SAVE the Black Cockatoos has slammed the proposed location for a wave park in Cockburn after it was revealed another 3.1 hectares of important foraging and nesting habitat would have to be cleared.
Surf Park developer Aventuur was selected by the McGowan government in September last year to build a 2.2 hectare lagoon, bar, restaurant, accommodation, function centre, gym, pump track and skate bowl at a site nestled between the Kwinana Freeway, Princep Road and Knock Way.
Earlier this week WA’s Environmental Protection Authority announced that it was seeking comment on whether it should formally assess Aventuur’s proposal because of the clearing of banksia woodland, as well as another two hectares of less-critical native vegetation.
The public comment period is only seven days and ends this Monday.
Save the Black Cockatoos are certain it needs a high-level assessment and shouldn’t have been entertained in the first place.
“Instead of being eaten by black cockatoos, the banksia woodland is being eaten by bulldozers,” StBC spokesperson Paddy Cullen said.
“The ngolyenok (Carnaby’s black cockatoo) is supposed to be one of 110 federally-listed threatened species, but we are not seeing it treated as a priority.
“It is already extinct in a third of its range and its numbers are crashing in the Perth Peel area, down 35 per cent in just a decade.
“Both Perth and Melbourne were asked by the federal government to put in ‘green growth plans’ a few years ago to protect threatened habitats.
“Melbourne put theirs in within two years, but Perth decided to throw ours out this year. In this process we have given the black cockatoos a death sentence. Within a few decades, they could be gone forever.
“Instead of treating this habitat as something that impedes development, we should be viewing it as essential infrastructure for climate, biodiversity, culture and for community mental health.
“We are all better off for hearing the sounds of black cockatoos.
“They have flown in this area for hundreds of thousands of years and are significant to Noongar culture, seen by many people as giving messages from ancestors.
“Their absence is a message that we are failing to care for country.
“If we want the black cockatoos to survive it is vital that we have an overall plan with yearly targets to increase black cockatoo habitat each year in line with the United Nations’ targets Australia signed onto to have 30 per cent of land areas in natural habitat by 2030.
“WA must learn to pull its weight as good global citizens in one of the species-rich areas on the planet. We cannot and should not throw this gift away.”
by STEVE GRANT