ACTIVE opposition to WA government plans showing extensive development through the old Roe Highway corridor is growing, with more than 250 people staging a march last Sunday.
An alliance of environmental groups is calling for the land to be retained as a green corridor between Bibra Lake and Hollis Park in South Fremantle, but as part of a rezoning due to delete the highway from the Metropolitan Region Scheme in 2024, the state planning, lands and heritage department released a concept plan last year showing mostly housing between Stock Road and Clontarf Hill.
Cockburn Community Wildlife Corridor convenor Sally Marsh said a green corridor would be a unique opportunity to preserve what little is left of Perth’s urban bushland and create a model which could be emulated elsewhere.
“While the deletion of Roe 8 and 9 from the Metropolitan Regional Scheme is welcomed, we call upon the state government to implement this community’s vision and protect the corridor,” Ms Marsh said.
“We have so little urban bushland left, making it all the more important for us to protect what we have for generations to come.”
Rally organisers said the corridor was the last east-west link for bushland in the metropolitan area.
Randwick Stables Community Garden convenor Alison Bolas said the government needed to remember the community’s efforts to protect the wildlife corridor before the last election.
“We wish to remind the state government that we fought hard to protect this area from Roe8/9 and we now don’t want to see it destroyed by unnecessary development.
“We have a unique opportunity to enhance and preserve our native bushland and habitat, community open space, Aboriginal cultural heritage sites and other significant heritage places such as Randwick Stables,” Ms Bolas said.
Local violinist Madeleine Antoine, who lives in the corridor and played with Paige Valentine at the event, said the community needed to use its voice to strongly advocate for the corridor.
“It is fantastic to see the community rallying together to express a truly sustainable vision for the precious wildlife corridor,” she said.
“Areas like this are rapidly diminishing and we have an opportunity to create something beautiful for generations to come.”
Shelter WA project co-ordinator and former Greens candidate Clint Uink said development in the corridor would be a “mistake”.
The rally included a concert at Wheeler Park in Hamilton Hill.