EPA won’t assess proposed Alfred Cove wave park, says environmental impacts not significant enough for formal assessment

EPA won’t assess proposed Alfred Cove wave park, says environmental impacts not significant enough for formal assessment

THE Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has announced today that it will not assess the proposed wave park in Alfred Cove.

The Wave Park Group (WPG) submitted an environmental assessment to the EPA in January as part of “complete transparency” for the $25 million Urbnsurf project.

WPG chairman Andrew Ross said the wave park proposal had been subject to a campaign of “environmental mistruths” from a small number of opponents who simply wanted to retain prime public land on the riverfront to continue to be used as their own backyard.

“The EPA’s decision makes it clear that the wild claims by opponents of the wave park about supposed environmental impacts do not stack up scientifically, and many of their points about possible impacts on the Swan River, the site being highly contaminated, and impacts on bird life are now known to be false or misleading,” he said.

“Our project has support from people all over Perth because it delivers significant benefits for our whole community in recreation, tourism, employment, health, and even addresses some of the negative issues that shark attacks are having on our iconic surfing events and surf culture in WA.”

The EPA’s preliminary investigations found impacts to groundwater quantity and quality and vegetation, but it decided not to assess the proposal under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) .

In its judgement, the EPA said “the likely environmental effects of the proposal are not so significant as to warrant formal assessment”.

The EPA said potential impacts could be adequately managed through the implementation of the proposal in accordance with the “referral documentation, which includes the proponent’s management and mitigation measures, implementation of the EPA’s advice given to other relevant decision making authorities, and dealt with by other statutory processes”.

The proposal was advertised for public comment with 740 comments received with issues such as impacts to the Swan River, Alfred Cove Nature Reserve, vegetation and ground water quality raised.

MORE: Alfred Cove Wave Park proponents to submit environmental assessment

Swan Foreshore Protection Association chairman Clive Ross said the EPA’s decision was disappointing.

“Anyone can see that the issues will be dealt with later but the EPA should be the ones looking at it now,” he said.

“The decision can be appealed before June 25, which doesn’t allow for a lot of time.

“We will be getting legal advice and then we will consider appealing.”

City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the community’s mind could be put at “rest” by the decision.

“It confirms what the City has been thinking, that the environment issues are no greater than what is at the bowling club,” he said.

“The proposal has been through the fullest reviews it can go through at that stage so the community should be assured if it is constructed then the environmental issues be kept to a minimum.

“I don’t think there is a reason to assess, there are no question marks and it’s taken the EPA nearly six months to put this together.”

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