Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group executive officer Rosanna Hindmarsh said according to environmental studies conducted in the area the vegetation remaining is in pristine condition. Picture: Anita McInnes

Swan against amendment to North Ellenbrook DSP

Some of Lot 5982 is already in the North Ellenbrook (west) district structure plan but environmental groups are reluctant to have more of the lot included.
March 14, 2024
Anita McInnes

CITY of Swan councillors have voted to advise the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) they are against adding extra land from a sand quarry to the North Ellenbrook (west) district structure plan.

The inclusion of Lot 5892 (owned by Stefanelli Group – one of the owners of Echo News) into the district structure plan (DSP) would add 158ha and provide for between an extra 2200 to 2500 dwellings and an increase in the estimated population of 6600 to 7500 people.

The report presented to the city said the proposed amendment would provide additional residential land, an extra primary school and an additional key area of environmental open space with clear road linkages for the future residents and amenities proposed to the north in the DSP.

Councillors said if the WAPC, which is the decision making body in this case, progressed proposed Amendment 1 then the council would request the retention of identified listed banksia woodlands (now a listed as a matter of national environmental significance) within the DSP area be considered by the EPA, including consideration of its referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), prior to the approval of the DSP amendment and/or the progression of any request for a metropolitan regional scheme amendment from its current rural delineation for the land.

Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group executive officer Rosanna Hindmarsh said according to environmental studies conducted in the area the vegetation remaining – banksia woodland, xanthorrhoea shrubland and melaleuca low woodlands – were all in excellent to pristine condition.

“Large areas of banksia woodlands in near pristine condition on the Swan coastal plain are incredibly unusual to find, especially within the metropolitan region,’’ she said.

“That makes this particular area even more important to conserve.’’

North Swan Land Conservation district committee chairman Richard Janes said the Carnaby’s black cockatoo was registered as endangered under the federal Act and was described as ‘fauna that is rare or is likely to become extinct’ by Western Australia’s Wildlife Conservation Notice 2008, so “you would think that we would do everything in our power to ensure their survival”.

“But here we are, on the cusp of allowing another developer to destroy an area of pristine banksia woodland for more houses,’’ he said.

About 5ha of Lot 5892 is already included in the DSP area.

The executive summary prepared for the proposed amendment said the extractive industry licence and clearing permit associated with the quarry allowed for the extraction of silica sand and other construction-grade sands.

Mining is taking place generally from east to west with about 29ha of the mining tenement area already cleared.

“The current approved sand mining operations are progressively removing existing vegetation and simultaneously modifying the existing landform in accordance with environmental and extractive industry approvals at a rate congruent with market demand,’’ the executive summary said.

“As the majority of the site currently operates as a sand quarry, the removal of native vegetation will progressively take place over a large portion of the site as mining continues in order to remove the necessary and valuable sand resource.

“Therefore, as the majority of the site will be cleared as a result of current land use, it would be a logical and sequential extension of the proposed urban expansion envisaged for North Ellenbrook.”

Privately owned, proudly independent local news service.

ALL IMAGES & WORDS © 2023 Echo Newspaper
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram