Gelorup’s residents are set to face a tough battle in the coming months and years, with many community members vehemently against Main Roads’s current Bunbury Outer Ring Road proposal.
A group of residents staged a protest outside Member for Forrest Nola Marino’s office in Bunbury’s CBD on Monday, September 3.
The group’s signs displayed passionate messages, while their chants could be heard up and down Victoria Street.
They have called for Main Roads to consider an alternative route for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road proposal.
The residents claim the current plan would eventually cause crippling planning, social, and environmental problems.
They would like for the road to go around the Gelorup bush corridor in order to save 757 forest trees from being cut down.
According to the group, the Western Ringtail Possum, Banksia Woodlands, and three species of Black Cockatoo will be threatened if the current plan goes ahead.
Campaigner and Gelorup community representative Rosina Mogg has fought to protect the area for the past 19 years.
“We would like to see a plan for future growth,” she said.
“All we’re asking for is to be consulted properly. We understand that better plans are needed in the future.”
Pawel Mrugalski has lived proudly in Gelorup for the past four years.
He asserted that the community to did not wish to be ignored.
“There are better ways of designing the road and we want to bring that to the attention of Nola Marino,” he said.
Main Roads conducted community consultation sessions with residents on the northern and Southern sides earlier this week.
A Main Roads spokesperson said community consultation was high on the organisation’s list of priorities, and that they hoped to minimise the plan’s impact on Gelorup residents.
“Stakeholder and community engagement is continuing with landowners, communities of interest, local government authorities and State Government agencies,” they said.
“During 2018 and 2019, we will work with all key stakeholders to discuss project issues and minimise potential impacts, including environmental, heritage (Indigenous and European), social and economic impacts.
“The Bunbury Outer Ring Road Southern Section Community Reference Group is scheduled to meet on several more occasions between now and August 2019 and will help to identify issues and opportunities to inform the project’s planning and development process.”
Main Roads have said the current route would likely be secured in early 2019.
Under former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the Federal Government allotted $560 million in funding to the project earlier this year.
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