Controversial road extensions through Bush Forever sites 310 and 308 were proposed for State Government’s $75 million Scarborough foreshore redevelopment to ease traffic congestion on West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road.
But Planning Minister Donna Faragher later announced the Government would ‘explore alternative options’ after a backlash from the community.
Perth botanist Bronwen Keighery presented to the Friends of Trigg Busland and other conservation groups on February 19, and said some of the rare Callitris preissii, also known as Rottnest Island Pine, were at least 100 years old and up to nine metres tall.
‘There is a thriving community of the native tree that has until now, not been recognised,’ she said. ‘These plants form the basis of a threatened ecological community that is protected by Commonwealth legislation.’
‘Two of these trees are estimated to be at least 100 years old, and new seedlings show that the community is healthy and regenerating.’
Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) chief executive Kieran Kinsella said planning was on hold while alternative options were investigated.
‘Planning, including further environmental assessment, will recommence once a final decision is taken on the preferred transport solution,’ he said.
Friends of Trigg Bushland President Nina McLaren said the group had also sought advice from Vic Semeniuk, a coastal expert.
‘We have received a report from Dr Semeniuk stating that the shape of the dunes both north and south of Scarborough – in Bush Forever Sites 308 and 310 – is consistent with natural accretion, and that these dunes are not man-made,’ she said.
‘The dune formations are worth preserving.’
Ms McLaren said the further environmental studies should have been completed before the roads were proposed.
‘It is a pity that local friends groups, who have virtually no resources, have to conduct their own research when this type of study should have been done by the State Government in the early stages of planning,’ she said.
More information about Callitris preissii and Threatened Ecological Communities in Trigg Bushland here.