Kalamunda residents fight to save walk trail from becoming houses

Foreground: Narelle Unger, left, Tracy Sandercock and Keith Mort seen here with other concerned local residents who formed a group called Community Advocates for Railway Reserve Kalamunda. Picture: David Baylis.
Foreground: Narelle Unger, left, Tracy Sandercock and Keith Mort seen here with other concerned local residents who formed a group called Community Advocates for Railway Reserve Kalamunda. Picture: David Baylis.

THE WA Planning Commission has agreed to put the sale of lots on Schmitt Road in Kalamunda on hold while it negotiates the alignment of the Kalamunda Heritage Trail with the City of Kalamunda.

The pause in sale follows a request from Kalamunda MLA Mathew Hughes after concerns were raised by the community, who wanted to preserve the Kalamunda Heritage Trail.

Concerned residents have formed the group Community Advocates for Railway Reserve Kalamunda (CARRK).

Member Tracy Sandercock said the group was concerned the WAPC was considering the disposal of land to generate revenue because they believed it was not being utilised.

“The WAPC has grossly under-estimated how well-utilised this land is, albeit not for the use it is currently zoned for,” she said.

“Whilst zoned urban residential, it has been used as a reserve for more than 50 years and today is heavily used by a wide range of people from walking groups, mountain bikers, horse riders and the Scouts.

“The WAPC appears to be considering selling off part of the Kings Park of Kalamunda for the benefit of building at best, a few additional houses.

“To assess it purely from a financial value perspective, without considering its use is nave, irresponsible, and done so without consultation with the community.”

The WAPC purchased Lots 23, 24 in Schmitt Road in May 1970 and Lot 50 Schmitt Road in December 1983 from a private landowner for the proposed Kalamunda Bypass Road.

In 1991 the Metropolitan Regional Scheme was amended to remove the road reservation.

Since 1997 there have been negotiations between the City and WAPC in relation to the future tenure and use of the land, however the matter has lapsed on each occasion.

The Kalamunda Heritage Trail was originally on the alignment of the old Kalamunda Railway line, but the Trail has deviated since the construction of the Kalamunda shire offices.

Schmitt Road WAPC land has always been freehold land and never part of the heritage trail, despite its de facto usage for this purpose.

In 2017, WAPC commenced action to amalgamate and subdivide the land into saleable lots.

Mr Hughes said the Kalamunda Railway Heritage Trail was a loved and well-used track that benefitted all ages and demographics within the Kalamunda electorate.

He will hold a public meeting on Monday, October 29 at 4pm at the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus in Kalamunda.