City blitz on sea container storage

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The City of Busselton is conducting an audit on the use of sea containers in light industrial areas.
Camera IconThe City of Busselton is conducting an audit on the use of sea containers in light industrial areas. Credit: Duncan Dodd

The City of Busselton is cracking down on unapproved sea containers.

City director planning and development services Paul Needham told councillors at last Wednesday night’s community access meeting the City was overseeing an audit on the use of sea containers.

The audit began in May and is expected to finish this year. Of the 350 sites in the Busselton, Dunsborough and Vasse light industrial areas, Mr Needham said about 80 had unapproved sea containers.

Mr Needham said the audit was spurred by an apparent increase in the number of unauthorised containers, as well as an increase in the level of interest in the use of containers in the industrial areas, both from those concerned about their increasing prevalence and from those interested in making use of containers themselves.

The City recently wrote to affected business owners about the issue, with about 50 saying they would apply for council approval.

“The feedback has been variable,” Mr Needham said.

“Most of those who have responded have indicated they intend to keep their container, and are going through process of seeking approvals. There is a varying degree of acceptance of the requirement to do so, which is not unexpected.”

Dunsborough Yallingup Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive member Laurie Walker said shipping containers were a highly cost-effective and efficient means of providing storage for local businesses, but said the chamber also recognised the audit was an important element in ensuring the containers were maintained in a safe and aesthetically pleasing condition for all LIA landowners.

Dr Walker said the City’s position was consistent with that of other local governments but said the City’s communications with business owners over the audit could have been handled better.

“What we have identified, however, is that the communications with the members over the results of the audit could have been more informative and less confrontational and should have captured the (City’s) position in that it will work practically with all owners to achieve compliance and approval,” he said. Mr Needham said the City was taking steps to address communications, including a further round of correspondence with landowners in the industrial areas.

He said landowners not choosing to take steps to seek approval or remove containers could result in formal compliance action under planning and/or building legislation but said the City was focusing on resolving the issues through liaison with owners.

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