Road input was ignored by council, woman says
A Perth woman with historic ties to the Gracetown area says she was excluded from private meetings affecting a road named after her grandfather.
Marion Burke said last fortnight’s council decision failed to include her input because a legal briefing on September 27, the same day as the council made a ruling, was closed for legal reasons and not advertised.
Mrs Burke also complained about missing the chance to provide a deputation at the council meeting on the same night and was not being aware of the item going before councillors due to the change in Shire of AugustaMargaret River advertising.
The complaints centre on an historic intrusion into the Waddingham Road reserve by outbuildings on an adjacent lot.
After the property was bought in 2010, the new owner sought to close a 180m strip of the road to resolve the obstruction. Councillors rejected the proposal in 2014.
At the last council meeting of September, the council instructed the new owners to survey the road at their own cost and submit an application for a 180m closure of Waddingham Road to the Department of Lands.
Mrs Burke said the road had historic links to her family and should be kept open for all residents. She said the Shire had known about the non-compliance and the building envelope encroaching onto road reserve since 2011.
Shire chief executive Gary Evershed said the council consideration was duly advertised within the region.
“The briefing (on September 27) was closed to all members of the public as it contained sensitive legal information and personal financial information,” he said.
Despite an undertaking not to conduct briefings on the same day as council decisions, Mr Evershed said the closed afternoon briefing “coincided with the availability of legal advice”.
The chief executive noted Mrs Burke was not present during public question time when inquiries could be lodged for officer feedback. He added residents had multiple avenues for lodging inquiries.