Today’s announcement that the Beeliar Wetlands will be listed as a ‘Class A’ Reserve is an incredibly welcome and hard-earned victory for the thousands of people who have campaigned to see this rare and fragile wetland protected.
By according these wetlands the state’s highest level of environmental protection the McGowan Labor Government has delivered on its promise to properly conserve the Beeliar wetlands.
Three years ago there was an amazing effort by thousands of people to resist the bloody-minded vandalism of the Barnett government which decided in the shadow of a state election to ignore the advice of Main Roads WA and waste $20 million of taxpayers funds to knock over 100 hectares of banksia woodland.
Thankfully that folly and arrogance was put to an end on 17 March 2017, and what a difference good government makes. Instead of an eye-wateringly expensive and environmentally harmful private toll road to nowhere, we now see a range of smart transport projects across my electorate, reducing congestion and increasing freight on rail, with strong budget management and the proper protection of environmental and community values.
I have shared the effort to see these wetlands protected, campaigning alongside my community for more than a decade in both my local government and federal representative roles. I want to acknowledge all those who have campaigned for more than a quarter-century to see this magic place protected, especially local Noongar leaders and traditional owners, and those community members who have organised and led groups at the frontline of the struggle.
In Western Australia, Class A reserve classification provides the highest degree of protection and is used solely to protect areas of appropriately high conservation or high community value.