Skipper’s Row: works halted after residents protest against development

Protesters outside Donna Faragher’s Guildford office.
Protesters outside Donna Faragher’s Guildford office.

MAYLANDS MLA Lisa Baker said she would help the City of Bayswater seek funding to buy the Carter’s land while speaking to about 60 protesters on Friday.

Bayswater residents handed a 2000-signature petition to State Planning Minister Donna Faragher’s Guildford office in an effort to permanently halt subdivision works next to the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary.

Ms Faragher has requested the developer stop works at Skipper’s Row after the WA Planning Commission (WAPC) ticked off on the subdivision, despite City of Bayswater council recommending refusal.

Bayswater Urban Tree Network’s (BUTN) Jackie Kelly said it needed something “more concrete” than a request for work to stop.

“(I felt) outrage, disbelief, disgusted … and felt deeply saddened (when I saw the works),” she said.

Dr Kelly said the land was zoned multi-use wetlands, but should be conservation wetlands.

Ms Baker said she would help push for funding to be secured by the City of Bayswater to purchase the Carter’s land. “We need this wetland protected, we need this purchased by the City of Bayswater … and work with the landowner to achieve this,” she said.

She said farmers had many more approval hurdles than urban developers.

“Urban developers like this can put a bulldozer in and destroy everything in sight,” she said.

BUTN member Mary Van Wees said clearing work would have a “domino” effect on nearby Eric Singleton, Baigup and Gobba Lake wetlands.

She said conservation works at Ashfield Flats were an example that “a bit of public pressure makes a difference”.

No Bayswater councillors were present at the event.

Last Thursday, Ms Faragher held a meeting about the issue with Ms Baker, Mt Lawley MLA Michael Sutherland, WAPC chairman Eric Lumsden, Department of Planning acting director general Sue Burrows, Bayswater City chief executive and councillors and Environment House co-ordinator Rachael Roberts.

According to attendees, the government and council acknowledged the environmental value of the land and would work together to negotiate to save the wetland with owners the D’Orazio and Carter families.

It is understood a motion will be moved at tonight’s council meeting that previous confidential items and correspondence about the city purchasing the land are made public.