AROUND 350 protesters flocked to parliament today demanding better protection of Perth’s dwindling wetlands.
A planned housing development that saw a large chunk of privately-owned wetlands cleared in Bayswater sparked the “No Houses in Wetlands” group to call on planning minister Donna Faragher to put a special planning control order over the area, halting the project.
They also want the state government to bring in laws to strictly enforce buffer zones between houses and wetlands: The D’Orazio family development in Bayswater was able to pay cash-in-lieu to avoid having to leave extra space between the houses and Eric Singleton bird sanctuary. Calls for those laws to be implemented were met by a resounding cheer from the crowd.
The Bayswater wetlands crew were joined by other protesters from across the city, from those against the Roe 8 freeway through Beeliar Wetlands to opponents of the Point Peron Canal plan.
Both Ms Faragher and environment minister Albert Jacob tried to address the crowd but were howled down.
Ms Faragher directed blame at Bayswater council for not buying up neighbouring Carter wetland (which took the brunt of the clearing) when it was offered for sale in 2010. She said the council is still looking into buying the Carter site. Most of the greenery there is still in tact and the cleared part could be rehabilitated long term.