The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has found a proposal to extend the State Barrier Fence environmentally acceptable and recommends it could be implemented subject to certain conditions, including measures to protect the western ground parrot.
Releasing a report and recommendations on the 660-kilometre (km) extension of the fence, EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said the Authority had taken a holistic view of the likely impacts of the proposal.
“We have found the likely environmental impacts could be managed if our recommended conditions are implemented by the proponent,” Dr Hatton said.
“These conditions include measures to avoid impacts to the western ground parrot habitat, including changes to the materials used in the fence construction. As the western ground parrot is critically endangered, we need to ensure the fence poses no increased impacts to the species.”
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) manages the previously constructed State Barrier Fence, which currently runs from north of Kalbarri to east of Ravensthorpe.
In June 2016 DPIRD (then known as the Department of Agriculture and Food WA) referred its proposal to erect a 660 km, 1.35-metre high extension to the state barrier fence to the EPA. The extension will run from its current termination point (25 km east of Ravensthorpe) north to Salmon Gums, ending east of Esperance, near Cape Arid National Park.
The purpose of the Esperance extension is to protect agriculture from wild invasive animals, such as wild dogs, emus and kangaroos.
The EPA has assessed the proposal and the proponent’s Environmental Review Document (ERD) was subject to a six-week public comment period. The ERD received 2,955 public submissions.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing Monday 10 December 2018. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.
EPA Report 1626 is available at www.epa.wa.gov.au
EPA Media Contact: Vivienne Ryan on 0400 866 450