Main Roads’ proposal to build the northern and central sections of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road has been recommended for environmental approval.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has completed its assessment of the 19 kilometre freeway, recommending it may be implemented but with conditions that include the mitigation of impacts on the local western ringtail possum.
EPA Chair Dr Tom Hatton said the proposal occurred within predominately cleared land, and would involve clearing 92 hectares (ha) of native vegetation within a 625 ha development envelope.
“For this assessment, the EPA has looked at the impacts that the Northern and Central sections would have on local fauna and recommended an offset strategy be submitted within twelve months to counterbalance impacts to the western ringtail possum, black cockatoos and threatened ecological communities,” Dr Hatton said.
“Central to the Authority’s assessment was the need to ensure the local population of western ring tail possums is maintained. The EPA is also supportive of Main Roads’ measures to install local fauna crossings.
“During the assessment Main Roads proposed a number of changes to further avoid and minimise impacts in sensitive areas,” Dr Hatton said.
“Noise mitigation measures proposed by Main Roads, including interchange design modifications, road resurfacing and the construction of noise walls and treatment of certain houses were noted by the EPA with a recommendation that consultation is ongoing with residents regarding noise reduction.”
Bunbury Outer Ring Road Northern and Central Section connects the Forrest Highway at Kingston to the South Western Highway in the Shire of Capel.
The EPA’s report on Bunbury Outer Ring Road Northern and Central Sections to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing 13 July 2020. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au.
The EPA is assessing the environmental impacts of the Southern Section proposal separately, which will be available for eight weeks public review later in 2020.
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision on the proposal. EPA Report 1682 Bunbury Outer Ring Road Northern and Central Section is available here.
EPA Media Contact: Jayne Rickard on 0400 866 450