Wanneroo residents call to retain bushland

Craig Butt says bushland on Lot 9000 near the Wanneroo town centre should be retained. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d494892
Craig Butt says bushland on Lot 9000 near the Wanneroo town centre should be retained. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d494892

WANNEROO residents have started a group calling for bushland in the Wanneroo town centre to be retained.

Dozens have joined the ‘Friends of Lot 9000 Sinagra’ group, set up by Craig Butt after Wanneroo Council endorsed a plan that designated the privately owned bush block for future development.

In the group description, Mr Butt said the site was “a beautiful area of local bushland that is worthy of conservation”.

“I wish to raise awareness of an excellent example of local area bushland of the Swan Coastal Plain,” he said.

“Relatively undisturbed and rich in biodiversity, my goal is to encourage its protection and conservation as an asset into the future.”

Lot 9000 is in the northern part of the Wanneroo town centre activity centre plan.

The site located behind the Wanneroo Civic Centre and police station forms part of the buffer around the Ingham’s chicken farm and is owned by the Catholic Church.

Mr Butt said it contained banksia woodland, which was listed as a threatened ecological community, and possibly tuart woodland, which was listed as critically endangered in July.

He said he believed the structure plan was based on planning principles from last century.

“I believe the City has under-valued its natural heritage value and its benefits to the ecology and community,” he said.

“Twenty years on we should be able to amend structure plans to reflect more current community values or attitudes and should therefore reconsider its consideration for protection, covenant or conservation.”

Carnaby’s black cockatoos on Lot 9000. Picture: David Baylis

Mr Butt said future urban development could threaten plants on the site, and have a negative impact on wildlife, including endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos that foraged there and kangaroos.

He said it was “relatively undisturbed bushland” with “beautiful biodiversity” including a range of orchids.

The Wanneroo Town Centre Activity Centre Plan.

In response to questions, the City of Wanneroo confirmed the State Government was assessing the Wanneroo Town Centre Activity Centre Plan.

According to the City, the privately-owned Lot 9000 had been zoned urban for about 20 years, with most of it flagged for residential development.

The plan set aside a conservation reserve in the north east corner, and environmental constraints would be addressed through normal State and Federal environmental clearing processes.

Overall, the plan provided about 39 per cent of the town centre for public open space, with most of that at Wanneroo Showground, and required a “green spine” through Lot 9000 northwards.

While the City’s biodiversity plan did not identify Lot 9000 as a priority local natural area, its environmental strategy highlighted other mechanisms to manage environmental values during future subdivision and development phases.

Those included doing a tree survey to retain significant trees, getting clearing permits and having a fauna relocation plan for wildlife on the site.