Cape Peron

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Cape Peron (32°15′55″S 115°41′10″E / 32.26528°S 115.68611°E / -32.26528; 115.68611Coordinates: 32°15′55″S 115°41′10″E / 32.26528°S 115.68611°E / -32.26528; 115.68611) is a headland at Rockingham, at the southern end of Cockburn Sound in Western Australia. It contains the suburb of Peron. Locally known as Point Peron,[1] the cape is noted for its protected beaches, limestone cliffs, reefs and panoramic views. Officially, "Point Peron" is the designation of a minor promontory on the south side of the cape's extremity.

The feature was named after the French naturalist and zoologist François Péron, who accompanied the expedition of Nicolas Baudin along the western coast of Australia in 1801.

A causeway has been constructed between Cape Peron and Garden Island to carry vehicle traffic between the mainland and the island. Since the island houses a major naval base, access is restricted by the military.

The wreck of the SS Orizaba (1886–1905) lies just north, between the cape and Garden Island.

Panorama of the eastern side of Cape Peron

Land use[edit]

The cape and southern environs comprise a crown land reserve on which a number of recreational resort activities and camps have been established, including buildings constructed of asbestos material which are now unsuitable. During World War II, an observation post for the nearby coastal battery was located on the hilltop, and the old buildings remain.

Control was vested in the Commonwealth of Australia until 10 January 1964, when the land was transferred to the state of Western Australia on condition that future use was restricted to purposes of public recreation and/or parklands. It was further agreed that when existing holiday-camp leases expired, the entire area would become an A-class reserve.[citation needed]

Cape Peron is currently included in planning by the state's Department of Environment and Conservation for the Rockingham Lakes Regional Parks. It is one of the scheme's main areas or estates[2]:p2 and the environment minister, Donna Faragher has drawn attention to its "extremely high nature conservation values [providing] the local community with a unique opportunity to enjoy the natural environment".[3]

Proposed private development[edit]

A proposal for an extensive private residential canal and marina redevelopment has caused much controversy among the local community. Prepared by Strategen Environmental Consultants Pty Ltd of Leederville for its client Cedar Woods Properties Limited, it is titled "Mangles Bay Marina Based Tourist Precinct"[4]

to develop a tourist based marina development within the City of Rockingham, approximately 40 km south of Perth. The proposed development is at the southern end of Cockburn Sound, immediately east of the Garden Island Causeway and bounded by Hymus Street/Safety Bay Road to the east. The proposed development would have a single entrance, would accommodate about 500 boats and would incorporate local boating clubs, commercial areas and boat pens for public use. The surrounding land development would be ‘mixed use’ with tourism facilities, accommodation, commercial areas, public open space and residential areas

on which the state's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) invited public submissions for a two-week period closing on Monday 21 February 2011.[4]:pp5-7 Acceptance of the proposal would require abrogation of the 1964 compact for everlasting public ownership, and transfer of 77 hectares to the developer.[4]:p13 (fol 1)

Several organisations, including "Hands Off Point Peron",[5] "Friends of Point Peron" and "Preserve Point Peron" are against the development, claiming it will damage seagrass beds, threaten the stability of ecosystems at nearby Lake Richmond and result in significant long-term maintenance expense to taxpayers, besides loss of the land's current status as a regional park.[6]

References[edit]

In February 2012 The Mangles Bay Marina Based Tourist Precinct, Public Environmental Review Document, Prepared for Cedar Woods Properties Ltd was released for comment. Closing submissions are 23 April 2012.

Further reading[edit]