Beach Not Bitumen continues push for road blocks

Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with other Beach not Bitumen members. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with other Beach not Bitumen members. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A SCARBOROUGH lobby group has welcomed Labor and The Greens’ commitment to scrapping proposed road extensions through Bush Forever dune sites and say they remain disappointed the Liberal party had not come to the table.

The roads were proposed as part of the $75 million Scarborough foreshore redevelopment and would mean extending the Esplanade north and south through Bush Forever sites 308 and 310 to ease congestion around the foreshore on West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.

The State Government agreed to consider alternatives after the City of Stirling voted to delay the handover of the land for the extensions in November last year.

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Anti-roads group Beach Not Bitumen spokeswoman Robyn Murphy said it was clear that the State Government was not going to change its mind about building roads through the “environmentally sensitive” sand dunes.

Ms Murphy said the group had met with Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey, Greens candidate Judith Cullity, Labor candidate Tony Walker and Labor environment spokesperson Chris Tallentire but invitations to Planning Minister Donna Faragher and Environment Minister Albert Jacobs were declined.

Ms Harvey said she understood the concerns but could not rule out the road extensions.

“Without knowing what other potential options exist, I don’t believe that we can rule out the proposed road extensions,” she said.

“I advocated the views expressed from some members of the Scarborough community to the Planning Minister and am pleased that she directed the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to investigate and identify other potential solutions.”

Labor candidate Tony Walker said Labor opposed the road extensions and would undertake a traffic study to improve traffic flow and public transport options.

“Our promise is to work with the City of Stirling to ensure that car park signage and the car park flow is improved that will mean that it is quicker and more efficient and won’t be so gridlocked there,” he said.

“You don’t want to go hacking into the sand dunes, we’ve taken consideration to re-plant and re-vegetate those dune systems we can’t go back and be putting in transport links along sand dunes which will destroy those micro environments.”

Scarborough Greens candidate Judith Cullity said they were opposed the road extensions and would explore options such as light rail.

“These sites are vitally important for preserving our world-class biodiversity and are a draw card for tourists,” she said.

“Light rail along Scarborough Beach Road to the coast was proposed by The Greens over a decade ago and (Stirling) council now plans something similar.”