THE new State Government and Cottesloe and Mosman Park councils face opposition to the proposed rezoning of coastal bush near the disused McCall Centre to an urban zoning.
“If this goes, it’s gone forever,” Mosman Park resident Meave Ansell said.
WA Planning Commission (WAPC) urban zones allow residential, commercial and light industrial uses, and while the centre takes up a large portion of the 8000sq m lot, the remainder is bushland.
Both councils have supported the WAPC’s initial consideration of rezoning, which started under the previous Government as part of proposed asset sales to reduce state debt.
Any actual rezoning process would include public comment, but it now faces opposition from the Cottesloe and Mosman Park ratepayers’ associations, the Friends of Mosman Park Bushland and Cottesloe Coastcare.
“The communities want this kept as public open space, as the link between the river and the Indian Ocean,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association deputy chairman Greg Boland said.
However, there are long-standing nearby reserves to facilitate any Curtin Avenue realignment and extension of Wellington Street, in addition to an emerging need to rebuild the level crossing at the adjacent Victoria Street railway station.
The campaigners deny that preserving the bush would restrict councils’ capacity to lobby for those projects.
“Regardless of what they said, what we believe is, at the minimum there should be a corridor for bushland and wildlife,” Mosman Park Residents and Ratepayers Association president Paul Shaw said.
The groups could take the issue to local government elections in October.
“But we’d like to nip it in the bud and go straight to the WAPC and stop the rezoning process, and ask the new Planning Minister Rita Saffioti about it,” Friends of Mosman Park Bushland convenor Sue Conlan said.
Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said a bush corridor should connect to the planned refurbishment of nearby Monument Hill and, with footbridges across Stirling Highway and the rail line, it could be funded by residential development at the centre, which may take “quite a few years” in the current housing market.
Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett said he would meet with the groups if they wished.