Lesmurdie Baptist Church tells City of Kalamunda to put ‘people before parrots’ in request to expand into bush reserve


Lesmurdie Baptistcare has put an application in to the City of Kalamunda to extend its over-55s retirement village into a bushland area. Picture: David Baylis d479569
Lesmurdie Baptistcare has put an application in to the City of Kalamunda to extend its over-55s retirement village into a bushland area. Picture: David Baylis d479569

A CHURCH group has told City of Kalamunda it needs to start putting “people before parrots” and asked it to surrender a bush reserve so it could expand its over-55s retirement village Clarege in Lesmurdie.

At the City’s agenda briefing on February 13, officers recommended councillors not support Lesmurdie Baptist Church’s request, and said the bush reserve was a haven for animals including Carnaby’s black cockatoos.

Director of development services Natalie Martin Goode said the reserve was owned by the State and vested for community purpose.

“There is a very high biodiversity value in the reserve,” she said.

“The vegetation has many significant trees, provides important habitat and is a wildlife corridor.

“Our parks and environment team have assessed the area and are recommending it not be subject to any development.”

However Lesmurdie Baptist Church spokesman Jarod Avila said more affordable independent living units were needed in the Hills.

“In the next 10 years we will have a tsunami of older Australians who will be looking to downsize,” he said.

“Many of these people will have lived here all their lives but will have to move out of the area if we don’t have independent living solutions.

“We think Clarege can be part of that solution by expanding our village north in what is already an aged care enclave with the Sunshine Park Hostel and St Ives Retirement Village nearby.

“While these units don’t address the critical shortage of nursing homes we need, it still eases the burden on the system as a whole.”

Mr Aliva said there was no easy solution to the aged care challenge in the Hills.

“We’re not environmental experts but suggest we need to weigh competing interests and people before parrots should be maxim that applies here,” he said.

“I took 125 seconds to walk across park and seniors should take priority.”

Councillor Margaret Thomas said more high care aged places were needed, not independent living units.

The final decision will be made at the City’s council meeting on February 27.

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