Marina decision closer

Cockburn councillor Bart Houwen and Professor Peter Newman say that properly developed, Cockburn could be another Perth city or Fremantle. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d398597
Cockburn councillor Bart Houwen and Professor Peter Newman say that properly developed, Cockburn could be another Perth city or Fremantle. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d398597

April 23 marks 12 months since the closure of submissions to the developer’s public environmental review of the 77ha tourist precinct, which proposes the dredging of 12ha of Bush Forever land ” bequeathed to the State Government by the Commonwealth in 1964 for use as a public reserve ” to create a 12ha inland marina and canals.

An EPA spokeswoman said the independent board would provide its recommendations to new State Environment Minister Albert Jacob. Its assessment report would be open to a two-week public appeals period before the minister brought down his decision.

The EPA will also provide its report to Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, who will have 30 days to make a decision under national environmental law, after the WA minister makes his decision.

Cedar Woods state manager Stuart Duplock said he expected the federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to bring down its final decision by the end of 2013.

He said the environmental assessment has been comprehensive due to the need to manage and mitigate the environmental impacts from the proposal.

Local community groups Hands Off Point Peron and Preserve Point Peron have long fought against the proposal, which has the backing of State Government land development agency Landcorp, saying it could threaten nearby Lake Richmond and its ancient thrombolites, penguin colonies, dolphins, seagrass and shoreline morphology.

But the proposal has the support of the local boating community, with The Cruising Yacht Club of WA and Mangles Bay Fishing Club likely to be accommodated at a marina where boats would have improved protection against annual storms.