice of the community,” Ms Evers said.