Shalom back on agenda

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Lisa Thomas

A DEVEL­OP­MENT ap­pli­ca­tion for drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity Shalom House will be re­con­sid­ered by the City of Swan next month af­ter a de­ci­sion by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

The tri­bunal de­clined an ap­pli­ca­tion last week by the City for fur­ther me­di­a­tion, in­stead opt­ing to send the mat­ter back to coun­cil.

In its de­ci­sion, the tri­bunal said it was not sat­is­fied the coun­cil had con­sid­ered the mer­its of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

The coun­cil re­fused the ap­pli­ca­tion at the July coun­cil meet­ing, go­ing against ad­vice from the SAT to ap­prove it.

In May, the tri­bunal found in favour of the fa­cil­ity, clas­si­fy­ing the prop­erty on Park Street in Hen­ley Brook as a com­mu­nity pur­pose and there­fore ca­pa­ble of ap­proval un­der Lo­cal Plan­ning Scheme No.17.

Shalom House chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Lyn­don-James, who is also a Swan coun­cil­lor, said he was happy with the out­come, which was con­sis­tent with the di­rec­tion the coun­cil had been re­ceiv­ing.

“The tri­bunal and the Supreme Court were con­sis­tent in their de­ci­sion-mak­ing process, for which we are grate­ful. Un­for­tu­nately, we can­not say the same for the coun­cil,” he said.

“We hope that the coun­cil will re­con­sider their pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion on the mer­its of the ap­pli­ca­tion, with the def­i­ni­tion of “com­mu­nity pur­pose” now clearly ex­plained and de­fined for them. The tri­bunal’s de­ci­sion leaves no room for con­fu­sion.”

The three-year le­gal bat­tle with Shalom House has cost the City more than $185,000 in fees.

Mr Lyn­don-James said it was dis­ap­point­ing that fur­ther lit­i­ga­tion would lead to fur­ther ex­penses.

Mayor David Lu­cas said the coun­cil would re­con­sider the ap­pli­ca­tion at the Septem­ber meet­ing.

“We, as a col­lec­tive coun­cil, will make a de­ci­sion in due course and I can­not pre­dict the out­come of that de­ci­sion,” he said.

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