Wave Park protest

OVER 250 people attended a rally in Alfred Cove on Saturday opposing a proposed wave park in Tompkins Park.

The controversial $28million surf facility would be located on the site of Melville Bowling Club, beside the Swan River, and occupy about 4.4 hectares.

Alfred Cove Action Group convenor David Maynier said the site was “environmentally sensitive” and the proposed park would impact endangered wildlife.

• Melville locals at a rally opposing the proposed Wave Park at Tompkins Park. Photo by David Maynier

Solid data

“There is solid data to show that over the past 35 years there has been a catastrophic decline in the population of several critically endangered species that use the Alfred Cove Nature Reserve and Swan Estuary Marine Park,” he said.

“Many of the factors that have led to such a decline will be exacerbated by the Wave Park.

“[A wave park] backed by adequate experience and funding, not cloaked in secrecy, not subsidised by ratepayers, and not shrouded by allegations of conflict of interest, impropriety and misinformation could be a brilliant idea.”

Dr Peter Newman, sustainability professor at Curtin University, said it was a “silly idea” to put a wave park next to the Swan Estuary Marine Park, which was used by migratory birds like the Red Necked Stint and the Eastern Curlew.

• Photo by David Maynier

He noted that the wetlands in Alfred Cove had been designated as being of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971.

“It’s not a sensible project, anything that proposes something like this should be dismissed immediately,” Dr Newman said.

“It is inappropriate to put anything there, let alone a wave park because it is right next to a recognised Ramsar site requiring international concern.”

The Wave Park Group proposal is currently being assessed by the Environmental Protection Authority, following Melville council approving a 50-year lease for Urbnsurf at the site.

“Wave Park Group has been operational in Australia for about four years, securing sites in Melbourne Essendon airport and Sydney Olympic park, Tompkins park ticks all the boxes for us,” said WPG spokesperson Sasha Jones.

“It’s got good connectivity to transport, its south of the river and west of the freeway, which are all important demographics for us.

“We’ve looked at about 30 sites in Western Australia already.”

In 2016 WPG collected 3,000 signatures supporting the proposed Wave Park at Tompkins Park, but recently ACAG collected about 3,400 signatures opposing the facility.

“On 15 March a Special Electors Meeting was attended by about 500 people who voted unanimously against a wave Park at Alfred Cove,” said Mr Maynier.

By JACKSON LAVELL-LEE

2 responses to “Wave Park protest

  1. A wave park would be great but I’m with Professor Newman – this is not the place for it. Wave parks should not be put in environmentally sensitive areas that have existing value, amenity and natural beauty. Have a look where they are putting the ones in Melbourne and Sydney and ask why they are getting away with putting one right on the river in Melville??

  2. I refer to a recent article written in local media entitled “Wave Park Protest” regarding the proposed surf park. It quoted David Maynier, the convener of the Alfred Cove Action Group, extensively and made me wonder if any fact checking actually occurs in journalism any longer, or whether the word of certain groups is simply accepted as gospel?

    Contrary to what was reported in the article, and has previously been said by David, Alfred Cove is categorically not a RAMSAR wetland. It’s true there has been a significant decline in wading bird populations in Alfred Cove, to the point there are barely a handful left, but this is due to changes in the mud flats in Alfred Cove which comprise the wading bird’s habitat. The changes to the mud flats are naturally occurring events as the river changes and evolves over time. These populations of wading birds can now be found foraging around the corner at Attadale Reserve and Point Walter in large numbers where new mud flats have emerged. David should know this given his house sits 3 metres off the Alfred Cove reserve (making him one of the surf park’s nearest neighbours).

    The community should disregard Mr Maynier’s hysterical arm waving and focus on the fact that this project will simply not progress if it is deemed by State based regulatory agencies to have any significant environmental impacts. ACAG and Mr Maynier know this, but they continue to play the “environment card” to try and undermine the planning process and to chip away at the overwhelming community support for the project.

    Mr Maynier is asking you to vote for his candidates in the upcoming Melville City Council election. The reason is only so that he can put his puppets in place in an attempt to rescind the lease, and thus prevent any change at his Tompkins Park enclave. Don’t be fooled by his claims – support progressive councillors in the upcoming election who want to do right by the community as a whole, and not those who will simply be acting on behalf of the vested and cynical interests of the riverfront elite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s