Road in­put was ig­nored by coun­cil, woman says

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - War­ren Hately

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.

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