Boy’s possum plea to council

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett was pleased to hear feedback from 10-year-old Aiden Cusack.
Camera IconDardanup shire president Mick Bennett was pleased to hear feedback from 10-year-old Aiden Cusack. Credit: Aaron Corlett

A 10-year-old boy has addressed Dardanup shire councillors to voice his concern over the impact the proposed Parkridge Estate Structure Plan would have on the ring-tailed possum population in the area.

Aiden Cusack addressed the councillors at the recent shire council meeting and said the impact on the endangered species was a grave concern.

“I would like to say that I am very concerned over the possibility of those endangered species being disturbed during the future Parkridge development,” he said.

“I understand you have a number of endangered ring-tailed possums in the area that would have to be re-homed.”

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Shire president Mick Bennett thanked Aiden for taking the time to address councillors and said the applicant would have to undertake a flora and fauna study to identify the presence of any endangered species.

“It goes to the WA Planning Commission and they look at what we have recommended,” he said.

“If they don’t like what we have recommended then they take it out or they may even put more recommendations on.

“It will go up to Perth and they will have to give it the tick of approval and then the proponent will have to carry out the flora and fauna study.”

Cr Bennett said one of the problems with the proposed development was that the public didn’t realise that the land had been marked for development.

“The problem, for a lot of people, is that land has been able to be developed for some time and the developer hasn’t done anything yet,” he said. “So a lot of people think that it is just open bush land but it isn’t any more.

“We will go through the necessary requirements but the whole process could take as long as three months before the flora and fauna study can be carried out.”

Mr Bennett said he was pleased to see the shire’s youth being willing to talk to councillors about environment issues.

“I think young Aiden spoke really well and it’s great to see someone his age come forward,” he said.

“I know the councillors really appreciated his feedback.”

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