Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti will reintroduce legislation to State Parliament today to amend the Metropolitan Region Scheme and rezone the Beeliar Wetlands.
During its first term of government, the McGowan Government listened to the community and stopped the Liberal Party’s flawed Perth Freight Link from proceeding and destroying the wetlands.
In May 2020, the McGowan Government delivered its commitment to protect the wetlands, turning it into an A-Class conservation reserve – giving it the highest level of environmental protection.
Funding set aside for the flawed Perth Freight Link was diverted to other major job-creating, congestion busting road and rail projects – many of which are completed or underway.
The Metropolitan Region Scheme (Beeliar Wetlands) Bill 2021 will rezone approximately 34 hectares from a Primary Regional Roads reserve to a Parks and Recreation reserve.
Legislation is a mechanism reserved for planning matters of State or regional significance and will ensure this area is protected from development forever.
With a location for the new container port now confirmed for Kwinana, work is well underway for planning for a primary east-west freight corridor along Anketell and Thomas roads.
Legislation to change the zoning of the land was passed by the Legislative Assembly but was not supported by the Legislative Council during the last term of government.
As stated by Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We went to the 2017 election with a comprehensive plan for freight and trade for Western Australia.
“We are implementing this plan, including planning for a new port in Kwinana, moving more freight onto rail and not proceeding with the flawed Perth Freight Link Plan.
“As a result, we can move to preserve the Beeliar Wetlands for future generations.
“We introduced legislation in the last Parliament which passed the Legislative Assembly.
“Now we have been returned to Government, again with a mandate to pass this important legislation and we are getting on with the job.
“With this Bill, we are finishing the job and delivering on our commitment to protect the Beeliar Wetlands for future generations.”
As stated by Lands Minister Tony Buti:
“In recent times we have seen a renewed appreciation for accessible bushland for hiking, running and simply enjoying nature.
“Once again, we heard from the Western Australian community at the recent election how much they value these important wetlands and want them protected from future development.
“We have listened and are introducing legislation to rezone the land so it can no longer be used to construct a useless road, and must instead be retained for parks and recreation purposes.”
As stated by Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“The Beeliar Wetlands are a beautiful part of WA and we want to make sure they can be enjoyed by the community for many years to come.
“We’ve already granted the wetlands the highest level of environmental protection available by turning it into an A-Class conservation reserve. This Bill strengthens that protection and ensures this fragile ecosystem is safeguarded from future development.
“This builds on our key election commitment to contribute $3 million to deliver a new boardwalk, viewing platform and additional revegetation works at the wetlands.”