‘Arm wavers’ rebuffed

THE boss of a proposed wave park at Alfred Cove says opponents’ environmental objections have been exposed as “hysterical arm waving” after the Environmental Protection Authority gave the project the green light.

On Monday this week the EPA decided not to put the wave park through a formal assessment process, saying any potential impacts could be adequately managed. The authority says it considered air and water quality, social surroundings, terrestrial impacts and hydrological processes in making the decision.

It noted that Tompkins Park was already a highly modified environment and the area was a former dump site, while modelling on similar projects showed noise and vibration levels were barely more intrusive than existing background noise.

UrbnSurf founder and executive chairman Andrew Ross told the Herald he was pleased about the long-awaited determination, which came after his company self-referred the project to the EPA in late 2017.

“We had heard in the media and online concerns about the devastation the project would bring to migratory wading birds, pollution of the groundwater table, the destruction of the Swan River and the foreshore, the killing of dolphins, and absolute certainty that Tompkins Park itself was highly contaminated,” Mr Ross said.

“The community was told that we were at best being naive, or at worst we were knowingly planning to destroy the environment.”

Mr Ross criticised Alfred Cove Action Group members who’ve flagged an appeal of the decision, saying they’re simply adding more delays.

In an email to members headed “in for the long haul”, the action group says it will be lodging an appeal and called for help preparing material.

“The minister for environment, Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, has the opportunity, in allowing our appeal, to ensure that a full environmental assessment is undertaken to protect this significant ecosystem and sanctuary on the Swan River foreshore from the wave park development,” the email said.

“While there is no guarantee of success with the appeal, we must use the process to point out what we see as faults in the EPA’s decision. If our appeal is unsuccessful, we will continue our fight against a wave park at Tompkins Park through whatever processes become available to us.”

by STEVE GRANT

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