Posted on July 1, 2012 by Western Suburbs Alliance [Updated December 1, 2012]
Recent research at UWA shows that mental health improves in line with the quality of public space in the neighbourhood and that urban planners and developers should consider this as a priority for achieving mental wellness. So what has the Barnett government done in the last two years? Cleared, or approved for clearing, 50 hectares of bushland in the western suburbs alone. In addition to the clearing of the Underwood Avenue Bush Forever site and Monash Avenue Bushland and trees being cut down for the Churchlands housing development, as Anna Vanderbom reports in a letter to the POST (December 1, 2012), we have seen loss of:
- About 130 trees, including tuarts, at Perry Lakes.
- One hundred and thirty mature trees on Winthrop Avenue and in the lost QEII therapeutic gardens.
- Two hundred pines and hundreds of superb sugar gums in Kings Park for reasons of nicety.
- Thousands of trees in the Cambridge area, including nearly all of its 300 majestic fig trees.
- Almost 300 mature trees to make way for the Wembley Sports Park.
- Remnant bush at the A.K. Reserve on Stephenson Avenue. Mt Claremont.
Despite pleading and lobbying, the Barnett Government displays a total disregard for the natural environment, sustainability and preservation of wildlife corridors. It is only concerned with the developers’ interests. Dr Ron Johnstone, WA Museum Curator of Ornithology, warns that the continued depletion of habitats could lead to the extinction of black cockatoos and that the birds feeding in the banksias in the Underwood Bushland are the last surviving flock in the western suburbs. Premier Barnett apparently knows better, saying that the threat to the “so-called endangered species” by clearing this bushland is “grossly exaggerated.” “Environment Minister” Bill Marmion is in a similar state of denial. And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse . . . it did, at Elizabeth Quay. Continue reading