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Friends of Underwood Avenue Bushland

Underwood Avenue Bushland is the 32 hectare Bush Forever site 119 of magnificent bushland which lies between Bold Park and Kings Park. It is bordered by Underwood Avenue on the north side and Selby Street, Shenton Park,on the east side. It is a Banksia/Jarrah woodland with mighty tuart trees mainly on the ridge.

The Friends of Underwood Avenue Bushland was formed in 1998 to protect the bushland, and together with the wider community has worked to stop the inappropriate and horrible development for housing since then.

The bushland is significant, regionally and nationally. It is also significant as a linkage between Bold Park and Kings Park, with Shenton Bushland lying to the south. The linkage was identified officially in the Tingay Greening Plan of 1998 as Greenway 19. The chain of bushland connectivity is so important.

In 1904, 614 acres (258 hectares) of land, which included what is now known as Underwood Avenue Bushland, was vested to the trustees of the University of Western Australia Endowment by the government of the day. The trustees were required to pay five shillings and one peppercorn of yearly rent on 25th day of March in each year. Around that time the University trustees were endowed with 1400 hectares of land.
The Universities Legislation Amendment Bill 2000, assented to on 7.12.2000 by state parliament, allowed universities to sell land for development and to use the funds for investment rather than as previously, having to reinvest in land or buildings.

The University of Western Australia has been seeking approval for a housing development in the bushland since 1998. The varying proposals have been put to the Environmental Protection Authority and to the federal government under the EPBC Act.

Underwood Avenue Bushland was one of the last places of refuge of Nyungah people in the western suburbs in the settlement of Perth. The Macintyre Dobson Report on an Ethnographic, Ethnohistorical, Archaeological and Indigenous Environmental Survey of the Underwood Avenue Bushland Project Area, Shenton Park, prepared for the UWA by Consulting Anthropologists Macintyre Dobson and Associates Pty Ltd and Consulting Archaeologist Thomas O‟Reilly, June 2002, is fascinating work. This report details recollections by Nyungar people on h ow they and their ancestors related to Underwood Avenue Bushland. Nyungar people lived there in camps and used the bushland as a refuge right up until the 1950s.

By saving the bushland for Carnaby‟s Cockatoo, all the other creatures, plants, micro-invertebrates and fungi have a chance to survive into the future.

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