Wetlands call due

THIS Friday December 9 the WA Planning Commission will decide whether to purchase the privately-owned Carter wetland in Bayswater to prevent further clearing on the site.

Bayswater councillors have agreed to spend up to $1.5million on the purchase of the site, contingent on the state government funding the balance. The total purchase price is confidential.

The WAPC collects a “metropolitan region improvement tax” from all land valued at more than $300,000. This is used to purchase “roads, open spaces, parks and similar public facilities”.

• Protestors outside Michael Sutherland’s office. They want him to pressure the WAPC to buy the Carter wetlands.

• Protestors outside Michael Sutherland’s office. They want him to pressure the WAPC to buy the Carter wetlands.

Bayswater councillor Chris Cornish, a financial advisor in his daily life, checked the commission’s 2015/16 annual report and found the MRIT collected about $98m that year. The current kitty sits at what Cr Cornish calls “a healthy $292,777,000”.

The fund’s previously been used to buy back parts of the Swan River foreshore, the face of the Darling Scarp, along with patches of bushland.

Cr Cornish roughly calculates Bayswater citizens pay about $3.2million a year into the fund. He’s hopeful the WAPC will splash a little cash around come Friday’s decision as he couldn’t find any instances where decisions had benefitted locals, although the Voice spotted the WAPC bragging about buying up privately-owned foreshore in Maylands in 2006 to connect people to the river.

by DAVID BELL

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