Stirling memories

In 1985 well known and highly respected naturalist, author and ornithologist, Vincent Serventy put his name and his time to the community campaign to stop a major road being built through tuart woodlands and Quindalup sand dunes in the Trigg Regional Open Space – now Trigg Bushland.

After plans were released by the Main Roads Department and the City of Stirling to extend Marmion Avenue in Karrinyup to West Coast Highway at Scarborough, conservationists and local residents began a community based campaign opposing the road.  With the support of the Conservation Council of WA and conservationists from across the metropolitan area, locals formed a group called the Trigg Dune Heritage Group which spearheaded the campaign.   By enlisting high profile scientists like Dr Serventy, public awareness was raised of the environmental damage that would be caused by the construction of a major four lane road through the coastal bushland reserve.

Serventy interview Ch 9

The environmental significance of the Trigg Regional Open Space had been identified by the System 6 Study Report to the Environmental Protection Authority in 1981 as “…having conservation significance due to the rarity of reserved areas within the metropolitan area which provide an example of a belt of native vegetation extending from the sea to tuart and banksia woodland.”  The area had also been referred to the Australian Heritage Commission for listing on the Register of the National Estate in 1985.

The campaign to stop the road received widespread support and publicity but was ultimately unsuccessful and the road was built in 1986. Following this the Trigg Dune Heritage Group and the Scarborough Ratepayers Association petitioned the City of Stirling to hold a public meeting to gain permanent protection for the remaining bushland and sand dunes.  At the meeting, the City of Stirling announced that the remnant Trigg Regional Open Space would be protected and that vacant land on the north of the new road would be amalgamated into the larger reserve.

In 1989 the 122ha making up the Trigg Regional Open Space was reclassified from a Class C Reserve to a Class A Reserve, the highest protection available.  It had also achieved additional protection under the State Government’s Bush Plan and is now Bush Forever Area 308, and includes the South Trigg Beach Reserve.  Now named the Trigg Bushland Reserve the land is vested in, and managed for the community by the City of Stirling for the purposes of conservation, passive recreation and education.

The Friends of Trigg Bushland was formed out of the Trigg Dune Heritage Group at a public meeting in 1990 and a Management Plan for the bushland was adopted by the City of Stirling in 1991.  The Friends group continues to hold regular activities in the reserve, conducts guided nature walks, removes weeds and rubbish, undertakes projects such as tuart mapping and assists the City with bush regeneration.

Written by Robyn Murphy (inaugural President of the Friends of Trigg Bushland), 13 February 2018.