Sweating on proposed Western Trade Coast buffer zone

Russell and Carmela Lewis are concerned about the status of their property.  Picture: Jon Hewson        d446261
Russell and Carmela Lewis are concerned about the status of their property. Picture: Jon Hewson        d446261

PEOPLE living within a proposed Western Trade Coast (WTC) buffer zone say they face an uncertain future if it is formalised in legislation.

In October the State Government announced it was looking to create a protection area around the WTC to resolve ongoing uncertainties for land owners and industry.

The WTC includes Latitude 32 in Wattleup, Henderson’s Australian Marine Complex, the Kwinana Industrial Area and Rockingham Industry Zone.

The protection area would cut through some suburbs on the outskirts of those areas, including Munster and Hammond Park.

The regulations would prevent new sensitive land uses, including urban developments, short-stay accommodation, hospitals, schools and childcare centres from being built within the protection area.

Non-sensitive land uses including business and commercial activities would still be allowed.

New developments which break regulations would incur a $50,000 fine plus a daily penalty of $5000.

Russell Lewis is one of more than 2000 Cockburn people affected by the proposal.

The barrier will slice through his property, where he has lived for 26 years.

“This home is our superannuation,” he said.

“If it is encompassed by the border, no one will want to buy it because of the restrictions.

“What we have been setting up for more than two decades will be buggered.”

Premier Colin Barnett said the Bill would protect one of WA’s most important industrial areas.

“It will also protect the Western Trade Coast from encroaching residential development, and help to provide some separation between industrial activities and new sensitive land uses,” he said.

The protection area plans are out for public comment until December 4, with legislation expected to be introduced into State Parliament early next year.

A Department of State Development spokeswoman said submissions would help determine the boundaries of the Protection Area and final list of prohibited land uses.

The City of Cockburn has sent out more than 2000 letters to members of the community affected by the plans, encouraging them to make a submission.

The City will host a community briefing next Monday, but is yet to take a formal position on the plans.

That should come before the month is out.