THE continued expansion of Perth’s urban footprint is not sustainable in my view.
We can enjoy a good lifestyle in the outer suburbs and more must be done to provide for the growing local population, as Mayor Tracey Roberts says, but suburban growth comes at a cost.
Bulldozing more bushland for more suburbs cannot be sustainable.
Perth and the South West has one of the most diverse floras in the world, but housing development and associated infrastructure is eroding habitat and threatening our biodiversity – something we can see everyday in the North-West corridor. Further, outer suburban residents have a heavy dependence on the car for transport.
This costs 15 per cent or more of household incomes, adds to pollution and we are vulnerable to the long-term rise in oil prices.
Accommodating more people in the existing urban fabric, particularly closer to the Perth CBD, rather than continuing low-density spread – as proposed by the Committee of Perth and the Directions 2031 plan – makes more sense.
Working towards a stable population would be even better.
We live in a world of finite resources so changing development patterns and lifestyles to protect biodiversity and reduce energy and water use and waste is critical if we want to be “sustainable”.