Albany councillors could make a commitment on Tuesday that no further clearing on a controversial bushland block in Yakamia is progressed, except for that which is already approved. A motion set to be tabled by Cr Greg Stocks suggests council should agree to not progress any development on vegetated portions of lot 4743 North Road, Yakamia, except that already subject to previous agreements and the approved Range Road alignment. It further suggests the position would only be reviewed once the Range Road Subdivision and Local Planning Scheme No. 2 are completed, and during development of the North Albany District Structure Plan. Finally, the motion suggests council should consider all options for lot 4743 during the development of the NADSP, including relinquishing portions of the land for conservation purposes. The lot has been the focus of much debate since June when council indicated support for an application which would see a 17m strip of vegetation cleared from the northwestern corner of the lot. The clearing is needed to create a road for a subdivision on the neighbouring privately owned lot 420 Sydney Street. The Friends of Yakamia Forest Boodja circulated a petition calling for the council to rescind its decision to support the clearing before presenting it with more than 1500 signatures. At the time of the petition’s presentation the group was told there was no “appetite” for such a rescission. Various group members continued to present to council during public question time during ordinary meetings throughout the final half of 2022. In his reasoning outlined as part of the motion, Cr Stocks said there were non-negotiables which needed to be achieved before lot 4743 could be considered for rezoning to conservation. He said that included the approval of LPS2, the completion of the “very important” Range Road subdivision and allowing previous agreement to run its course as “a matter of procedural fairness”. “As an elected member, I have heard the community concern regarding the clearing of vegetation on 4743,” he said. “Similarly, I have heard the calls from the community asking for the rezoning of lot 4743 to conservation.” The reasoning states the motion would “provide a level of comfort” that no clearing would take place other than for Range Road reserve and “allays concerns that the City has an unspoken desire” for further development of lot 4743. “I believe the motion allows all parties to see that concerns have been noted and that the path forward allows the City to achieve its primary objectives as well as that of the community,” he said. “Finally, the call to rezone all of lot 4743 immediately is not logical. “The lot encompasses the North Road City of Albany Administration offices and the Range Road reserve. “ A spokeswoman for the Friends of Yakamia Forest Boodja said the motion “is a step in the right direction” to partially protect the bush land “for a short time”. “However, this critical wildlife habitat is still under threat of destruction in the medium and long term,” she said. “An ever-growing number of people in the Albany community want the mayor and councillors to more seriously value the biodiverse vegetation in their care. “We will continue to campaign for the protection of the Yakamia forest and bushland, and hope City staff and councillors will be open, accountable and flexible in reducing all impacts on this precious habitat.” A comment provided by a City officer at the end of the motion states they concur with the Cr Stocks’ reasoning.