Public Meeting Notes

Bindaring Vision Public Meeting
Wednesday 4 April 2012
Bassendean Community Hall

Meeting opened at 7.36pm
41 people in attendance

Meeting Notes

Kylie Turner opened the meeting, welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending

Kylie introduced Jane Bremmer, a long term resident of Bassendean.
Jane Bremmer read a letter on behalf of the Swan River People Native Title Holders, the legally registered traditional owners of the land, requesting the Bindaring Vision group meet with the traditional owners on site to discuss their concerns in development of the plans for the land.
The traditional owners are concerned about any excavation, changing of the river levels, installation of pathways, boardwalks, and the need for recognition of their sacred site.
The Bindaring Vision representatives agreed that a meeting with the traditional owners should happen.

Kylie introduced Paul Bridges, long term local resident, former Councillor and President of the Bassendean Historical Society
Paul spoke about the history of Bindaring Park, the area it is bounded by and displayed an original 1829 map of Bassendean
He then proceeded through the development of the park area through the past 180 years
He showed the development of the park and the inflow and catchment areas for Bindaring Park
The early plans show that the catchment / brook extended all the way through to the area north of the railway line
Paul described the development of Town Planning Scheme 4A.  A respected town planner was engaged by the Town of Bassendean to look at the empty land around the Town and prepare a planning scheme, including development potential of the land (prior to the R-Codes)
Paul identified some issues/concerns – the Hyland Street route is used as a bus route, and access needs to be maintained to the Evans land
Paul displayed the original 1991 Bindaring Vision plan by the Bassendean Preservation Group
Some differences were identified to the meeting
One of these changes was the movement of a portion of land that was transferred to the south side for group home development
Paul spoke about the values that the current Bindaring Vision group considered important in the development of the Vision
A comparison of the 1981 scheme and today’s scheme shows that we have already lost land to housing
The final Bindaring Vision plan as released to the public in September 2011 introduces some new aspects – floating fish platforms, identifying areas of salt and fresh water, nature based playgrounds and boardwalks
None of these items are fixed; it is all open for public comment and discussion
Paul showed some media articles as an example of the nature based playground
12 key issues identified by the Bindaring Vision group were:
– Cost and potential grant funding
– Conserving existing ecosystems
– Removing a portion of Hyland Street
– Access to the house/R25 site off Hyland Street
– Options for the relocation of the bus route
– Purchase of the remaining portions of private land
– Indigenous considerations – fire stick farming, ground disturbance
– Removing fill and possible contaminants
– Weeds and invasive species
– Possibility of acid sulphate soils
– Introducing a permanent lake using river water and salt issues
– Mosquito controls
Costs and funding – all to be identified and worked through, including grant funding

Download a copy of Paul’s presentation to the meeting here (Size: 7MB)

Kylie introduced Brad Brown
Brad spoke about his background
Brad spoke about the background of the river, and the changes in the course of the river identified by the remnant areas
Brad presented some observations on the Park
The Bindaring Park is what’s known as an ‘ox bow lake’, charged in winter and spring, dries out in late summer
Concerns include that it is a complete redevelopment plan, not a protection plan
The introduction of brackish water into the wetland can reverse the present flow of water, as well as the change in chemistry of the water and biodiversity of the wetlands
The removal of material can affect the stands of tea trees and understory
Removal of the clay layer can affect the separation of brackish water and fresh water
Construction of boardwalks is where dense stands of trees presently grow. Increase in number of people and animals/dogs can influence/jeopardise the current behaviour of the animals currently living in the Park
Brad discussed his likes and dislikes about the Plan
Engagement with the stakeholders is vitally important
People only found out by accident about this meeting, and may be surprised to hear about this plan for their backyards
Short term – education of the community
Long term
Identify biodiversity of the region
Develop flora, fauna, land and water management plan to protect unique and fragile environment
Develop ongoing management plan
Kylie thanked Brad for his feedback

Download a copy of Brad’s presentation to the meeting here (Size: 2MB)

Joyce discussed how the original group came about, because we saw that there weren’t any plans or proposals to preserve this unique bit of land, and we can’t rely on anybody but ourselves to preserve this wetland

Deputy Mayor Gerry Pule said he was very encouraged by what he heard, this displays the ownership of the issue by the people

Kylie opened the floor to questions on the Plan

Question from Mick
Would the contour plan be similar for the north end of the park?
Brad – Yes, a lot of the fill in the wetland would be natural

Question from Greg
Has the boardwalk at the Ashfield Flats been detrimental to the animals and birdlife in that area?
Brad – No, because the boardwalk is right up against the river, whereas the proposed Bindaring boardwalk would be right through the centre of the park. There is also dense foliage at Ashfield to shelter the bird life

Question to Brad
If you’re not in favour of the flushing of the wetland by the river, how do you stop algae blooms developing?
Brad – the wetland deals with that by drying out for most of the year, which stops the development of the bloom.  With the small channels in to the wetland, it would provide constant water which wouldn’t flush out the system, and silt up very quickly. You are also changing the ecosystem from a wetland that dries out every five months, to an area that is permanently wet.  It means different range of plants and animals

Question from Bevan
Brooke Street – what would happen if it was blocked off
Brad – it would completely change the composition of the wetlands

Question from resident
Concern about the closure of Hyland Street, impacts on people and access in emergencies and to the community. With many of the roads closed, the local residents would need to be assured that they could safely and comfortably access the rest of Bassendean
Kylie/Paul – It is an important issue, and we need the input from local residents to work on a solution. Access in a flood would automatically be cut off through Hyland Street, so you would still need to use North Rd or Bassendean Parade

Comment from Steve
Great idea, noble, a lot of passion and commitment. Seems to get into a lot of detail, and importantly now needs the input of the traditional owners.  Where do we go from here, is there a timeframe
Kylie – no definite timeline for the proposal.  Since science has been such a big issue tonight, it’s something we’re going to have to look at seriously, but more importantly to get the communities input and feedback

Kylie discussed the vision so far, and the idea of tonight’s meeting was to put forward the idea and genuinely get the communities feedback and listen to what they had to say

Joyce commented that it a brilliant idea, and very important to put something positive forward.  No reason why anybody can’t be involved in taking the idea forward with the bigger group

Question from resident
Is the land identified on the TPS under threat?
Kylie – Yes, three times over the past 10 years there has been plans to redevelop/rezone parts of the area from ‘Parks and Recreation’ to ‘Residential’. On each occasion it has been opposed. Historically the Council has had a number of positions on the Park.

Question from resident
Other issues – what considerations have been made about water flows and water filtration. Working in substrate filtration into the plan
Brad – if the Department of Planning is going to reject the proposal, then an alternative may be to go through the Department of Environment, you can progress things by having different plans in place

Question from Ken
Concern over the sewerage pumping station, the impacts of any issue with the sewerage plant i.e. overflow into the wetlands; and concern over the bus route

Kylie introduced Jane Bremmer – to discuss chemical pest management in the park
Jane raised the concerns of the native title holders and about being involved in the concept stage of the plan
Raised the idea of a ‘Friends’ group to look after the park, including protection of the park, weeding and looking after the park
The native title holders do not support the use of chemical sprays in the parkland. They are concerned about the recent spraying of Bindaring Park with a herbicide called ‘Targa’ by the Town of Bassendean, as it is contains components that are carcinogenic, and is toxic to fish and vertebrates. It was also a high wind day and could be smelled at the local primary school
There are some great examples of Friends wetlands groups to help preserve and look after areas without relying on chemicals.

Information on chemicals from Jane Bremmer:

Targa: Material Safety Data Sheet, Label Information

Fusilade: Label Information

Comment from Heinrich
Brad’s comment appeared to be regarding almost an earlier iteration of the plan, like he has taken a step back and taken a broader view, but it seems to be in general agreement with the idea. There appears to be general consensus to do something with the park, and to get a way forward.

Kylie stated that there seems to be fairly general agreement that doing something with Bindaring is a good idea
Kylie thanked everyone again for coming along.  There is also an opportunity to fill in the online survey to register your comments
Encourage everyone to talk more about the plan

Comment from Moss
There needs to be a way to communicate amongst the people to keep them informed, not just the original visionaries but as a wider group

Kylie said that we appreciate there are people who would like to have input into the plan, but we’d like that to be resolved with greater involvement by the community, and other people with a range of skills to get involved.
There was wide agreement to be more involved

Comment from resident
Is there a way to get more involved, in particular with feedback about what’s happening down at the Park, whether it’s by a committee or just a message or website feedback.

Paul suggested the use of 1 Surrey Street as a meeting place for the group

Question from resident
Is there a way to get more involved with action down at the park, eg weeding, taking care of the Park, maybe in conjunction with the traditional owners
Kylie/Paul – The Bassendean Preservation Group does those activities and can work with people to do some work at the Park, we’ll let people know when the next meeting is.

Link to the Bassendean Preservation Group website

Kylie closed the meeting and invited everyone to partake in refreshments


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