Hundreds protest Lemnos St bushland clearing in Shenton Park

Hundreds gathered in Shenton Park in support of the Lemnos St bushland.
Hundreds gathered in Shenton Park in support of the Lemnos St bushland.

HUNDREDS gathered in Shenton Park yesterday to protest against clearing the Lemnos St bushland.

Young and old came dressed in yellow holding signs, at one point stretched along the roadside chanting “save our bush”.

Bush not Bricks organiser Heidi Hardisty said those behind the decision to clear the land were “morally bankrupt” and had ignored their community.

“We’re not going to roll over on this one,” she said.

“When the Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital site closed, there was a great opportunity for LandCorp to give us a shining example of good infill development.

“They’re going to destroy this bushland.”

North Metro Greens MLC Alison Xamon said LandCorp had “made a mockery” of the community engagement process and 1001 submissions.

She said LandCorp were pursuing a subdivision application, which would give them an exemption on clearing native bushland.

“Once the subdivision approval is in place, no approvals for clearing are required from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation,” Ms Xamon said.

LandCorp chief operations officer Dean Mudford confirmed the application had been lodged, and said it would take into consideration all the necessary planning factors.

He said any vegetation management in the area would be designed to maximise the amount of bushland that can be kept and improved while maintaining a low bushfire risk and balancing community needs.

“We acknowledge that there is concern in the local community in regards to the need for natural vegetation on this site, and this sentiment came through clearly during our extensive consultation program with the local community,” he said.

“Over a quarter of the site has been set aside for public open space, including parklands, playgrounds, nature play areas and retained bushland.”

Planning minister Rita Saffioti said she had made significant decisions to save bushland during her time as minister, including stopping Roe 8 and Mangles Bay Marina, and environmental assessments, consultations and approvals for this project were made under the previous government.

“While it is always disappointing to see vegetation cleared, Landcorp has advised it will be retaining significant amounts of quality bushland within the woodlands precinct, while also planting an additional 280 trees,” she said.

“This equates to a 10 per cent increase in tree canopy.”

Noongar woman Lynnette Coomer spoke of the time she spent growing up in a camp in the area with her “Shenton Park nanna” and family in the 1950s.

“Before we were institutionalised this was my home; this was our big playground,” she said.

“For me today, to realise it’s this bushland they want to take away from the community [is very emotional]… what’s going to be left to share?”

Nedlands mayor Max Hipkins said the bushland had been recognised by the City as soon as the hospital was pegged for redevelopment.