City of Bayswater offers to relocate wildlife from works at Skipper’s Row

Bulldozers started clearing land abutting the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary last week. Picture: Marie Nirme
Bulldozers started clearing land abutting the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary last week. Picture: Marie Nirme

CITY of Bayswater has offered to relocate oblong turtles living in the wetlands next to Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, after works began on an 11,573sq m subdivision last week.

Works at Skipper’s Row, which abuts the $3 million environmental sanctuary, drew community outcry when bulldozers began clearing works after the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) ticked off on the application.

Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the City did not support the application and was not aware work would commence this month.

“When it was brought to our attention, we notified the WAPC and expressed concern that the works were occurring without appropriate approvals in place,” he said.

“The loss of vegetation on the site is disappointing.”

“The City shares the community’s concerns for the welfare of the wildlife that could be impacted by the clearing that has been undertaken.”

Cr McKenna said the City encouraged the developer to act urgently to ensure wildlife was relocated.

“Our major concern is that the population of oblong turtles living in the wetland are protected,” he said.

“The City has offered the services of its environmental officers to assist in the relocation of turtles.”

Cr McKenna said the City considered buying the lot 14, 128 King William Street in 2010 but would not confirm if the City would now explore options for buying or swapping land at the site.

“The City of Bayswater considered purchasing the ‘Carters’ land in 2010… however, this was not pursued at that time,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the State Department of Planning, the department that runs WAPC, said the former industrial land was zoned appropriately and was consistent with the State planning policy and the City’s local planning scheme.

“A number of the concerns raised by the City have been addressed within the conditions of approval,” she said.

“It is noted that only subdivision approval has been granted to create the proposed residential lots.

“Any future development of the lots will be subject to the relevant approvals being obtained from the City of Bayswater.”

Planning Minister Donna Faragher confirmed she did not have the power to overturn a WAPC subdivision approval.

“I am aware of the concerns raised by the community and have spoken to the chairman of the WAPC on the matter,” she said.