Rethink on the Crown hotel required

A legal challenge underway regarding the Crown Towers hotel is just the latest controversy to plague the development, Greens South Metro MLC Lynn MacLaren says.

“It is not too late for the Environmental Protection Authority to properly  assess this proposal,” Ms MacLaren said.

“If Burswood residents are successful in seeking an injunction and ultimately in having the current  approval for the Crown Towers Perth hotel thrown out by the Supreme Court, it will provide an opportunity for the development proposal to be assessed by the usual town planning processes, as opposed to decision made solely by the Gaming Minister.

“The previous Environment Minister dismissed calls by residents and myself for the EPA to conduct an environmental assessment on the proposal, despite clear grounds to do one, including likely contamination of the Swan River from disturbing the former tip and industrial site, the destruction of bird and aquatic habitats and the susceptibility of the swampy ground to flooding, climate change, foreshore erosion and subsidence and sedimentation.

“The site has now been levelled, meaning the bird and aquatic life has been displaced and destroyed. However, a key environmental concern – potential impacts, including on the Swan River, of disturbing toxic material through building works – remains unexamined.

“Asbestos has been discovered during road works for a nearby car park, confirming that toxic materials are present. Meanwhile, engineers for the developer have informed residents that they intend to ‘drill and fill’ into the ground, rather than drive piles into the ground, and it is understood this will involve waste material being brought to the surface, which raises a new concern.

“If the Supreme Court upholds the plaintiff’s case, it is opportunity for all relevant agencies to assess this proposed development in a more measured manner, including the EPA.

“The wildlife has gone, but it is not too late for the EPA to regain some credibility by assessing the impacts of disturbing the toxic material, including potential contamination of the Swan River.”