SAVE Doubleview Oval members and residents were “disgusted” by the sight of bulldozers demolishing trees on John K Lyons Oval this morning.
The site will be developed to expand Doubleview Primary School, after the Metro North West Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) approved the proposal last month.
City of Stirling JDAP members, mayor Giovanni Italiano and councillor David Boothman, voted against the proposal.
Education Minster Peter Collier announced in September last year that the International School of WA would relocate to the 5.7ha Doubleview site in 2019 and with the new $15 million primary school.
About 20 Doubleview residents witnessed contractors starting works on the site about 7am.
Cr Italiano said he wrote to Premier Colin Barnett and Mr Collier to ask for the residents’ concerns to be addressed.
“It has been distressing to the local community to witness the bulldozers arrive on site today,” he said.
“We are hopeful that the State Government will hear the concerns of the community and give this matter an 11th hour reprieve and review it.”
Cr Italiano said all authority rested with the Education Department and State Government.
“There is a lot of upset among the local community and we fully understand that however the City has no powers in the matter and our hands are tied,” he said.
Education Department infrastructure executive director John Fischer said planned works started to prepare the site and contractors were working within the City of Stirling’s guidelines for noise minimisation and other requirements.
“Information provided to residents stated that construction would begin in 2017 and the school has also provided updates in their newsletters and on the school’s Facebook page,” he said.
“The new Doubleview Primary School, scheduled to open in 2018, will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, facilities, planting of 92 new trees and a new nature playground for students to have fun, develop gross motor skills, enjoy free play and spontaneous exploration.”
Save Doubleview Oval member Simon Vanyai said the community were unaware about the works commencing on the site.
“Unfortunately, the whole community has been misled about this project,” he said.
“It is a disgrace to lose the trees but it will be a worse disaster if they start building on the oval.
“There a whole lot of issues around moving the international school here…we do not want our kids to be so tightly constricted on their yard space that they have to share with high school students on the same land.”
Mr Vanyai said works for the international school should be put on hold until after the State Election.
Scarborough resident Shelley Johnson, who owns a property across from the site, said parents of Doubleview Primary School students should have been notified.
“We have very limited space and you cannot rebuild the space…it is disgraceful,” she said.
“I came here this morning and some of the kids were crying.”
Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey was also contacted for comment.