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State Government strategy to protect Perth's bushland
26/12/2000 10:30 AM
More than 50,000ha of Perth’s bushland will be permanently protected under the State Government’s Bush Forever strategy released today.
In launching Bush Forever, Planning Minister Graham Kierath and Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes said the strategy was the biggest of its kind in Australia and would protect 18 per cent of remnant bushland in the Perth metropolitan area.
Mr Kierath said the $100 million strategy would preserve almost 300 bushland sites stretching north from Two Rocks, east to Darlington and South to Serpentine.
“The objective is to ensure that in every suburb there are reserves that the community can enjoy - effectively having a little piece of Kings Park in everyone’s backyard,” he said.
Mrs Edwardes said Perth was fortunate to still have pockets of bushland throughout the city and the Bush Forever strategy would ensure they were protected for future generations.
Bush Forever, formerly called Perth’s Bushplan during the planning stages, has been developed with widespread community consultation and exhaustive investigation of potential sites.
Mr Kierath said that including privately owned sites, comprising about five per cent of the strategy, had involved paying some land owners compensation and negotiating partial development outcomes with others.
Mrs Edwardes said that about 19,000ha would be protected for conservation purposes for the first time under the implementation of the Bush Forever strategy.
“To be a success, Bush Forever had to strike a balance between the conservation and development needs of Perth,” Mr Kierath said.
“Neither the conservationists nor the developers got everything they wanted which demonstrates that both have had to compromise and find common ground for the benefit of the community.”
Mrs Edwardes said Bush Forever also delivered on the Government’s commitment to prepare a strategic plan for conservation, identified in the 1995 Urban Bushland Strategy.
“Perth’s biodiversity is already one of the highest recorded in any major city in the world and Bush Forever will ensure it will be retained,” she said.
“It is important this strategy has been able to save almost a fifth of Perth’s remnant bushland on the Swan Coastal plain and still provide planning certainty for future development.”
Mr Kierath said no other city in Australia had ever done anything on this scale.
“This strategy puts Western Australia at the forefront of world cities in conserving their biodiversity,” he said.
“Bush Forever has followed World Conservation Union guidelines and will be implemented by an advisory body with representatives from scientific, conservation and development interests.”
Mr Kierath said the State Government was committed to supporting the development of local bushland strategies and will be providing a series of implementation measures to help local government in managing local bushland.
The selection criteria used to identify Bush Forever sites included:
size, shape and condition of the land, with preference give to largely undisturbed areas;
areas that contain rare or threatened communities or species;
areas of high diversity of flora and/or fauna species or communities in close association;
conservation of wetlands with regionally significant vegetation; and -
the relationship to other areas and land use zoning constraints.
Zac Donovan on 9213 6400
Steve Manchee on 9421 7777