Noranda: community group concerned bulldozing bushland near Lightning Swamp for Northlink will have devastating impact

John Williams Noranda resident is concerned that 40 huge marri trees are set to be removed. Picture: Andrew Ritchie  d469257
40 huge marri trees are set to be removed Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d469257
John Williams Noranda resident is concerned that 40 huge marri trees are set to be removed. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d469257 40 huge marri trees are set to be removed Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d469257

A COMMUNITY group said plans to bulldoze a stretch of bushland as part of Northlink works would have a devastating impact on environmentally sensitive Lightning Swamp and wider Noranda.

Contractors gave detailed plans of stage two of Northlink to group Friends of Lightning Swamp recently, which outline plans to bulldoze a patch of bush including 40 marri trees at least 50 years old along Tonkin Highway near the Reid Highway intersection.

Widening and clearing works along Tonkin Highway as part of Northlink stage one currently lead up to the site.

Friends of Lightning Swamp president John Williams said while the proposed removal of bush did not abut Lightning Swamp, the bush formed an important green link for cockatoos and other birds.

“The footprint that is going to be left when those trees go is inexplicable; replaced by concrete paths and panels,” he said.

“It will be taking away huge tree canopy, all in one go.

“We’re asking for at least some of those trees to be preserved, at least half the trees”

Mr Williams said the removal would impact conservation work carried out at 72ha Lightning Swamp, which includes 120 fauna species.

“Lightning Swamp will further become an island and its sustainable ecosystem and sustainable environmental value will be stretched even further and put under pressure more,” he said.

Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson said she was concerned the extent of clearing would “change the nature of those areas quite significantly”.

“The footprint that it will be leaving is potentially quite destructive and I think we need to do everything we can to minimise the footprint of that intersection,” she said.

“No one really understood the full impact of this road and the intersection until it’s literally in their backyard.”

A Main Roads WA spokeswoman said Main Roads and contractor Great Northern Connect were looking at design elements to reduce the extent of clearing and consultation with the friends group and City of Bayswater was expected in the coming weeks.

“Main Roads and the contractor Great Northern Connect have been involved with Friends of Lightning Swamp and City of Bayswater since project development to understand and address their concerns about construction in the Lightning Swamp area,” she said.

“The area of bush in question was raised early, and as a result, Great Northern Connect dedicated resources to reconsider the design in this area.

“As a result of design changes relating to noise wall and shared use path locations, an envelope of vegetation will be retained here.”

She said the friends group were also involved in the landscape design process, which will see more than two million trees and 800kg of seed planted as part of NorthLink stage two.

“Vegetation native to the Lightning Swamp area will be replanted as part of this work,” she said.

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