Mayor will not back down from rezoning Brixton Wetlands

Mayor will not back down from rezoning Brixton Wetlands

Protesters want the wetlands protected.

Scientists and conservation groups together with local community met with the mayor of Gosnells on Monday calling for her to follow Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) advice and withdraw council’s plan to rezone over 250 hectares of a globally important wetland for ‘Business Development’.

But the mayor Terresa Lynes said the council had appealed the recommendation and disagreed with the EPA assessment that it would cause environmental damage.

The group also urged Ms Lynes to take up the plan by the Beeliar Professors group to create a regional park proposed by The Beeliar Group of Professors to link the Canning River with the Kalamunda Hills, forming a 15-kilometre wetland corridor, home to more than 600 native plant species and 11 federally listed threatened ecological communities

One of the Beeliar professors at the meeting, Professor Hans Lambers, said “The park would contain around half of Perth’s biodiversity in 1 percent of its area including many species found nowhere else on Earth.

“It is an incredible place that should be protected for the world and not industrialised. The area is the jewel in the crown of the South West Global Biodiversity Hotspot.”

Urban Bushland Council spokesperson Heidi Hardisty said: “These ecological communities depend on a delicate supply of water to survive.

“Under the current plan the wetlands would be greatly polluted and starved of groundwater impacting plants that grow nowhere else in the world. This must not happen.”

The wetland saw full-scale protests in 2018 with a development that wiped out one of Western Australia’s largest Karak (forest red-tail black cockatoo) roosts with protestors taking to tree platforms to fend off the bulldozers.

Save the Great Brixton Wetlands Campaign manager Paddy Cullen said, he was shocked by the decision of the Gosnells Council to go ahead against EPA advice.

“Without proper buffer zones, the area will be diminished, degraded, and dry out. We could lose this wetland forever,” he said.

“We will now seek meetings with the Minister for Environment Reece Whitby and Minister for Planning John Carey to step in.

“What we have here is the equivalent to the Sumatran Rainforest and we must keep this global icon intact and protected.”