BY IAN JAMIESON
FREMANTLE — The battle to save the popular South Beach is gathering pace, with a public rally being organised on the beach on October 26, at 11am, called by residents and beach users. The rally aims to stop powerful property developers' plans for a housing development on a 21-hectare site.
The area to be developed includes an old industrial site, a disused tip and public foreshore land. South Fremantle residents have expressed concern about the privatisation of Western Australia's coastline, the toxicity of the area, the impact of the development on the beach and the ability of the developers to push their schemes through many layers of government despite widespread public opposition.
Of immediate concern is the 2-hectare site of a former lead smelter and foundry, which is on the foreshore. The developers and the WA Labor government are paying scant regard to a policy of the WA Planning Commission, which recommended that a 100-metre setback from the toe of the dunes be free of any housing.
Organisers from the Save South Beach campaign are calling on WA Premier Geoff Gallop's government to honour its policies and prevent the exclusion of the public from that part of the beach.
For more than a century, South Beach has been the playground for Fremantle's working population. The October 26 rally will defend this heritage and defy attempts to turn the area into yet another get-rich scheme for property developers.
The campaign can be contacted on the web at <http://SaveSouthBeach.com>.
From Green Left Weekly, October 22, 2003.
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