The McGowan government has announced its commitment to protecting the Beeliar Wetlands after introducing the Metropolitan Region Scheme (Beeliar Wetlands) Bill 2021.
The legislation to amend the Metropolitan Region Scheme and rezone Beeliar Wetlands to an A-class conservation reserve ensures the land is protected at the highest level.
The previous Liberal government’s plan to develop a Freight Link through the wetland area would have seen a five-kilometre extension of Roe Highway, from the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road.
Curtin University’s Dr David Whish-Wilson says having Roe 8 pass through the Beeliar Wetlands would have had a devastating impact on the environment.
He says, unlike previous years, the McGowan government was able to get this Bill through as they have control of the upper house.
In the Labor government’s first term, the proposal to change zoning was passed by the Legislative Assembly but the Legislative Council didn’t approve.
“Beeliar Wetlands are a beautiful part of WA and we want to make sure they can be enjoyed by the community for many years to come,” says Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.
“We’ve already granted the wetlands the highest level of environmental protection available by turning it into an A-Class conservation reserve. This Bill strengthens that protection and ensures this fragile ecosystem is safeguarded from future development.”
The state government has contributed $3 million to deliver boardwalk, viewing platforms and additional revegetation works at Beeliar Reserve.
“in recent times we have seen a renewed appreciation for accessible bushland for hiking, running and simply enjoying nature,” says Lands Minister Tony Buti.
Truck drivers say the Freight Link would have made transportation of vehicles easier and faster.
Former truck driver Matthew Ward says the connection of the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road would increase access to the industrial area.
“A lot of locals in the area complained about trucks and freight on Leach highway… people who live in Hamilton Hill complain about the lack of access to the freeway.”