Remove Cockburn Coast Drive from Manning Park Ridge

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The realignment of Cockburn Coast Drive to the Fremantle Eastern Bypass road reserve, would see a major road driven through the limestone ridge of Manning Reserve destroying its unique landforms and coastal heathland habitat.

We call upon the State Government to remove the road reserve from the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) and to establish a coastal wildlife and recreational corridor that spans from Clontarf Hill to Woodman Point preserving an integral part of the Cockburn Sound landscape and creating a parkland reserve that can sustainably support the growing needs of the community. 

The limestone ridge in Manning Reserve combined with Clontarf Hill is unique as the last undeveloped remnant of the ancient 100,000-year-old landform in the Fremantle area. Exposed capstone outcrops provide expansive views across Cockburn sound and are home to reptiles, birds and marsupials with extensive areas of Black Cockatoo foraging habitat that is also under threat.

The reserve is historically significant for Noongar and European culture and provides the opportunity for visitors to connect with nature on a scale not often seen in the city. Growing evidence supports connection to nature is major contributor to human mental health and reservoirs of nature in urban areas are key indicators of a place's livability.

Capturing the potential to develop nature-based recreational amenity whilst strengthening ecological connections through a wildlife corridor would provide a strong long-term vision for open space planning in the region. If well planned, the corridor could accommodate bush walking, off-road cycling, horse riding, jogging, even urban camping and provide patronage for small local business such as shops and cafes. Revegetation programmes could be implemented to increase biodiversity and habitat offsetting the impacts of urban development that is set to occur locally.

The first step is removal of the road reserve from the MRS. Cockburn Road in its current alignment is designed to accommodate projected traffic flows so there is no need for a new road on the summits of the ridgeline. The priority of State and Local government should be to keep the road off the ridge ensuring the preservation and protection of this unique landscape for future generations.

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