Preserving bushland walking trails

An article by journalist Madelin Hayes in the 20 June issue of the Sunday Times newspaper (‘Outdoor Explorer!’ supplement, p. 10) included a warning from HikeWest President & Acting Executive Officer Dave Osborne about the continuing toll of bauxite mining expansions on forested walk areas close to Perth, outside of the national parks.  In his comments Mr Osborne stresses the importance of the community becoming engaged in the upcoming public review of the current major expansion proposal affecting the Northern Jarrah Forest near Perth. See full article here.

The EPA has advised that Alcoa’s Environmental Review Document (ERD) in support of its proposed major acceleration and expansion of mining between Jarrahdale and Dwellingup will be released on 10 Dec. 2021 for an 8-week public review period (ends 10 Feb. 2022).  The ERD is required to address Visual Amenity and Social Surroundings which includes impacts on recreation and traditional bushwalking areas. HikeWest hopes the EPA will respond to requests to amend the timeframe and duration of the scheduled review period to avoid the peak annual holiday period and so help to ensure adequate community engagement in the process. See proposal info here.

A much wider review of the future of the Northern Jarrah Forest is also needed however. Such a review would allow the public to become aware of the full environmental and social implications of the ongoing mining expansions across the extensive mining leases covering around 10,000 sq km of the Darling Range.

The WA Forest Alliance will be conducting a tour of the Northern Jarrah Forests on 24-25 July 2021 to build community awareness of the immediate threats to our forests from logging and from the proposed bauxite mining expansions near Jarrahdale and Dwellingup. A great opportunity to see first-hand what’s happening. Register online.

Meanwhile the State Govt has launched an online survey to gather community views on the uses and values of our forests, ahead of the development of the next Forest Management Plan (2024-2033). Aspects to be considered include environmental and social amenity issues, including recreation and nature-tourism. The survey is now open and closes on Sunday 1 August.

(Posted 30 June 2021.)

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