City of Kwinana encourages residents to have their say on Wellard sand mine

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams.
City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams.

THE City of Kwinana is strongly opposed to a proposed sand mine in Wellard and is encouraging residents to write submissions to PGV Environment.

Mayor Carol Adams said Hanson Australia was pushing ahead with a sand mine at Wellard, despite strong objections from council.

She said she was deeply concerned Hanson Australia was calling for public comment on the sand mining of the former Banksia Road Rifle Range area.

For several years the area was under the control of the City as a conservation reserve.

“Several companies have repeatedly attempted to create a sand mine at this site, for over 20 years, and Council has repeatedly advised against its construction, including meeting with the relevant Ministers in an effort to stop the proposals as it is not in the interests of our local residents or the environment,” she said.

The Banksia Road conservation reserve is 26ha, covered in mostly native vegetation, which contains almost 100 species of native fauna – including six conservation-significant species and the home of many Carnaby and Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos.

“If approved, this mine would pave the way for broad scale clearing of natural vegetation of unique Banksia Woodlands, resulting in an environment devoid of native flora and fauna,” Mayor Adams said.

“The City has surveyed the community a number of times to ensure we reflect the desires and concerns of our residents and we are consistently told that they place great value on the surrounding environment and Kwinana’s natural areas.”

She said sand mining and associated truck movements would create an amenity issue through increased traffic, dust, vehicle and machinery noise that would adversely impact the quiet rural lifestyle.

Residents concerned about the proposal met on Sunday and will seek assistance from surrounding councils and local members of parliament to stop the proposal.

“We urge all residents of Kwinana to make their voices heard by submitting comments on the proposal,” Mayor Adams said.

A Hanson spokeswoman said the company was going through a thorough and comprehensive assessment process for the proposed project to produce sand for construction projects in Perth’s southern suburbs.

“We have State environmental approval and we are now seeking Federal Government endorsement to go ahead with the project,” she said.

“The plan involves complete rehabilitation of the site.

“The natural top soil and flora seeds will be replaced on disturbed sections of land to return the area to a Banksia woodland as the mining is complete.”

The spokeswoman said the company had some of the world’s best expertise in this type of rehabilitation.

“In this case, the work will have the added advantage of cleaning up lead contamination from the historic use of the area as a rifle range,” she said.

“The community will be directly involved in monitoring to make sure the site is fully restored.”

The proposal is available for viewing at the Kwinana Public Library or at www.pgv.net.au. Comments must be received by Friday, August 10. Written submissions can be posted to PGV Environmental, Unit 1, 61 Guthrie Street, Osborne Park, WA 6017.