DID YOU KNOW THAT A RETIREMENT VILLAGE WAS TO HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED ON WHAT LOCALS CALL 'THE WALKWAY', BACK IN 1994? IT TOOK A BAND OF TENACIOUS SWANNIE RESIDENTS A YEAR AND A HALF TO HALT THE PROCESS AND WIN BACK THE TUARTS AND MARRIS THAT STAND SO MAGNIFICENTLY ON THE WALKWAY TODAY.
Swanbourne has borne many changes in the past ten years. The West Coast Highway has been constructed, and on the western side of Swanbourne, the little old fibro houses have slowly been replaced with larger modern homes. People have come and gone and newcomers to the area may be unaware of the happenings of the past.
In brief, the Friends of Allen Park community group emerged as a result of a crisis. Early December 1993, 5 residents adjoining the walkway/ cycleway (between Wood Street bend and Sayer Street) received a letter from the council giving preliminary notice about a proposed development of the site. A week later a councillor showed plans of 2 different concepts to these people. A public meeting was called on the 13th December, with 44 people attending (and 10 apologies). On the 22nd December, a petition was signed on the walkway, requesting that the council did not proceed any further until a special electors meeting was held. The meeting was held on 24th January 1994 and 50 people attended. Submissions to preserve the walkway were received.
At this point a residents' consultative committee was formed, which then became the Friends of Allen Park (FOAP). The purpose of the group was to establish a community view of the use of public land in the Allen Park vicinity, and to promote genuine consultation about current land use and issues between the community and the council. The FOAP sought amendment to the Town Planning Scheme as the use of the walkway was so apparent that it ought to have been included into the Parks and Recreation Reserve, and not to be developed as a "retirement village" for the over 55's. Although the Sayer Street site was designated in 1977 as a crown grant for the purpose of homes for the aged, it had not been used for that purpose within a reasonable time frame. This scheme did not meet the criteria.
Over the next 10 months the FOAP and council were at loggerheads. Dissatisfaction with council over its proceeding with the proposed $14.5 million development, regardless of community concern, the FOAP grew in numbers. It also became apparent that a few councillors had a vested interest in the project, and that a deal had been made - a management agency had been appointed without going through the tender process. This led to a meeting with Paul Omodei, the Minister for Local Government to express concern that all aspects of the process were dubious. The Minister later requested the council needed majority approval of ratepayers (citywide) to go ahead with plans for development. A solicitor was engaged by some locals to investigate and expose the flawed administration by the council. On the 22nd December 1994, a Supreme Court injunction was granted against council preventing an agreement on the management of the village taking place.
On the 23rd, the FOAP overturned the sign on the walkway. The saga came to an end when on the 27th March 1995, Nedlands Council, by then under enormous scrutiny, collapsed due to the resignation of 7 councillors. The Minister then appointed as an interim measure an Administrator, John Gilfellon, to undertake the duties of Council. On election of the new Council the project was thrown out. Since then the walkway has been rezoned as recreational.
In the meantime the FOAP has flourished and accomplished extensive bush regeneration work in the different sectors of Allen Park north and south of Sayer Street. Bushland activities became more formalised, and managed by what later became the FOAPBG Inc (full name). A Management Plan was adopted in 1996 and a proportion of Allen Park was included in the National Trust of Australia (WA) List of Classified Places.
We aim to preserve a special pocket of coastal bushland in Swanbourne with a view to regenerate degraded areas, control erosion, remove exotic species, protect wildlife by improving the habitat for fauna, flora and fungi.
Amidst Dryandra shrubland, beds of pink Fairy Orchids, red Cocky's Tongue and yellow Acacias form a part of this natural birdlife sanctuary, housing amongst other, Swanbourne's native birds of prey. Peregrine Falcons, Brown Goshawks, Black-shouldered Kites, Barn Owls and Boobook Owls nest in old-world Tuarts and Marris.
Vegetation on the Reserve ranges from coastal foredune to open Tuart woodland with some marri and Jarrah remnants of the Eastern boundaries.
Without people who care, this local treasure would have already been lost forever to commercial development. Friends of Allen Park meet on Tuesday mornings, and the first Saturday of every month for hands-on bushland regeneration within Allen park Coastal Reserve.
If you'd like to be part of a friendly group of Locals working to preserve this precious bushland environment contact us. Friends of Allen Park is a voluntary group that relies on community support from people like you !
Between 2012 and 2014 we received two grants from Lotterywest to improve entry to the bushland and provide interpretive signage. During 2014 we completed the installations at the third and fourth entry points to the bushland, incorporating colourful tiles representing biodiversity, created by students from Swanbourne Primary School.
Allen Park is located in Swanbourne, in Perth's western suburbs. The Allen Park bushland comprises approximately 8 hectares, some 40% of the Park's total area. The whole park is within 1km of the Indian ocean and stretches inland from the coastal foredunes, through coastal heath and open tuart-peppermint woodland to the eastern fringe including jarrah and large marri trees some hundred years old. The dominant landscape feature of the park is Melon Hill, a 40m high dune with magnificent 360 degree views including Rottnest Island and the city of Perth.
Until 1991, Melon Hill was utilised as part of the coastal defence system.A concrete pillbox installation was remove and the area became reserved for public purposes, but remains Commonwealth land under management by the Department of Defence.
The Allen Park bushland provides linkages and corridors to adjacent and nearby bushland. BushForever site 315 is a critical link between the extensive coastal reserve and Melon Hill. Successive years of funding by NHT between 1997 and 2001 ensured that degraded areas were revegetated to secure linkages between fragmented areas of Allen Park.
Be a part of this friendly group of locals, working hands-on to preserve the precious bushland environment of Allen Park Coastal Reserve. If you or someone you know would like to join in, simply come along or call Lesley or Judy for more info.
If you would like to be kept informed and help preserve and protect the wildlife of Allen Park Reserve, you can become a financial member by making a small tax-deductible donation, receiving quarterly newsletters, invitations to Friends' open days and wildlife awareness walks. Your local wildlife will thank you!
Send us an email at email@example.com
Phone: Lesley: 9384 7983, Judy: 9383 1501
Activity Dates 2017
March 11 (8-10am).
April 1st (9-11am from hereon).
June 10 planting.
June 17 planting.
July 1st planting.
July 15 fungi foray.
September 9th Bushcare's Major Day Out Nightstalk.
November 4th (8-10am).
December 2nd (8-10am).
Also meet on Tuesdays from February to mid December 9-11am.
Welcome to the website for the Whadjuk Trail Network
The Whadjuk network of walking trails lies on Noongar land, connecting remnant bushland areas in the western suburbs of Perth. With links to iconic, heritage and Noongar trails in the area, they offer users a unique experience and appreciation for the land, catering for a large variety of interests. The location of the network of trails resulted from comprehensive input from the community and WESROC member Councils over many years. Trail users will appreciate expansive views from the Indian Ocean to the Perth skyline, while experiencing the diversity of remnant bushland areas so close to the city. Read more...
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