Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Environment Matters

Perth Scarp Further Quarrying Process Under Question

The City of Swan have on its agenda for Wednesday December 12 a vote on the extension of Quarrying operation in the Perth Darling Scarp.

This vote is to continue a process set in motion by Minister for Environment and Water Bill Marmion that overruled an EPA recommendation.

An important part of the political process is to have confidence in the institutions that are structured in the community to ensure due process, independence and provide competent advice.

The potential quarry extension area is located in the Susannah Valley, near the 'Darling Range Regional Park' in the Valley now a Class A Reserve, this being the most protected class of public land in West Australia.

The area is mined by International Group Hanson and the expansion plans consisted of two areas to wanting to be expanded into within this area northeast of Perth in the Hills area.

One of areas sought for expansion for further mining was rejected and is not proceeding.

The second expansion area was recommended to not proceed by the EPA, however, in a somewhat unexplained set of circumstances Liberal Minister Marmion has rejected the EPA recommendation and approved the expanded mining operation in this Perth City region.

The project has had a number of objections, including 79 local residents lodging such, and a petition lodged in the Legislative Council of the Parliament of West Australia. A relatively high number considering the lack of public knowledge about the project.

The last requirement, or huddle, for the project to proceed, despite the EPA recommendation not too commence, is to get a quarry licence from the City of Swan.

WalkGPS have been trying to bring the matter to the attention of the public, however, projects like this often fail to attract mainstream media attention.

WalkGPS have a considerable amount of information on the environment, process and concerns online here.

Some of the concerns with this project are that the EPA on which professional and scientific recommendations are made have been overridden by a politician, with no comprehensive explanation that we can locate.

Additionally arguments that have been used by Premier Barnett as to why James Price Point is viable and a good option appear to contradict this project and its approval.

Where politicians enter the arena and override agencies setup to give quality advice and recommendation the voting public must be allowed to use due diligence to investigate and undertstand the reasoning behind such a decision.

The #wa2013vote website will be kept online so politicians promises and statements can be checked until the end of next WA election in 2017, and after.