This morning we headed along to the Bibra Lake Protest Rally against Roe 8 at the public area on Progress Drive. Despite the stifling heat, thousands of people turned up to protest against the Perth Freight Link Project and the Roe 8 highway extension.
It was an awesome turnout and I hope it goes a long way in showing the State Government how so many people are furious about the proposed Roe 8 highway extension being built through the stunning wetlands of Beeliar Regional Park - which would impact on the homes and breeding areas of its native wildlife, including more than 160 species of birds, endangered Carnaby's Black Cockatoos among them.
Okay, I know it is not often that I post about things like this. But this project makes me angry. This is not progress. This is a poorly planned, $1.6 billion Perth infrastructure project that is going to negatively impact on hundreds of Perth families as well as our state’s most special wetlands.
I love to go down to Bibra Lake to run with Nala. The lakes are a part of Perth that you visit and you feel like you could have gone back in time. It is no surprise they contain numerous sacred Aboriginal sites. There is something magnificent and calming about them.
While I feel sad that the Roe 8 highway extension will have a negative impact on numerous quiet, family friendly suburbs, to me what is even worse is that it will permanently damage some of our city's last and most precious remaining wetlands, and the homes of the amazing wildlife that live here. The Beeliar Wetlands are home to turtles, bobtail lizards, quendas, bats, frogs, brushtailed possums, frogs, micro-bats as well as many other reptiles, amphibians and mammals.
They’re also home to more than 160 species of birds (some very rare) including owls, black swans, Little Eagles, Tawny Frogmouths, galahs, Elegant Parrots, Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Laughing Kookaburras and New Holland Honeyeaters. A friend of mine who works at the Bibra Lake Animal Rescue Centre is continually seeing a stream of birds and other wildlife handed in to the centre.
The wetlands are also one of the last remaining habitats we have for the beautiful and endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. The Freight Link will destroy around 100 hectares of natural bushland, much of it the trees the cockatoos use for food and nesting. The wetlands should have a high priority conservation status. Yet the State Government is still trying to charge ahead with their destructive plans.
The controversial project would encompass Roe 8, a 5km extension of Roe Highway from Kwinana Freeway to just west of Coolbellup Avenue that will cut through some of our last remaining wetlands. It also encompasses ‘Section 2’, what Main Roads are calling ‘upgrades’ to Stock Road, Leach Highway, Stirling Highway and High Street. These “upgrades” would entail demolishing at least 20 houses in Palmyra in what some distraught locals are calling a real-life version of The Castle.
I hate Roe 8. An ‘initiative’ that pours concrete over beautiful Beelier Wetlands is not one created with foresight. If Roe 8 goes ahead, it will be the kind of thing generations of the future will look back on in disbelief and go, “What the hell were they thinking?”
The Beeliar and Bibra Lake wetlands are valuable and special sites that deserve conservation status. Ploughing a whopping great superhighway in there? Really backward.
There’s still time to stop the work so if you see a petition about, please sign it. You can also sign online.
Social media? Hashtag #roe8 #rethinkthelink #saynotoroe #savebeeliarwetlands