Murray Shire defers caravan park decision to consider confidential report on Aboriginal significance

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Shire of Murray has deferred a proposal for a caravan park and camping grounds south of Pinjarra so it can consider a confidential report on the significance of the site to the Aboriginal community.

The proposed site is east of Pinjarra Trots, west of the Murray River, south of the Pinjarra Massacre site and north of the Greenlands Road roundabout.

It would feature a range of land uses including 76 camping sites, 40 caravan sites, 63 cabin-chalet sites, 181 park home sites, barbecues and caravan/trailer storage.

The council was considering a recommendation to grant approval in principle at its meeting today but Shire President David Bolt called for deferral.

“Given the sensitivity of the site we need to obtain further advice in respect of the Aboriginal significance of the land and the impact on cultural and heritage values in the area,’’ he said.

According to a council report, the caravan and camping grounds would provide much needed tourist and short stay accommodation and enhance the current accommodation options for visitors to the Murray.

Cr Steve Lee described it as a great project and just what was needed but felt it was a bit premature from the tourism aspect.

The site also contains about 13 hectares of regionally significant vegetation but with degraded understorey.

The report said the applicant identified trees with hollows as a priority for retention while trees worthy of retention and not affected by site works would be retained within caravan and camping sites.

But the report also said the current plan and local road network gave minimal regard to the retention of trees and could result in a loss of regionally significant vegetation.

The proponent applied for and has been granted conditional consent from The Minister for Finance, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs.

Advertised for 28 days with no objections, the application will be considered again at next month’s council meeting.

The new proposal comes hot on the heels of Mandurah Waters, a major tourist attraction with wave pool, hot springs, brewery, caravan park, park homes and chalets, given in principle approval by the council in August.

Mandurah Waters comprises a 170-hectare site in West Pinjarra, midway between Greenlands and Beacham Roads.