Coun­cil to vote on BP plans

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Jac­inta Can­ta­tore

Har­vey Shire Coun­cil could face strong op­po­si­tion tonight when it votes on planned up­grades to an Aus­tralind Fore­shore petrol sta­tion, with com­mu­nity mem­bers claim­ing the pro­posal is be­ing “bull­dozed” through coun­cil pro­cesses with­out thor­ough en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search.

The pro­posal would see the BP ser­vice sta­tion on Ri­d­ley Place re­de­vel­oped to in­clude ex­tra pumps, the com­pany’s Wild Bean brand cafe and an open-ended man­ual car wash bay.

The up­grade would in­clude in­stalling new un­der­ground fuel tanks and a storm wa­ter man­age­ment sys­tem.

While ad­mit­ting res­i­dents from neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties were vo­cal in their op­po­si­tion to the pro­posal, Har­vey shire pres­i­dent Ta­nia Jack­son said site own­ers BP Aus­tralia had a right to de­velop their ex­ist­ing petrol sta­tion.

At the coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment ser­vices meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 2, the plan­ning of­fi­cer rec­om­mended to ap­prove the pro­posal with only a few mi­nor changes, in­clud­ing a high ma­sonry fence to an ad­join­ing prop­erty.

“It was one of a num­ber of things that came from the com­mu­nity en­gage­ment,” Cr Jack­son said.

“And com­mu­nity mem­bers were grate­ful for those changes.”

Cr Jack­son said con­cerns about pos­si­ble site con­tam­i­na­tion, noise and light from the 24-hour site had been noted at last week’s meet­ing.

“While we have a num­ber of man­age­ment plans, con­cerns re­main about the noise, light and con­tam­i­na­tion risk,” Cr Jack­son said

“But these man­age­ment plans are a way for us to en­sure com­pli­ance. I think we can rely on the frame­work put in place to en­sure there is no con­tam­i­na­tion.

“One would hope the up­grade of the site would im­prove man­age­ment and use of the site.”

But neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents said they first heard about the pro­posal a few weeks ago and needed more time to look at the po­ten­tial im­pact on the Leschenault Es­tu­ary from the bowser run-off and de­ter­gents and waxes from the car wash.

In a let­ter sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil, one neigh­bour­ing res­i­dent El­iz­a­beth Hovey said there had not been enough pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the pro­posal.

“Res­i­dents only found out by chance a few weeks ago about the BP pro­posal, as it has not been ad­ver­tised or pub­li­cised at all,” Mrs Hovey said.

“This has given us very lit­tle time to mount ob­jec­tions.”

An­other Old Coast Road res­i­dent neigh­bour­ing the site, Judy Thomp- son, said she was con­cerned about pos­si­ble ef­fects on the es­tu­ary if the plan was “bull­dozed” through.

“Shire staff and vol­un­teers have worked hard to re­store the es­tu­ary and now all that could be un­done in one fell swoop,” she said.

“I’m talk­ing on be­half of every­one who loves the es­tu­ary.

“I hope there can be some kind of de­lay on the de­ci­sion so we can have some proper re­search done.”

Cr Jack­son said com­mu­nity mem­bers claimed there had been sev­eral con­tam­i­na­tion events at the site in the past, but the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion had no record of any con­tam­i­na­tion at the site.

DWER has listed the prop­erty as a con­tam­i­nated site re­quir­ing re­me­di­a­tion, but also told coun­cil staff there had been no ma­jor spills or in­ci­dents on their his­tor­i­cal records.

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