Fears held for estuary

Fears held for estuary

Mandurah MLA David Templeman said he was devastated at approval for the development, which includes a dredged channel across the estuary and a marina.

He said it was a severe blow to protection of the waterway.

‘There are numerous reports and questions that remain unanswered regarding the impact on water quality, the commercial and recreational crab fishery and migratory bird life,” he said.

‘The Federal Environment Minister has taken no notice of any of these concerns.”

Mr Templeman said any large-scale development such as Point Grey should be weighed against increasing evidence, including a report last year from the CSIRO and Murdoch University, showing the Peel Harvey System was at increasing risk of decline and urban development was the major threat to its health and well-being.

The Peel Preservation Group was astounded at the ‘short sightedness of a decision so anti-environment.’

‘It is ridiculous to imagine the effects will not be dire to the condition of the increasingly unhealthy estuary ” it will scarcely remain a tourist destination for anyone,” group president Shirley Joiner said.

‘The only employment generated will be for those employed in dredging.

‘Who will support the cost of dredging ” will we be creating another Busselton where ratepayers were left with a huge bill when the developers went broke?’

Mandurah deputy Mayor Darren Lee claimed the decision would have irreversible consequences.

‘Over many years we have seen a decline in our fishery, particularly the blue swimmer crab,” he said.

‘Dredging work to allow boats to access the marina will disturb silt and I am particularly concerned on further impacts to our fisheries and estuarine system,” he said.

Peel Catchment Centre chairwoman Jan Star said the decision was a backward step.

‘Is the private gain worth the public loss?’ she asked.

The Shire of Murray welcomed the approval subject to conditions, including strategies to ensure protection of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetlands and habitat for the migratory species and threatened species.

The council also noted and supported that all dredge spoil must be disposed of outside of the estuary.

The developer is required to publish all management plans and/or strategies on its website within one month of approval and publish by December 31 each year a report addressing compliance with the conditions of the approval for the 12 months prior, including implementation of the management plans and strategies.

Chief executive Dean Unsworth said he understood and acknowledged the concerns of the public. He said the Shire believed community concern over dredging could be adequately managed via stringent conditions.

Mr Unsworth said the project would boost tourist in Murray.