Mayor dubs electors’ meeting a waste of ratepayers’ money

Lisa Thomas, BUSSELTON DUNSBOROUGH TIMESBusselton Dunsborough Times
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City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley says a special electors’ meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss changes to the local planning scheme was a waste of ratepayers’ money after only one out of 100 petitioners turned up to the meeting.

The City received a petition in January requesting a special electors’ meeting after concerns over the omnibus amendment.

The proposed amendment, if approved, would provide a broad range of changes to the town planning scheme, including relaxed building height controls and prohibition of the development of drive-through facilities within the CBD.

Resident Anne Ryan raised a motion in the meeting that the omnibus amendment be rejected by the council and that any amendments to the town plan be made individually and with further formal consultation before adoption.

Ms Ryan said there had been a lack of community consultation and many people were confused by the amendment.

The motion was seconded by Judy Clarke, who agreed there wasn’t enough information on the changes.

Former mayor Ian Stubbs spoke against the motion and said he believed it was a shame councillors had to waste their time and a real shame to waste ratepayers’ money, given all the questions raised in the meeting had already been answered by City officers.

Cr Henley spoke against the motion in the meeting and said he believed there was nothing else the council could have done to consult the community after extensive advertising regarding the omnibus.

The motion was voted down 26-3, with all people present eligible to vote.

Cr Henley spoke to theTimes on Wednesday and said he believed the meeting had achieved nothing.

“The issues raised had already been responded to and the responses were distributed to councillors for consideration,” he said.

“Only 10 people turned up to the special electors meeting, some supportive of the amendment — it was not a good use of ratepayer money.”

The omnibus amendment will be considered at the March 9 council meeting, with a possibility to defer the item for further consideration.

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