The McGowan Government is working with senior Noongar cultural leaders to preserve a significant Aboriginal heritage place at Alkimos Central, on the Mitchell Freeway Extension project’s Romeo Road connection and adjacent to the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension.
A collection of around 20 naturally formed limestone pinnacles have been located within the Romeo Road reserve boundary and adjacent to the rail corridor for the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension.
Senior Noongar cultural leaders have since confirmed the pinnacles, which have not been officially named, have significant meaning to the Whadjuk Noongar people.
Main Roads Western Australia, the Public Transport Authority and DevelopmentWA are working to revise development plans, in consultation with cultural leaders, to ensure Romeo Road is realigned to avoid the pinnacles.
Along the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension, Alkimos Central will be the city centre and transport hub for more than 90,000 residents when complete.
The development is expected to support around 1,500 construction jobs and create up to 13,500 ongoing local jobs.
The METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension is on track for completion in late 2022.
Perth Airport, in a separate project to build a third runway, has also recently adjusted development plans to reduce impacts to a nearby Aboriginal heritage place.
Perth Airport was granted section 18 consent in 2018 to build the proposed runway which at the time was envisaged to impact about 10 per cent of the Munday Swamp Aboriginal heritage place.
Perth Airport has since carried out further redesign work to halve the impact of the new runway on Munday Swamp.
The most recent designs now ensure that no airport or ancillary infrastructure will be located in the swamp’s main water body, with the impact to the place limited to a mandatory security fence and an emergency access road that is largely outside the designated heritage area.
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“The discovery of the pinnacles in Alkimos is of great significance for the Noongar people and the surrounding Alkimos community.
“With State Government agencies and senior Aboriginal leaders working together, we plan to realign the proposed Romeo Road to protect and celebrate this important piece of our cultural history.
“This place highlights the importance of project proponents working with traditional owners to better protect Aboriginal heritage places.
“The Perth Airport runway redesign is another example of how better outcomes for heritage places can be achieved through collaboration with traditional owners.
“I commend the Perth Airport for their commitment to protect Munday Swamp and for their ongoing engagement with the Whadjuk Noongar custodians through a long standing partnership agreement.
“This partnership is helping to restore the natural wetland area and reconnect the water flows from Poison Gully to Munday Swamp.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Main Roads has been working collaboratively with DevelopmentWA and local Aboriginal elders to realign Romeo Road, part of the Mitchell Freeway Extension project, to ensure this significant place is protected.
“The Mitchell Freeway Extension, combined with the METRONET Yanchep Rail Extension, will create thousands of local jobs and provide new transport opportunities in our growing northern suburbs.”
As stated by Butler MLA John Quigley:
“I am thrilled that the McGowan Government is taking steps at preserving local Aboriginal heritage.
“Our northern suburbs have an incredibly rich cultural history which you simply can’t replicate.
“I will work hard to ensure Aboriginal places of significance and other historical landmarks are protected while the McGowan Government continues to build the north.”