Fight to protect Greenpatch

South West Environment Centre's Phil Harbour, Save Dalyellup Tuart Bushland's Kerry Bemrose  and wildlife carer Doreen Jones with a rescued Western Ringtail possum on site at Greenpatch.
South West Environment Centre's Phil Harbour, Save Dalyellup Tuart Bushland's Kerry Bemrose and wildlife carer Doreen Jones with a rescued Western Ringtail possum on site at Greenpatch.

Greens South West MLC Diane Evers, has tabled a petition from Dalyellup residents opposing the development of units on state-owned land in Greenpatch.

It included 538 signatures calling for the natural area of this site to be retained and included in the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park, which directly abuts the land.

Ms Evers said the proposed plan, by developers the Satterley Group, seeks to bulldoze the existing 22.5 hectares of green space to build 213 new residential lots, which, if it came into effect, would destroy an area of high conservation value and would not safeguard the existing biodiversity.

The sentiments have been echoed by Save Dalyellup Tuart Bushland spokesperson Kerry Bemrose, who said keeping the area as a bushland linkage to the coast would preserve fauna located in the area, such as critically endangered western ringtail possums and three species of endangered black cockatoos.

“It has been internationally recognised that in just the past 10 years the population numbers of the western ringtails have dropped by 80 per cent and yet here we are, with 22 hectares of prime possum habitat earmarked for clearing and development,” she said.

“The site also contains tuart woodland vegetation that is currently being assessed federally as being critically endangered.”

Ms Evers said that adding Greenpatch to the plans for the new regional park, for which the Government has recently allocated $10.5 million, would be an ideal solution to protect the land, while continuing to provide a buffer for nearby sewage and waste facilities.

“In the interim, it is important that the Government considers the petition and does not act rashly in giving the green light for the proposal,” she said.

The petition was tabled in mid-August, a few weeks before WA celebrated National Threatened Species Day last week.

“In 1996, on the 60th anniversary of the last Tasmanian tiger’s death, September 7 was declared ‘National Threatened Species Day’ – a time to reflect on what happened to the thylacine and how similar fates could await other native plants and animals unless action is taken,” Ms Bemrose said.

“It’s an opportune time to remember that the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park is home to more than 600 species of flora and 180 species of fauna, many of which are listed as endangered.”