Residents force fence removal at Ashfield Flats

Fencing will be removed along the river at Ashfield Flats. Picture: David Baylis d492059
Fencing will be removed along the river at Ashfield Flats. Picture: David Baylis d492059

A TEMPORARY fence along the river at Ashfield Flats will be taken down.

It follows Ashfield Community Action Networks’s concerns about a lack of consultation and that the fence removed the connection between the river flats and the community.

More than 90 people, including group members, residents, the WA Planning Commission and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage representatives attended a meeting organised by Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly on Thursday.

A Department spokesperson said following the decision at the meeting, the Department would now remove the fence and use it for a different project.

“The fence had been installed to rehabilitate the river flats on the landward side of the fence and encourage the public to mainly utilise the land on the riverside where the current path exists,” the spokesperson said.

“The WAPC and the department will continue working with stakeholders and the community to rehabilitate and restore Ashfield Flats as an important conservation wetland.”

The spokesperson said the installation of the fence was part of the draft Ashfield Flats works program 2018-2023, which was up for public comment on the Town of Bassendean’s website.

Ashfield CAN member Emma Slavin said the group looked forward to working with the commission, other community members and the Bassendean Preservation Group to protect the river flats.

“We were very pleased when the Department’s acting assistant director general Matt Darcey stepped up about an hour into the meeting to announce that the fence would be removed,” she said.

“We hope that this means better outcomes in the future and that the special environmental values and the special community values of Ashfield Flats can be protected and celebrated.”

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Mr Kelly said he was pleased with the decision and the Department guaranteeing further community consultation would take place.

“I think we all agree a plan is needed to protect the Ashfield Flats,” he said.

“With more communication between the Departments, Town of Bassendean, local community groups and the wider community I think we can come to a solution that everyone can be happy with.”