EPA recommends protecting natural bushland

Summary: The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended protecting high value natural bushland, declaring the City of Armadale’s bid to build a road through it as environmentally unacceptable.
Release Date: 30 June 2014

Keane Road bushland - EPA site visit May 2014Following a rigorous and thorough environmental impact assessment of the Keane Road Strategic Link, which would cut through a large Bush Forever site, the EPA concluded it could not recommend approval.

EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel said the 1.5 km road between Anstey and Skeet Roads in Forrestdale would be located seven kilometres northwest of Armadale within the unique Swan Coastal Plain Bioregion.

Dr Vogel said the proposal had been scrutinised throughout the Public Environmental Review, which is the highest level of assessment undertaken by the EPA.

While he commended the City of Armadale for its efforts to avoid, minimise or mitigate the risks to the environment, the proposal did not meet the EPA’s objectives for the key environmental factors of Flora and Vegetation, Terrestrial Fauna and Hydrological Processes.

“The EPA carefully examined the Keane Road Strategic Link proposal and despite the City of Armadale’s proposed avoidance, minimisation and mitigation measures, the EPA concluded it could not recommend approval because the road would fragment a highly biologically diverse bushland, impacting on locally and regionally significant environmental values,” Dr Vogel said.

“Cutting through the largely intact natural bushland would impact on the ecological integrity of the reserve through the fragmentation of vegetation communities and the restriction of movement of fauna. The construction of the road would result in changes in hydrological processes to the point where the range and diversity of the microhabitats of the damplands are significantly impacted over time.”

Dr Vogel said the EPA had provided advice in its report, supporting the acquisition of the remaining privately owned Lots within the Bush Forever site and the closure of the road reserve and its amalgamation into the adjoining reserves.

“The EPA has provided this advice because this would allow for the comprehensive long term management, protection and enhancement of the environmental values in the Bush Forever site” Dr Vogel said.

The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing July 14, 2014. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au

The Minister for Environment will make the final decision. If the Minister decides to allow the proposal, the EPA recommends the Minister consult the EPA on what conditions and procedures the proposal should be subject to.

EPA Report 1518 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au

Media Contact: Nadia Miraudo 0400 866 450

Status: Final
Appeals close