The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has strongly welcomed the announcement from the McGowan Government that part of the Roe 8 highway reserve through the Beeliar Wetlands will be rezoned from ‘Road Reserve’ to ‘Parks and Recreation’ under the Metropolitan Regional Planning Scheme (MRS).
The area to be rezoned covers an 85.8 hectare section of the road reserve that was cleared by the Barnett Government in the weeks before the March 2017 state election. The project was the focus of a community campaign involving tens of thousands of people, which proved significant in the election result and helped the McGowan Government sweep to power.
The legislation to effect the change will require the support of the WA Parliament.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said the announcement was strongly supported by the community, and was another step forward in ensuring that the controversial road project would never proceed.
“This area is one of the outstanding environmental jewels of the metropolitan area. To finally see the road zoning removed from the MRS will be a major relief for the thousands of people who took action to prevent the Roe 8 highway from destroying its outstanding community, cultural, and environmental values.
“We have also welcomed the McGowan Government’s commitment to place the area into permanent protection as a conservation reserve, and this rezoning is a concrete step toward that outcome.
“This is another nail in the coffin for the unnecessary, unpopular, and unacceptable Roe 8 and Perth Freight Link project.
“Rehabilitation of the areas bulldozed by the Barnett Government is underway, and we hope that in the future this area will have the same status and respect as Kings Park for the southern suburbs.
“The McGowan Government has a rock solid mandate on this issue and we ask all Members of Parliament to respect that by supporting the rezoning to proceed.”