Greens spokesperson for Sustainable Planning, Lynn MacLaren MLC has rejected a report due to be released next year by a UWA Assistant Professor that suggests building houses on green space is the best solution for addressing urban sprawl.
“This is ridiculous, if there were no negative impacts to come out of filling in most of our parks with housing to combat urban sprawl, we would have done it already. Luckily our community and our planners (to some degree) have a sense of hindsight and recognise that keeping open leafy space benefits the community in a plethora of ways.
“Green space plays a vital role in a liveable city and to protect and preserve native plants and animals; it cools our neighbourhoods and provides places to play and relax. Evidence suggests that people who live in urban areas with green corridors and parks have better physical and mental health outcomes.
“The fact we have more green space than the rest of Australia should be celebrated, we should not be moving to plough it all down for more concrete; WA endemic flora and fauna is already dying a death by a thousand cuts, we do not want to fast track that process.
“Last week I tabled a petition on behalf of residents in Kwinana that opposed residential development of bushland surrounded by Gilmore, Challenger and Meares Avenue and Wellard Road. Residents recognise that bushland and greenery adds uniqueness to Kwinana and should remain.
“There are other ways to combat urban sprawl, the Greens WA support limiting urban sprawl with community-driven, bio-regional approaches to land use planning that encourage mixed-use medium and high density use that will limit urban sprawl through progressive infill and redevelopment of existing urban areas where people want to live.
“We must intensify existing activity nodes and public transport corridors that create new medium and high density clusters in all appropriate locations.
“The Greens developed a plan to halt urban sprawl without disrupting urban green spaces. I urge planners to consider WA 2.0, a Greens’ plan which will upgrade our state to meet the challenges and opportunities of our time.”