Paganoni Swamp

As urban sprawl continues south to Mandurah, some of our most precious protected wetlands are under threat by the need to house more people and to develop commercial and retail services.  Rare conservation land in the Paganoni swamp reserve could be bulldozed if a proposal by the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) goes ahead.

The first anyone heard of the proposal was when the Friends of Paganoni Swamp discovered a tiny caption on a map in the Southern Metropolitan and Peel Sub-Regional Structure Plan.

It flagged possible rezoning of prime conservation land on the northwest corner of Paganoni swamp. 

Questions in Parliament by Lynn then revealed the rezoning would change the affected swamp zoning from parks and recreation to urban.

Someone had proposed a “transit oriented development” to support the Keralup development and create demand for a Karnup train station, incorporating a high density, residential-commercial area in the same precinct.  This would result in the destruction of 48 hectares of what was one of the most significant conservation reserves in the southern metropolitan region. 

Furthermore, the reserve is home to a number of rare and endangered species, including the Carnaby’s black cockatoo and the chuditch.

The Department of Environment and Conservation has confirmed that the Paganoni Swamp Reserve is approximately 698 hectares.  The area subject to rezoning buffers a high conservation value wetland and constitutes tuart woodland, of which less than 30 percent remains on the Swan Coastal Plain. 

More than 85 percent of wetlands along the Swan Coastal Plain have been lost to urban development.

Lynn questions the ability to find environmental offsets to compensate for the loss of this patch of bush and is continuing to fight for the protection of this precious area. Now local politicians Paul Papalia and Hon. Sally Talbot have joined the fight.

In October 2009 Lynn joined Birds of Australia to survey the area and was delighted to walk though this rare environment of swamp and tuart woodland, listening to bird song and sighting a variety of different species in just over an hour.

Important links:

Conservation Council

Friends of Paganoni Swamp

Rich and Rare: Conservation of Threatened Species, Western Australia's Auditor General's Report of June 2009