Residents rally against bike trail at Hinds Reserve

Bayswater resident and petitioner Laurie Flight. Picture: Kristie Lim.
Bayswater resident and petitioner Laurie Flight. Picture: Kristie Lim.

BAYSWATER residents are concerned wildlife and the water stream at Hinds Reserve will be lost “forever” if a proposed bike trail is approved by the City of Bayswater.

The reserve is a 60-year-old wetland and paperbark forested area with frogs, birds, owls, reptiles and a stream that flows into the Swan River.

The City will make a decision on a feasibility study completed by Common Ground Trail Consultants about whether to proceed with the proposal on November 19.

This comes after the council supported the development of a study in October 2018.

Residents attended a stakeholder meeting in August, where the consultants gave examples of what could be built in the reserve, such as a pump challenge track and three bike tracks.

The estimated project cost is $319,000.

Laurie Flight with the petition. Picture: Kristie Lim

Petitioner and Bayswater resident Laurie Flight, who lives near the reserve, has gathered more than 200 signatures for a petition against the proposal.

Mr Flight said residents wanted the council to find alternative locations for a bike trail instead of the reserve.

“It is safe to say that if the water and vegetation go, then the frog population would also go… frogs like vegetation and water and that’s why there’s a healthy population here,” he said.

“Having a proper impact assessment carried out by impartial environmental consultants would seem to be consistent with how development proposals are assessed elsewhere.

“There has been no independent environmental study or impact study conducted… only a feasibility study which is being undertaken by Common Ground Trails.

“We ask that this area is left as a wildlife habitat to make it perpetually available for fauna and future generations to enjoy it.”

Hinds Reserve in Bayswater. Picture: Kristie Lim

A Bayswater resident who lived nearby and did not want to be named said if bike tracks were built, the environment would be “gone forever”.

“We support it a bike trail in areas where there is minimal environmental impact,” she said.

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction spokesperson said the Department provided comment to the City on the feasibility study.

“DBCA advised that consideration could be given to other sites for this activity,” the spokesperson said

“DBCA supports provisions for public access, recreation and enjoyment of the Swan Canning Riverpark in a manner that is consistent with the multiple uses of the Riverpark and the preservation of the values of the land itself.

“The proposed site is within the Swan Canning Development Control Area.

“Therefore, the development will require development approval by DBCA either under the Swan and Canning Rivers Management Act 2006 or Swan and Canning Rivers Management Regulations 2007.”

At last month’s council meeting, works and infrastructure director Doug Pearson said a feasibility study was being undertaken and an environmental report would be done after the study if the council proceeds with the proposal.

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