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Kwinana plan going ahead

THE State’s industrial sector was in high spirits on Tuesday after Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the Government would push on with the controversial Fremantle-Rockingham Industrial Area Regional Strategy.

The plan was hatched by the former Court Government and involved wiping out the two small communities of Hope Valley and Wattleup to make room for 900ha of heavy and general industrial land.

And though the Government had fiercely opposed the plan while in opposition, it will continue on with the process of residents’ land acquisition

Ms MacTiernan said a recent survey of the suburbs showed the majority of people wanted to move out of the area.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry public affairs director Bob Pride said the Government was to be commended on the decision.

“We see this decision as desirable because of the importance of the environmental issue of a buffer zone. These people are living in an industrial buffer zone and it tends to provide a form of constraint on the growth of general industry,” Mr Pride said.

“It ties the hands of industry.

“This decision paves the way for the development of a general industrial area which would complement the existing Kwinana heavy industrial strip.

“There will also be huge employment and economic benefits in years to come … it is good the Government has recognised the desirability of moving forward.”

But while the industrial sector is all smiles, many Hope Valley and Wattleup residents have been left to ponder their future.

Community Networking co-convenor Hazel Duggan labelled the decision a tragedy.

“ There are people in the town who will not be able to buy a new home, even with compensation, because they are too old to get a mortgage, or too poor,” Mrs Duggan said.

“There is no way they will be able to replace what they have here, they are being asked to move away from friends, from community, from their roots.

“People only want to leave because of the situation we are now in, where some community members have already left and other have committed to selling their homes to the Government.”

Ms MacTiernan said community management committees would be appointed to oversee the tenancies and provisions of amenities along with a relocation adviser.

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