Wetlands protest steps up

AROUND 350 protesters rallied at Parliament House this week 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 rally, but others with concerns ranging from the Roe Highway extension through Beeliar wetlands to the Point Peron canals used the occasion to highlight their cause.

• Hundreds of protestors rallied at Parliament house over the destruction of wetlands in Bayswater, and across the metro area. Photos by Steve Grant

• Hundreds of protestors rallied at Parliament house over the destruction of wetlands in Bayswater, and across the metro area. Photos by Steve Grant

Bayswater’s No Houses in Wetlands group called on planning minister Donna Faragher, to put a special planning control order over the wetlands affected by the proposed sub-division at the end of King William Street, which would bring the project to a halt.

Both Ms Faragher and environment minister Albert Jacob addressed the crowd but were frequently 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.

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She said the council is still looking into buying the site to rehabilitate the damage and keep the remaining trees.

Calls for the Barnett government to reinstate EPA protection policies for wetlands were met with resounding cheers and Opposition environment shadow Chris Tallentire promised Labor would do so if elected in March.

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by DAVID BELL

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