PLANS to turn an old Bayswater landfill site into a new forest got a $200,000 election pledge from Labor’s federal Perth MP Patrick Gorman this week.
For a couple years now Bayswater council’s been hoping to get some federal funding to transform the old riverfront site, which was used as a tip from 1957 to 1972; a western section has already been rehabilitated to create Riverside Gardens.
The council hasn’t had much luck getting government funding for its big projects in recent years but Mr Gorman’s pledging the forest cash if Labor wins the next election, still unscheduled but due by no later than May 21 this year.
Bayswater council had hoped to kick off the project earlier and this funding announcement is a second attempt after a similar Labor pledge at the last election, but they didn’t win government in 2019.
Mr Gorman visited the riverfront site this week and said “Bayswater is sort of the garden city of Perth.
“It is an important part of the inner east, but we don’t have enough trees.
“This makes our houses hotter, it means that we don’t have as many beautiful places for people to play, and it means that we don’t put as good a quality water back into our riverways as we otherwise could have.”
He says along with being good for people’s health “the forest will also grow a future tourism site in Perth’s inner east, with opportunities for tourists to view wildlife in a natural habitat”.
In 2020 the Bayswater area was found to have the lowest canopy cover among Australia’s 131 urban councils, at 10.9 per cent, and it’s been trying to get it up to 20 per cent by 2025.
Tree planting efforts hadn’t been able to match the rate of private land development clearing out blocks and state government works like the Forrestfield-Airport link.
by DAVID BELL