Over the last nine months, the City of Swan has conducted extensive consultation with community, recreational groups, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and local Traditional Custodians on the proposed masterplan of Bells Rapids, one of the City’s most iconic attractions.
The multistep consultation process included an online survey and on Country discussion and knowledge sharing with Traditional Custodians. Together with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Riverbank Program, the City met with Traditional Custodians who speak for this part of Country to seek their guidance on the development of the masterplan.
The City received more than 500 responses from the community detailing why they visit Bells Rapids and their ideas on how to improve the area’s conservation, facilities and recreational opportunities.
The main focus of the community’s feedback was improved access and parking, however, the reserve has been set aside for conservation so environmental and heritage values will play a significant role in planning the layout of facilities.
Bells Rapids is home to several Aboriginal heritage sites and the Traditional Custodians requested to view the area when water levels are low to familiarise themselves with current state of the reserve and its Swan River crossing, vegetation and fire management requirements.
The Traditional Custodians were given a tour of various points in Bells Rapids in December 2021 and shared valuable knowledge on traditional practices, land management and the reserve’s history.
The masterplan aims identify ways to improve the experience for visitors and preserve Bells Rapids’ unique landscape for present and future generations. The City is now in Stage 2 of consultations – seeking feedback from the community on the draft Bells Rapids Masterplan. The Masterplan drawings are available for viewing on the Bells Rapids Masterplan consultation page where additional information and the new survey can also be found.