The Busselton community is up in arms at the planning approval issued for a petrol station adjacent to the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands. Last month the joint development advisory panel issued planning approval for the $2.8 million 24-hour service station and drive-through at lot 16 West Street. The site is on the same road as another petrol station, approved by the City of Busselton only six months ago. Since then community members have flooded social media with their disapproval for the project. Busselton’s Maidie Brockman has urged the community to speak up to council and local member Libby Mettam to try stop the project before it begins. “We don’t need anymore petrol stations as it is but then in addition why does it need to be on the edge of the wetland system, it’s already threatened as it is,” she said. “One small incident and these will be destroyed, we’ve seen it in other places and it’s just not worth the risk.” Last year the wetland system reached its 30th anniversary as a recognised wetland of international importance, protected under the Ramsar Convention. Convenor of the Busselton Dunsborough Environment Centre Craig Sisson said it was this protection which called for Federal intervention on the project. “Other service stations have had to get approval from the Federal environmental protection authority and had to put monitoring wells around the site for contamination, so why does this project not need them,” he said. “Run-off fuel and such will destroy the wetlands and we all know petrol stations always have spillage on the ground.” For the Federal EPA to investigate a project it must receive a referral by the person or organisation proposing to take action if they believe the action will have, or is likely to have, a significant impact on a matter protected by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. A Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment spokesperson confirmed to the Times it had not received a referral under the Act for the project. “The department takes compliance with the EPBC Act seriously and investigates alleged breaches,” he said. “The department has been notified of the proposed action by a third party and has contacted Apex Planning to ensure that they are aware of the obligations under the EPBC Act.” The project will now be placed in the hands of the City of Busselton to oversee conditions on the planning approval are met before construction.