Criticism of a proposed gravel mine in Serpentine has continued to grow, with more than 1000 people signing a petition to have it stopped.
In its December 17 edition Examiner Newspapers revealed the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale was proposing to clear five hectares of vegetation in Scrivener Road adjacent to Serpentine National Park to fill an estimated need of 10,000-cubic metres of gravel per year.
The Scrivener Road gravel reserves are one of the few known locations used by all three black cockatoo species for nesting and breeding.
By this week 1181 people had signed the petition protesting the proposal, citing concerns about the impact it would have on the environment, traffic and groundwater.
The signatures on the Stop Mining on Scrivener Road Group’s petition came from people across Australia and the world including Margaret River, Victoria, New Zealand and the United States.
Shadow Environment Minister Chris Tallentire also questioned the proposal and said the shire had failed to discuss alternatives.
“There are other sites that are not that far away that could potentially be a source of gravel,” he said.
“The other alternative is the potential for using construction and demolition waste as road base.
“That would really be an innovative thing to do.”
Mr Tallentire said the shire’s own draft management plan showed why a gravel mine should not go ahead in Scrivener Road.
“I think it’s well drafted in the sense that it highlights all of the environmental significance of the site and provides plenty of evidence for why the gravel pit shouldn’t be put there even though it’s been submitted as a justification for it going ahead,” he said.
“The report describes the area as being in good condition.
“Why would you want to jeopardise that?
“Let’s go and find another area that doesn’t have such a highly diverse understory and isn’t in good condition, that’s not going to impact on people’s amenity.”
Mr Tallentire said he was also concerned about the lack of rehabilitation work done at the two existing gravel pits on the site.
“According to the shire’s reports those pits have been exhausted,” he said.
“If that’s the case why hasn’t there been any rehabilitation done to them?
“It doesn’t fill me with confidence that they’re going to be able to rehabilitate a new mine.”
Scrivener Road resident Sepehr Vahdat, who was part of the Stop Mining on Scrivener Road Group, said he expected the level of public interest to grow if the proposal continued.
“The public comment period has only just closed so we’re still waiting for the shire to collate the submissions and we’re just hoping council recognises that this shouldn’t go ahead,” he said.
“If it does I can see the level of public interest rising like it did with Roe 8.
“The Scrivener Road reserves are larger and they have a confirmed environmental significance.”
The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale was unable to comment because it was still compiling submissions and waiting for feedback from government bodies.