Impacts & Issues

Discussed on this page are some of the impacts and issues associated with the proposed development at Mangles Bay and Point Peron



The land that the Barnett government proposes to take at Point Peron is crown land.

This land was transferred from the Commonwealth Government to the State of Western Australia on the 10th January 1964 under the condition that the future use of the area was to be restricted to a reserve for recreation and/or parklands. Further, that when the leases for the area’s holiday camps have expired, that the entire area will become an “A” Class reserve. – Click here to view the 1964 transfer of land letter


Little Penguins

Penguin Island, near Rockingham, is home to the largest Little Penguin colony in WA, which also has the highest conservation status of all major colonies in Australia. Why should we be concerned?

  • Four times the average number of dead penguins where found from August to December 2011
  • Most death were caused by watercraft and starvation
  • Sandy sprat, their usual food source for raising chicks, was not found in their diet at all in 2011
  • Fewer eggs and fewer offspring in 2011
  • The breeding population has decreased from 1600 in 2007 to 1000 in 2011

One of the possible causes is the increased recreational use of the coastal marine habitat and increasing development along the coast which impacts on penguin behaviour and mortality.

Murdoch University 2012 Fears for Little Penguins as deaths spike

ABC catalyst, Belinda Cannell, Video on Little Penguins

ABC News: Perth's little penguin colonies face an uncertain future due to climate change and coastal development. Save the little penguins.

The proposed Mangles Bay marina development, south of Perth, could further erode the little penguins' habitats. Dr. Belinda Cannell is an expert on little penguins. Read more about her studies here.

Who pays for ongoing dredging - RATEPAYERS?

Properties up to one kilometre away, to the East of project are at risk of having their bores dry up and trees die from the dewatering process that will be needed as part of building the canal development.

When the developers are gone, are the ratepayers going to be left to pay for the maintenance of the concrete seawalls along the canals and the ongoing dredging that will be required ‘forever’ due to the natural tendency for the Mangles Bay area to silt up?

And, if this such a viable project, why do ordinary taxpayers and ratepayers have to subsidise it by selling off our regional parklands to private investors for canal housing in order to pay for it?



Please review some of the following links and articles to provide more insight into the impact that the marina and Canal Development at Mangles Bay could have on this natural asset to the local region. 

General seagrass information (WA)
Seagrass replanting attempts.

Zostera Sea Grass:
Posidonia sea grass:
Benefits of seagrass 

The area in Mangles Bay is a natural and vibrant resouce area for seagrass which has following benefits

  • Stabilisation of sand
  • Preventing erosion
  • Protection from tidal waves and storm surges
  • Filtering and cleaning the water
  • Preventing algal blooms
  • Providing food and habitat for marine animals, birds and other sea plants

 How will the seagrass area be affected by Mangles Bay Marina development?

  • 80% of seagrass in Cockburn Sound has been lost through pollution since 1950s.
  • The water quality and seagrass health in Mangles Bay are in trouble.
  • Direct loss of 5.24 ha of seagrass area with more indirect loss through turbidity.

This document discusses the failure of seagrass replanting efforts experienced in NSW. Failure of Seagrass Planting in NSW (pdf)

This document discusses a form of conservation to protect seagrass in SA and the importance to maintaining protection of natural resources that are key to survival of a wealth of marine life. Protecting seagrass in SA (pdf)

Mercury contamination hazard

The proposed Mangles Bay Marina Project could elevate the mercury contamination hazard in at least two ways. Firstly the dredging program may release methyl-mercury into the water column causing a spike in contamination in fish and other marine life. Secondly, the settling organic matter in the dredged channel, and in the poorly-flushed, blind-ending canal development, is likely to further enhance the conditions for mecury methylation by bacteria in the long-term. This would present a threat to the commercial & recreational fisheries in Cockburn Sound and to the local aquaculture industry. Read more here

The full study 'Seabird feathers as indicators of Mercury & Selenium contamination in the coastal waters of South Western Australia' is available here


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