Tag Archive | “Environment”

$1200 penalty for taking a cray and a trout.

Ningaloo spear gun conviction


A 23-year-old man from the Kwinana suburb of Wellard has pleaded guilty of fishing offences in the Ningaloo Marine Park.

On Tuesday, the Exmouth Magistrates Court heard that Cameron Bates had illegally used a spear gun to take an out of season ornate rock lobster and also a coronation trout, which is a prohibited catch, within Ningaloo Marine Park waters.

The three offences Bates was charged with occurred on August 4, 2014.

The magistrate handed down a fine of $700 for the offences, plus further mandatory penalties of $510 and court costs of $169.10.

Department of Fisheries spokesman Matthew Kuhn said fishers needed to be aware of fishing rules, wherever they planned to fish in Western Australia.

“Marine protected areas such as the Ningaloo Marine Park are high value and have additional rules in place in order to protect vulnerable species and coral reef systems,” Mr Kuhn said.

“For example, within the Ningaloo Marine Park, you cannot spearfish for wrasse (Family Labridae) and cods/grouper (Family Serranidae).

“Fishers have a responsibility to make themselves aware of area specific rules prior to fishing.”

Photo: Angelo DeSantis, Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons attribution 2.0 licence.

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Defiers of winter ban beware – your garden walls may have ears.

Neighbours urged to dob in a sprinkler flouter


Householders across Perth, Mandurah and parts of the Southwest and Great Southern must turn their garden sprinklers off from June 1 – or risk being dobbed in by a nosy neighbour.

State water minister Mia Davies said it was now “even easier” to dob in a sprinkler ban flouter by hitting http://www.watercorporation.com.au/breach, and letting your fingers do the talking.

The winter sprinkler ban had been in place since 2010 and Ms Davies reckons the ban saved about 4.5 billion litres of drinking water last year alone.

”The winter sprinkler ban has been embraced by West [sic] Australians since its introduction, with recent Water Corporation research showing 81 per cent of people surveyed supported the ban,” Ms Davies said.

“… The sprinkler ban was introduced on the basis that gardens don’t need as much water during the cooler, wetter months.

“In our drying climate, it is important we work together to save water for when it is most needed.

“Please remember to switch off your sprinklers before June 1 so we can achieve significant water savings again this year.”

Ms Davies warned that breaching the winter sprinkler ban could result in a $100 fine.

Last winter, 1668 sprinkler flouters copped a warning and 244 were fined for using their sprinklers during the ban.

The winter sprinkler ban applies to both scheme and bore water users.

But hand watering is permitted and gardeners can apply for an exemption to establish new lawns.

In areas of Western Australia not subject to the ban, normal watering rosters and the daytime sprinkler ban still apply.

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Plan to bring beach and other events back down to earth.

Cottesloe balloon ban


The council that looks after Perth’s most famous beach would no longer allow helium balloons at its events under a plan floated by one of its elected officials.

At a meeting of Cottesloe council on April 26, Councillor Sandra Boulter will move that balloons be banned from Town of Cottesloe events.

“Balloons float up into the air and disappear from your thoughts, but not from the environment,” Cr Boulter reasons.

“Balloons and their string make ugly litter in even the most remote and pristine places.

“Dolphins, whales, turtles, seabirds and other animals have all been killed by balloons.”

Cr Boulter advises that even biodegradable latex balloons are a danger as they can take several months or even years to break down.

“Turtles are particularly at risk as they can confuse balloons with their jellyfish prey,” she continues.

“Mass balloon releases have already been banned by several local authorities in the UK, USA and Australia.

“Balloons can cause dangerous power outages.”

Council staff advise that applications requesting the release of balloons as a part of an event are few and it is not normally approved.

“Events with balloons that are filled with such gas as decoration for the event are more common,” the officials say.

“The intent at these events though is that the balloons be ‘taken home’ after the event, not released into the atmosphere.”

Base Cottesloe photo: Bram Souffreau, Wikimedia Commons

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'Australia's David Attenborough' posthumously honoured.

Harry Butler research centre unveiled

A new research centre for the Western Australian Museum, containing state-of-the-art laboratories and a store that houses more than 2.5 million wet-preserved specimens, has been named after the late Dr Harry Butler AO CBE.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day today unveiled the $17.6 million centre located at the WA Museum’s Collections and Research Centre in Welshpool, acknowledging the significant contribution Dr Butler made to the museum.

“Harry was one of Australia’s best known naturalists who played a major role in the public awareness and conservation of our unique natural environment for more than 50 years,” Mr Day said.

“What is perhaps not as well-known are his decades of association with the WA Museum involving education, fieldwork collecting, advocacy and financial support.

“2016 marks the 40th year of the Butler Bequest, which enables the museum to conduct fieldwork and collect specimens that augment the research collections.”

The Harry Butler Research Centre is the first element of the new museum project, and is critical to support the development of the state’s new museum, to be built in the Perth Cultural Centre and scheduled to open in 2020.

The centre has about 10 kilometres of shelves set to house more than 2.5 million alcohol-preserved specimens.

Among these are 2500 unique and irreplaceable original type specimens used to describe new species of animals.

These include the commercially valuable western rock lobster; the Dampier Peninsula goanna, which is the smallest goanna species in the world; and the Ruby sea dragon which was discovered in 2015 and is only the third species of sea dragon ever recorded.

“This very important collection includes remarkable scientific discoveries that were made here in WA, and include many specimens collected by Harry Butler,” Mr Day said.

There are also several species in the collection actually named after Dr Butler.

These include a black scorpion he discovered in the Pilbara called Urodacus butleri; the highly venomous Spotted mulga snake Pseudechis butleri; and the rare Butler’s Dunnart Sminthopsis butleri which is a small mouse-sized mammal discovered by him in 1965 and a threatened species.

“The Harry Butler Research Centre will ensure the State’s collection is preserved for future generations and will provide unparalleled access to specimens for ongoing research, as well as new content development for the new museum,” Mr Day said.

Dr Butler was named Australian of the year in 1979, jointly with Aboriginal senator Neville Bonner.

He died of cancer, aged 85, in Perth in December last year.

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$60,000 fix for epic eco-fail at Northbridge Piazza.

Green wall 2.0


A $60,000 injection of ratepayer funds is needed to fix a big green wall that did not take, in the face of vandals, sprinkler bans and the setting sun at Northbridge Piazza.

In August 2014, oneperth.com.au revealed that because of sprinkler bans, vandalism to low-sitting plants, and less-than-perfect orientation, plants in the 2009-built wall had either died or become woody.

Subiaco green wall

Subiaco shows Perth how to do it properly.

Now, City of Perth planners have recommended that a modular vertical garden be erected to replace the defective green wall.

The planners say the vertical garden will save water – an important consideration because the Water Corporation has refused to give the council a watering exemption until all water saving measures have been tapped.

The council is slated to debate the planned vertical garden on March 15.

If the vertical garden is approved, the council planners reckon it should be up and growing by June 30.

The garden will cost $60,000 to erect, and $4500 a year to maintain.

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Rivervale law flouter caught in the act.

$5000 fine for West Swan dump


A 64-year-old Rivervale man has been found guilty in Midland Magistrates Court of illegally dumping construction waste in West Swan.

Midland Magistrates Court heard that on June 19 last year, Ron Wimbridge dumped building waste including sand, timber, concrete and bricks at a vacant block of land on Victoria Road in West Swan.

Witnesses who saw Wimbridge’s dump recorded the registration number of his vehicle which was then reported to Department of Environment Regulation investigators.

Wimbridge, who pleaded guilty, was ordered to pay a $5000 fine and costs of $469.30.

DER Director General Jason Banks said the conviction was an example of how members of the community could work with the his department to combat illegal dumping.

“I thank the community members who had the foresight to take down the vehicle registration during this illegal dumping, which allowed the department to successfully investigate the incident,” Mr Banks said.

“We will continue to prosecute people who flout the law when it comes to illegal dumping.”

Maximum penalties for illegal dumping are $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporations.

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Cockburn council plans to list virtually the entire corridor.

Second heritage spanner in Roe 8 works


EXCLUSIVE: A second heritage spanner has been thrown in the works of the contentious Roe 8 freeway project in Perth’s southern suburbs with the City of Cockburn planning to add virtually the entire transport corridor to its significant trees register.

oneperth.com.au can reveal the council plans to list as significant a corridor of Tuart, Marri, Karri and Eucalyptus trees within the Roe 8 reserve, as pictured.

The Roe 8 corridor includes about 20 trees (marked in green) that are potential breeding trees for endangered black cockatoos.

These trees sit in a much larger corridor of trees the city says are significant, as marked in yellow.

The council’s push to list the trees follows a oneperth.com.au revelation last year that the city had moved to place the remains of a nearby defunct Australian Women’s Army Service World War II army camp on the local heritage register.

A council-hired archaeologist recommended the state government, which is itching to build Roe 8, be made aware of the camp and its potential as a complicating factor for the freeway project.

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The local landmarks the city's planners think are plug ugly.

Nine eyesores on Perth council sh!tlist


EXCLUSIVE: City of Perth planners have declared war on nine urban eyesores they say have blighted the state capital for too long.

A council briefing paper seen by oneperth.com.au reveals the Top 8 eyesores, in order of appearance on the planners’ sh!tlist to be the:

1. Mounts Bay median strip, just east of the Hackett Drive intersection in Crawley, which the planners say provides a poor entry to the city;

2. Swan River Foreshore, between Point Fraser and Victoria Avenue, which the planners believe could be improved with more plants to link the park at Point Fraser and the landscaped area to the west of Victoria Avenue;

3. three-kilometre long Thomas Road median strip that forms the western edge of the city. The planners say areas of the median’s patchy, unirrigated grass should be replaced with “under-planting to create a strong and striking definition of the city’s edge”;

4., 5.,6. and 7. freeway bridge abutments and areas under bridges at Murray Street (near the George and Elder Street intersections), Wellington Street, Market Street, and the West Perth railway underpass at Sutherland Street – which the planners advise are “hostile environments in which any planting often fails to thrive” but which “present great opportunities for engaging and unique artwork” and show “significant potential for creative lighting projects”;

8. Railway Street shared path, between Thomas Road and Sutherland Street, for which the city has designed a new pedestrian and cyclist path with 80 new trees on the south side of the street, with construction to commence by July; and

9. Roe Street shared path, between Sutherland and Fitzgerald streets, where art is planned to cover an ugly retaining wall near the freeway bridge to the west of the Fitzgerald Street intersection.

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Council contract goes awry.

Paraburdoo dump costs man $8000


A 56-year-old Tom Price man contracted by the Shire of Ashburton has been found guilty of illegally dumping up to 700 used tyres in Paraburdoo.

Tom Price Magistrates Court heard that during April 2013 the Shire of Ashburton contracted Heyden McKenzie’s business, Campdog Contracting and Earth Moving, to remove used tyres from refuse sites in Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Onslow.

McKenzie, who pleaded guilty, was paid by the shire to correctly dispose of the tyres to a licenced facility in Meekatharra.

However, McKenzie subcontracted another company and instructed it to dump the tyres on mine site land in Paraburdoo.

The dumped tyres were later removed by the shire.

The court ordered McKenzie to pay $8831 to the Shire of Ashburton to cover tyre removal costs.

Maximum penalties for illegal dumping are $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporations.

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Gun-toting bushy gets cocky.

Bogan shoots endangered cockatoo


An endangered Baudin’s (black) cockatoo found injured in Bridgetown had been shot using a shotgun, according to the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

The pictured cockatoo was handed in to the department with pellet wounds, and received treatment at Manjimup Veterinary Clinic before being transferred to Perth Zoo.

The big, black bird is now recovering at the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre.

Parks and Wildlife officer Brad Barton, the Chair of the Forest Black Cockatoo recovery team, said the department was investigating the shooting and seeking information from the public.

“It is disturbing when specially protected native animals are illegally shot,” Mr Barton said.

Baudin’s cockatoo is one of three species of black cockatoo in Western Australia’s Southwest. All three species are threatened and are protected under the state’s Wildlife Conservation Act and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

There are penalties of up to $10,000 for shooting black cockatoos under the Wildlife Conservation Act, and up to $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a corporation under Commonwealth legislation.

Mr Barton said Baudin’s cockatoos fly around the Southwest as part of their seasonal migratory patterns and are often seen at this time of year in Manjimup, Donnybrook and Bridgetown foraging for food.

“Parks and Wildlife recognises that black cockatoos can cause damage to trees and is able to provide advice to assist in managing the impacts of these birds,” he said.

To report an injured cockatoo or provide information about illegal shootings, contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 or the Parks and Wildlife Manjimup office on 9771 7988.

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Two men pinged for 'just having a look'.

$8000 fines for crab pot tampering


​Two Halls Head men have each been fined $8000 for interfering with commercial crab pots.

On the night of November 26, a Fisheries and Marine operative saw two people in a small runabout travelling from the channel connecting the Peel and Harvey estuaries and around Ward Point into Cox Bay.

Aaron Pollard, 32, and Andrew Collyer, 31, have been ordered to each pay the $8000 fines for illegally pulling four commercial crab pots in Cox Bay under the cloak of darkness.

Last week, a Mandurah court heard the men had admitted, in a record of interview with Fisheries and Marine officers, to having pulled the pots with the intention of just having a look. They did not open any of the pots.

It was heard that when the commercial fisher checked his pots the day after the interference he found some of them upside down and others relocated from where he had set them. The pots did not contain any legal size crabs, whereas his other pots nearby, which had not been interfered with, did.

Department of Fisheries South Metropolitan Compliance Manager Ryan Parker said commercial fishers operating in the Peel and Harvey areas supplied their catches to the Perth and Mandurah markets and, as small operators, suffered major disruption if their pots were disturbed or damaged.

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Council fatcat says: 'Cop that!'

Tree vandals to be poisoned with jargon


Billboards jammed with jargon are Bayswater City Council’s latest weapon in the war against tree vandals.

oneperth.com.au can reveal that in a bureaucratic bid to stop people poisoning trees at Ingles Reserve, a sign as large as a sapling is proposed with the jolt of jargon pictured, right.

The park is located on the Swan River at the end of Ingles Place. Council officials have advised that seven trees that died in the park recently were probably poisoned to death to enhance river views of high-brow houses in the area.

oneperth.com.au makes no allegation of illegality against owners or builders of either of the pictured McMansions. Allegations of bad taste, yes. But of illegality, no.

The claptrap to which the council’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Doug Pearson, wishes to expose the vandals, and anyone else who stumbles within eyeshot, is revealed at Page 10 of a 191-page Bayswater council committee agenda.

tree vandal signsFrom 2000 to 2008 in nearby Maylands, tree vandalism for the sake of rich residents’ views was a constant problem that the council and Swan River Trust tackled with the erection of ugly, black signs as pictured, left.

At Ingles Reserve, Mr Pearson has recommended a less visually abrupt design that is emblazoned with buzzwords instead. The planned sign convolutedly asserts that trees are “an important asset which provide a range of ecosystem services”.

In December, Kevin Mack, President of the Friends of [adjacent] Claughton Reserve, wrote to the city to protest the vandalism.

“Our group is appalled at this environmental vandalism and ask that the council investigate the matter; replace the effected trees; and erect signs at the same height and location of the deceased trees, the signs stating that the trees have been poisoned and that the signs will remain in place until the replacement trees reach the height of the signs,” Mr Mack penned.

Together, the seven trees and a jargonistic sign would cost $3000 to plant.

A city committee is slated to debate Mr Pearson’s recommendation on January 27.

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Thornlie resident sprung after fast food feed.

Bush dump costs man $10,000


A Thornlie man was fined $10,000 in Armadale Magistrates’ Court yesterday after illegally dumping fencing containing asbestos at Korung National Park near the Armadale locale of Karragullen on June 3 last year.

Sam Gossage, 27, was identified after Department of Environment Regulation investigators found a fast food receipt at the dump site and cross-checked the time of purchase with the restaurant’s drive-through CCTV.

The department also used footage to identify the man, from an onsite concealed video camera that captured the dump.

Gossage was also ordered to pay $1284.80 in clean-up costs and $660.30 for court costs.

The department’s Acting Director General Kelly Faulkner said the conviction should serve as a warning to would-be dumpers.

Maximum penalties for illegal dumping are $62,500 for individuals and $125,000 for corporations.

To report illegal dumping, call the 24-hour pollution watch hotline on 1300 784 782.

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New council policy bans spread of Cottesloe's best known trees.

Farewell to the Norfolk Island Pines


Cottesloe council is set to put a cap on the number of landmark Norfolk Island Pines at Perth’s best known beach.

A new tree policy drafted by council officials promotes the use of “Indigenous” vegetation, including trees, on road reserves, to extend the habitat of “Native” birds and animals.

Although native to the Australian territory of Norfolk Island, Norfolk Island Pines are far from native to Perth. Nor are the vocal rainbow lorikeets that descend on the pines in droves most afternoons.

The new policy states that: “Other than in accordance with a landscape plan, or on the foreshore, Norfolk Island Pines are only to be planted where they will replace an existing Norfolk Island Pine”.

“While the Norfolk Island Pine is part of the visual character of Cottesloe, they are not suited to all locations in the town, and may not be aesthetically appealing in every street,” the draft policy opines.

“New street trees, other than in the town centre or on the foreshore, will be Western Australian Natives, and, where there is a dominant Native street tree type in the street, any new tree will be the same species as the dominant type in the street.

“All individual street tree planting will be undertaken by the Town.

“All other planting on verges, other than a lawn, will require a submission to the Town of Cottesloe for approval.”

A town committee is slated to debate the draft policy on Tuesday night.

Photo: Cropped from one by Michael Spencer, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons licence.

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