‘No plan’ for bushland

PERTH has “literally no plan” to protect its native vegetation after the McGowan government quietly axed a mapping project under the cover of Christmas, says Greens MLC Brad Pettitt.

The Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Region was supposed to outline which areas of remaining bush would be protected and what would be available for development, but the government says it was suspended in 2018 because of its “scale, complexity and deliverability”.

Dr Pettitt says that’s left the metropolitan area vulnerable to over-clearing and could further endanger black cockatoos.

“There’s no plan for where urban sprawl ends, and there’s no plan for actually developing in a way that ensures we create wildlife corridors, connectivity, all those things that I think our suburbs do terribly,” he said.

Dr Pettitt said the planning process for SAPPR was initiated by the Gallop government and gathered steam under Colin Barnet.

“Now the government on December 22 quietly walked away from it after $7 million and eight years.”

Dr Pettitt said the Swan Coastal Plain was one of 35 global biodiversity hotspots.

“It’s one of the most extraordinary, most biodiverse places that we are literally bulldozing into obliviou, and all the species that’s in it; it’s a crime,” Dr Pettitt said.

But the McGowan government says many of the issues which prompted the creation of SAPPR had been addressed by the Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million planning document which was adopted in 2017.

It says the planning under the state’s native vegetation policy can be done regionally, with conservation and restoration plans to “reverse” the city’s declining environmental values.

“It is vitally important that we balance the need for land availability with managing environmental impacts in Perth and the Peel region,” premier Mark McGowan said.

Planning minister Rita Saffioti said the work done under SAPPR had fed into the Perth and Peel @ 3.5 million framework.

by STEVE GRANT

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