Ashfield Flats Reserve is in the Town of Bassendean on the floodplain of the Swan River. It is valued by the local community for its open space, access to the river, and natural features. The reserve contains an occurrence of a Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh community, which is listed as a threatened ecological community (TEC) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This TEC is listed as vulnerable as it is considered to face a high risk of extinction in the medium-term future.
The reserve is transected by two main drains, which display elevated concentrations of nutrients and heavy metals that discharge to the Swan River. Land managers identified that gaining an understanding of the site’s hydrology was a crucial first step to informing its future management. The hydrological study aimed to identify the dominant hydrological processes at the reserve by undertaking a two-year monitoring program of water flows, surface and groundwater levels, water and sediment quality, and develop hydrological models. Please find links below to the study's full technical report and summary report.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will be the lead agency driving the next step in land management and future planning for the area, responding to the findings and recommendations of the preceding hydrological study with the Ashfield Flats Master Plan. This will involve procuring a multidisciplinary consultant team to prepare the Master Plan, whose process will be informed by meaningful consultation with Traditional Custodians, comprehensive local community engagement, analysis of the environmental conditions and pressures and the proposals for appropriate management, interventions, and strategies to enhance, adapt and make resilient the ecological qualities and overall amenity of the site. It is the aim of the Master Plan to balance the public amenity with the environmental imperatives of the site. Opportunities for public comment will be advertised throughout the Master Planning process.
The Ashfield Flats Master Planning process is expected to commence in mid- to late- October 2022 and is expected to be completed in late 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Ashfield Flats Master Plan?
The master plan is a strategic level document based upon the findings and recommendations of the Ashfield Flats Hydrological Study. The master planning will take analysis of site context, community consultation, and conditions (i.e., environmental qualities, community values) to propose appropriate policies and objectives with associated strategies/ management/ intervention activities for the study area.
2. Where can I find out more information on the Hydrological Study?
Summary Report: Ashfield Flats Hydrological Study - Summary Report
Full Study: Ashfield Flats Hydrological Study - Full
3. What are the study area extents for the Master Plan?
4. Who will be conducting the Master Planning process?
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) will be the lead agency responsible for the project. This will include procuring a multi-disciplinary consultant team to prepare the master plan.
5. Who are land managers for this site?
Ashfield Flats is managed by multiple organisations. A large portion of Ashfield Flats is managed by the Department of Planning, Lands & Heritage, with sections under the management of the Town of Bassendean. The Water Corporation manage the drainage reserves that transect the site.
6. When will the Master Planning process commence?
The procurement process is currently active, and award of the project is expected to be made at the end of the month. The project inception is expected to be mid- to late- October.
7. When will the Master Plan be completed?
8. When is community consultation being undertaken?
This will be subject to the specific timeline proposed by the consultant team. There will be an initial community consultation to prepare the master plan, with subsequent public comment periods on draft copies of the master plan.
9. What site qualities and pressures will the master plan be covering?
The qualities and pressures covered by the master planning process are largely derived from the preceding Hydrological Study and past management works and will include, but not be limited to:
• Stormwater quality entering the site/river
• Groundwater quality entering the site/river
• Foreshore stabilisation
• Sea-level rise/ inundation of the site
• Threatened ecological community management
• Responses to other pressures expected from climate change (e.g., bushfire risk, habitat loss)
• Ongoing maintenance and monitoring plans
• Community values such as public (and dog) access; movement networks and other uses
• Infrastructure asset management
10. How can I be more involved?
DBCA encourages involvement from the public in the master planning process, and we will advertise public comment periods broadly. The public will be invited to express what they love about this area and to express what they would like to see in the planning for the area, understanding the forecast changes that are likely to occur.