Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Commerce Matters

Free Kick’s a Foul on Sport Stadium

Greens Statement

The Greens say the news of James Packer’s $35 million discount is the last straw when added to the lack of genuine public consultation and the sidelining of environmental assessment of the pollution risk of development at the Burswood Park golf course to Swan River water quality.

“How much more will this Premier gift to his special friends at the expense of public amenity and risk to our river’s health?” Greens spokesperson on planning, Lynn MacLaren MLC queried.

“It appears that the Premier and Minister Waldron are more familiar with the word ‘gift’ than ‘consult.’

“My office has been contacted by local residents bitterly disappointed that they were not consulted. How can the government justify a massive discount to a billionaire and not have the funds for proper assessments of the site before development?

“For a project of the magnitude of the Burswood Sports Stadium, the Government should be seeking public submissions well before the significant plans and decisions being made.

“Local residents will be most affected by this development, and by the proposal for an extension to the casino and hotel accommodation for Jamie Packer’s high rollers. Residents were informed about the developments that would replace the golf course, the trees and the lakes. They were not consulted, either before or after the event.

“The Environmental Protection Authority’s role in this has been an embarrassment. Despite my appeal, it recently decided not to assess the Burswood Stadium Development. The Authority knows it would have meant a full public review and consultation to determine the impacts of the development.

“The EPA has brushed aside the potential for toxins from the former rubbish tip to leach into the Swan River. Instead, the EPA should have put in place binding conditions to protect the Swan.

“The Swan is a Perth icon. It belongs to all of us and deserves our utmost protection.

“There are already algae blooms and mutated fish in the river near Claisebrook, from when the artificial inlet was created. We can’t afford to let any more contaminants to go into the River.

“The EPA is not doing its job, and neither is the State Government,” Ms MacLaren concluded.

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