THE wife of a vocal Alfred Cove Action Group (ACAG) member opposed to the proposed wave park escaped with a caution after damaging vegetation in Attadale.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) investigated after witnesses reported seeing Helen Maynier climb a fence before cutting down and spraying plants between her unit complex and the river.
In an email to the City of Melville, DBCA said it held an informal interview with the “nominated person of interest”, Mrs Maynier.
“A number of admissions were obtained and subsequently a written caution was issued for some damage to the foreshore vegetation,” the email read.
Under Swan and Canning River Management Regulations, damaging vegetation carries a maximum $5000 penalty.DBCA said cautions were common but an admission helped Mrs Maynier avoid a fine.
David Maynier, an ACAG convenor, said his wife removed a single “knee-high plant” after being told by a neighbour it was an invasive weed.
He said the motive was not to improve their views of the river.
“I said if there was a fine to pay or community service, we’d do it,” he said.
“We’re not trying to get out of it at all.”
Mr Maynier said he had written to the Department of Parks and Wildlife – now under the DBCA umbrella – in 2016, concerned by invasive weeds.
Wave Park Group (WPG) chairman Andrew Ross described Mrs Maynier’s actions at the reserve as “remarkable in its hypocrisy”, considering ACAG’s view of the environmental risks associated with WPG’s $25 million proposal.
“This is the same area ACAG and the Mayniers have continuously referred to as being a special and unique place and supposedly dear to them and their group of supporters,” he said.
“It seems however these places are only special and unique to the extent they don’t interfere with river views.”