Report supports clearing of Scarborough dunes

The dunes area in front of the proposed The Beach Shack development. Photo: Martin Kennealey
The dunes area in front of the proposed The Beach Shack development. Photo: Martin Kennealey

A COASTAL dune ecologist supports a developer’s bid to clear a section of Scarborough dunes for a fire break.

Norup + Wilson, which is building The Beach Shack apartments on West Coast Highway, commissioned geoheritage practioner Vic Semeniuk to assess an 1160sq m area west of its site.

It has applied for a clearing permit for the land, which is zoned road reserve and being considered for amalgamation into the adjacent Class A reserve.

Dr Semeniuk wrote a 2016 report on the coastal dunes between Scarborough Beach and Trigg Island that said the area’s sand ridge belt was of State-wide significance but in his February 3 report clarified the potential clearing site was not part of this.

He said the terrain adjoining the developer’s property was “artificial landscape and habitat”, and the swale made of sand and rubble.

Norup + Wilson director Dave Wilson said they proposed to revegetate the site “at great expense which is well above the statutory requirements”.

“It is very distressing when developers are in fact undertaking tasks as good corporate citizens and biased action groups then gain front page coverage casting aspersions on our character,” he said.

The site is within Bush Forever 308 and Friends of Trigg Bushland spokeswoman Nina McLaren said this defined bushland as having remaining natural vegetation or representative of this.

“This site proposed to be cleared is less than 200m from a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC),” she said.

“If adjoining properties are allowed to clear similar amounts of land as part of redevelopment, the (TEC) would be completely destroyed. “This is a very dangerous precedent which must not be allowed to occur.”