City of Bayswater hopefully State Govt will contribute to buying Carter’s wetlands

Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna and acting chief executive Carissa Bywater at the wetlands. Picture: Andrew Ritchie   d462926
Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna and acting chief executive Carissa Bywater at the wetlands. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d462926

THE City of Bayswater is waiting for the State Government to come up with the remainder of the money to help save Carter’s wetlands after committing $1.5 million to buy the site.

Bayswater councillors voted to spend up to $1.5 million from the City’s major capital works reserve to buy lot 14, 128 King William Street, at a special council meeting last week.

Councillors moved to support the Carter’s revised offer, subject to the City receiving funding from the Government.

However, the revised offer from the owners for the City to buy the land expired last Tuesday and the City will not know until later this week whether State Government funding is available.

Councillors also voted for the City to continue to investigate a potential land swap with the owners.

The cost of the wetlands is thought to be about $3 million.

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Mayor Barry McKenna said the City had worked hard behind the scenes and the $1.5 million commitment was a “significant step”.

He said he implored Planning Minster Donna Faragher to listen to the community.

“The wetlands are of environmental significance and provide habitat for native flora and fauna in an urban setting. Our commitment is solid – the ball is now firmly in the Planning Minister’s court,” he said.

Cr McKenna said the City had provided the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) with all the information it needed to provide funding.

“The City has been advised that funding may be available via the Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax but no firm commitment has been made,” he said.

Ms Faragher redirected a request for comment to WAPC chairman Eric Lumsden.

He said before consideration was given to the purchase of the land it had to be reserved as parks and recreation under the Metropolitan Region Scheme.

“A request (sent November 3) to reserve the land has recently been received by the WAPC from the City of Bayswater on this matter,” he said.

The amendment would protect the Carter’s land and nearby Riverside Gardens and Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary from future development.

The sanctuary was also recently reclassified to a higher category of environmental significance by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said Labor would match any commitment from the Liberal Government if elected next year, but could not commit to a figure at this stage.

“It is squarely the responsibility of the State, the Liberal-National Government, to put this money up,” she said.

“We recognise and acknowledge the value of these important wetlands.”