Community Groups Ramp up Opposition to Dune Roads
New Umbrella Group Leads Major Campaign in Election Lead-up
Community groups are stepping up efforts to block the construction of major roads through protected sand dunes at Scarborough Beach.
The move comes after documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) reveal that Stirling City Council and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) have ignored widespread community opposition to the planned road extensions to the north and south of The Esplanade.
A new umbrella group – Beach Not Bitumen – is a coalition of individuals and community groups, including Friends of Trigg Beach and Save Our Sand Dunes.
The group aims to unite a broad base of opposition to the road extensions, drawing on evidence that the plans are out of step with not only environmental concerns, but current best practice in development, transport and urban planning.
Beach not Bitumen launches on Saturday (October 22) with a major marketing and communications campaign.
In the lead-up to the State elections in March next year, the group’s mandate is to secure a ‘rule out the roads’ commitment from both Liberal and Labor parties.
“Information obtained recently under the FOI by Friends of Trigg Beach clearly indicates that there is strong opposition to the roads – from an environmental aspect, from an urban planning aspect, from a financial aspect and importantly from a community viewpoint,” said Anthony James, Convenor, Beach Not Bitumen.
“The roads will destroy the character of Scarborough, what makes it unique to both residents and tourists,” he added.
“We believe that building the roads north and south of Scarborough Beach will only add to the traffic and parking issues created by the new attractions provided by the Scarborough Beach Master Plan.
“There are many examples – from all over the world, that prove that building new roads is a ‘last century’ solution and out of step with property development and urban planning trends, as well as the State Government transport plan, which aims to increase cycling and public transport options.
Friends of Trigg Beach Convenor, Robyn Murphy, said the establishment of the umbrella ‘Beach Not Bitumen’ group reflects the growing community opposition to the roads and the need to for greater transparency from government agencies.
“We were forced to use the FOI Act to get access to documents that should have been in the public arena, including consultant’s reports, public submissions and MRA reports, all of which indicated there is huge public concern about the planned roads.
“And yet the MRA simply dismissed these concerns and continues to ignore the wishes of the people,” she said.
“By joining forces under an umbrella group we will have substantial resources to fight these environmentally damaging and unnecessary roads that have been soundly rejected by the public,” she added.
For further information please contact:
Anthony James, Convenor, BeachNotBitumen firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Kennedy, Convenor, Save our Sand Dunes (SOS) 0447038958
Robyn Murphy, Convenor, Friends of Trigg Beach 0409886985
17 October 2016