Environment Minister Dismisses Community over Beeliar Wetlands

The Greens are standing firm in their intention to save the Beeliar wetlands from the destructive Roe Highway stage 8 extension, said South Metro Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren upon hearing that the controversial road was given conditional environmental approval by Minister Albert Jacobs.

“The Environment Minister has short-shrifted the public through dismissing community appeals against the Roe 8 highway,” she said.

“In my appeal to the EPA convenor, I listed no less than eight grounds to dismiss the EPA’s recommendation, from irrevocable damage to threatened species habitat to an incomplete strategic environmental assessment of the region. 

“The Environment Minister has dismissed the key issues, including the inadequacy of offsets, degradation to the quality of the wetlands and surrounding vegetation and the fact that the EPA made its decision before the Strategic Environmental Assessment of Perth and Peel has been completed. 

“The government hasn’t even determined environmental offsets are possible. The proponent acknowledged that no sites ‘were deemed suitable’. 

“The Environment Minister has failed to acknowledge the importance of Beeliar Wetlands to native plant and animal protection. From North Lake to Ramsar-listed Thomsons Lake, this is the last significant wetland chain south of the river. Fremantle and Cockburn residents recognise how vital the Beeliar Wetlands are, and it’s time the state government did too. 

“Running a freeway through these wetlands may deal a fatal blow to the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo and Red Tailed Forest Cockatoo, not to mention the impact on migratory species.  

“The Environment Minister has had a year to assess the concerns raised in the appeal, but has failed. It would appear the government simply waited for federal money to be available,” Ms MacLaren said.