SIX months after bulldozers appeared on site, WA Labor party has today pledged to match the City of Bayswater’s $1.5 million commitment to purchase Carter’s wetlands.
In November, Bayswater councillors voted to spend up to $1.5 million from the City’s major capital works reserve to buy lot 14, 128 King William Street and today Labor announced it would also contribute $1.5 million if elected.
Labor planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the State Government had not been proactive in dealing with the issue and had created uncertainty for everyone involved.
“WA Labor recognises the importance of purchasing Carters’ Block to secure the future of this wetland and will work with the City of Bayswater to achieve this end,” she said.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker said the wetlands were greatly valued by visitors and the community.
“The community has run a strong campaign to save this wetland area and I am pleased that today’s commitment will deliver what they have worked so hard to achieve,” she said.
Ms Baker said irreparable damage had been done to wetland habitat due to current environmental protection laws.
Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the commitment was a great step forward to purchase the land and make sure it “stays wetlands forever”.
“We’ve now got a commitment from a major political party to help the City to buy the land which brings more certainty,” he said.
“In time we would like to do more restoration work in the wetlands, pull the weeds out… interpretation.
“We wait and see if the other major parties respond.”
Cr McKenna said the City was still negotiating with the D’Orazio family on their adjoining block.
No Houses in Wetlands member Jacquie Kelly said she was “thrilled” by the announcement and the community had fought hard.
“We’ve worked hard to put the argument up for this… we now expect that the Liberal party will make a similar gesture,” she said.
She said she hoped to see an active “friends” group, thorough management plan, enhancement of the flora, fauna, habitat and interpretation.
The Liberal party has been contacted for comment.
In December, WAPC chairman Eric Lumsden said before consideration was given to the purchase of the land it had to be reserved as parks and recreation under the Metropolitan Region Scheme.
A request to reserve the land has been received by the WAPC from the City of Bayswater.