Murray Moves To Better Protect State Forest

Published on 19 December 2022

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The Shire of Murray says more must be done to preserve or protect the State Forest around the town of Dwellingup.

It comes as the public’s opportunity to comment on the State Government’s draft Forest Management Plan (FMP) draws to an end. The FMP sets out how the State Government plans on managing the forests in the South West in the coming years.

The Shire is calling for the Environmental Protection Authority to formally assess the plan.

Shire President Cr David Bolt said “many within our community tells us they want us to protect and enhance our natural biodiversity, and maximise our natural assets as a driver to encourage tourism.

“They also say they are concerned with the impact of mining, especially close to Dwellingup. This draft plan fails to provide any preservation or protection of the State Forest environment around Dwellingup.”

“We’re asking for the Environmental Protection Authority to formally assess the draft FMP as a Public Environmental Review because the socio-economic impact of mining has not been assessed at all in the draft plan.”

The Shire has been liaising closely with a range of stakeholders including Alcoa, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Officers, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), and residents of Dwellingup and the surrounding areas through the Dwellingup Community Compact and subsidiary, the Dwellingup Protection Group.

“Important state and national assets need maintaining for all Australians. But without setting aside permanent buffers and exclusion zones, key areas of biodiversity, water catchment, heritage and recreational values will be lost as they are subjected to increased threat from current and future mining pressure. The Shire is seeking certainty and ongoing protection of these areas now and into the future,” said Cr Bolt.

The Shire of Murray is also:

  • requesting the Conservation and Parks Commission/DBCA give the Dwellingup community aspirations for establishment of a Dwellingup Discovery Forest serious consideration
  • seeking a commitment from DBCA to address weed management concerns raised by the community in and around Dwellingup
  • reiterating to DBCA the urgency in progressing with the Reserve Bills for presentation to Parliament in order to offer increased protection to Lane Poole Reserve from a variety of potentially incompatible competing uses, reclassifying some areas to National Park.
  • implementing a guideline for best practice rehabilitation/regeneration of FMP areas after they have been disturbed, and carry out further research to develop best practice regeneration of disturbed areas to further enhance biodiversity.
  • supporting a mining exclusion buffer zone to prevent degradation of forest vistas and amenity as viewed from major highway and scenic routes such as Pinjarra-Williams Road, Del Park Road, Nanga Road and other key local tourist routes.

Public comment on the Draft FMP closed on December 18th 2022.