Opinion: Scrapping MRA extensions a victory for the people

Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with other Beach not Bitumen members. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with other Beach not Bitumen members. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

On May 4, the new Minister for Planning, Rita Saffioti, announced the scrapping of the MRA road extensions north and south of Scarborough Beach.

This honoured the pre-election commitment made by the Labor Party to the community and Beach Not Bitumen.

Our group extends its appreciation to the public for its overwhelming support for our campaign to stop the roads, and to the media, particularly the Stirling Times, whose energetic journalist Kate Leaver followed this issue and reported accurately, with well-researched and balanced articles and no fear or favour.

There is no doubt that media coverage did the job that was neglected by the MRA, which is to inform the public and local residents of the impact of the proposed roads through protected coastal dune systems outside the Scarborough Beach redevelopment boundaries.

The former State Government and the MRA were hoping these destructive and unnecessary roads would slip through “under the radar”. They were wrong and the success of the BNB “stop the roads” campaign demonstrates that no government should underestimate the power of the people and a free media to expose poor planning and decision-making.

We urge the new State Government and the City of Stirling to act to permanently protect the natural dune environment along Scarborough and Trigg Beach for future generations and to appreciate and properly recognise these areas as an asset and a unique attraction to locals and visitors to WA.

Beach Not Bitumen will continue to campaign to ensure permanent protection of these important dune systems.

Robyn Murphy

Beach Not Bitumen