Letter to the Editor: Smiths Beach Project concerns still loom large for Yalingup community
In relation to the article “Project seeks to allay fears” (Times, 6/8), I would like to clarify that I am in no way reassured about Adrian Fini’s proposal for Smiths Beach.
His claims that a larger footprint will result in less clearing of vegetation are at best uneducated, at worst an attempt to deliberately mislead the community about the ecological benefits of his so-called “landscape first” approach for this development.
This site contains unique vegetation, some reported as occurring nowhere else in the world or in only one other location.
As an experienced bushfire consultant and ecologist from this region, I am well aware most, if not all of the development footprint will be required to be managed to Asset Protection Zone standards forever.
This involves extensive clearing of vegetation, with what’s left required to be maintained as managed gardens.
This is not retention of the high-quality vegetation within the site, as the Smiths Beach Project website states.
Extending the development footprint is also against previous recommendations by the Environmental Protection Authority, which recommended that the development footprint be reduced to preserve visual amenity and for conservation of regionally significant vegetation.
I am concerned the environment and our community will be the big losers from the “landscape first” approach Mr Fini is advocating.
We would like to see plans with a smaller and more realistic footprint that actually retains vegetation.
Ecologist, bushfire consultant and Wildflower Society of WA spokesperson
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