City of Stirling decision to delay protection of Trigg Beach reserve road criticised by environmental group

Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with the Beach not Bitumen group in October last year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d461005
Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with the Beach not Bitumen group in October last year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d461005

AN environmental group has hit out at a Stirling council decision to delay the protection of a Trigg Beach road reserve.

The State Government scrapped controversial road plans through the reserve in May and now the group wants the road reserve to be permanently protected because a threatened tree species was found in the area last year.

In August, councillor Karen Caddy raised a notice of motion to renew efforts to amalgamate the road reserve into the protected South Trigg A Class Reserve and include the area in the City’s environmental management plan.

However, fellow coastal ward councillor Mark Irwin this week opted to delay the measures until after the October 21 local government elections.

“I believe this item is significant and has substantial implications and should be dealt with by a the new council,” Cr Irwin said.

Environmental group Beach not Bitumen spokeswoman Robyn Murphy said the group was “dismayed” with the decision.

“We were dismayed when Coastal ward Cr Mark Irwin moved to defer a motion moved by Cr Karen Caddy to close the road reserve and protect the Threatened Ecological Community,” she said.

“It was equally concerning that the majority of councillors voted for this deferral, given that the road reserve had been well on the way to closure following a council resolution in 2012.”

Ms Murphy said it was “worrying” that two ward councillors were at odds on the road closure and the protection of the threatened trees species.

“Some councillors seem to be having difficulty accepting the decision by the Labor Government and the Minister for Planning Rita Saffioti that the roads north and south of Scarborough through protected coastal dunes have been scrapped, and seem to be holding out some hope that the roads will be built in the future,” she said.

She said the group would consider writing to the Planning Minister as the road reserve was under Main Roads WA jurisdiction.

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