Council debate a bridge too far
Boat owners angry after Mayor rules against footbridge discussion
A HOSTILE crowd packed out Bunbury City Council chambers on Tuesday night hoping for an item addressing the raising of Koombana Bay’s footbridge to be added to the agenda.
However, the crowd were left disappointed when a motion put forward by Cr Michelle Steck to add the urgent matter to the council’s meeting agenda failed to get up.
The debate over raising the footbridge across The Plug has been heating up, with the city’s boating fraternity banding together in a bid to convince the council to overturn a decision not to raise it.
The council in July last year voted to retain the height of the footbridge.
As about 50 people crammed into the council chambers on Tuesday night, Cr Steck handed over “somewhere between 350 and 400 letters” in support of raising the bridge.
She told the council also among the submissions was a quote for the proposal and a letter from a real estate agent in relation to property values.
While the documents were accepted as a petition, Mayor Gary Brennan knocked back a motion for a late item to be added to the agenda in relation to the matter.
“I received a copy of that at 4.40 this afternoon, I don’t consider the matter urgent and I’m not accepting it,” Mr Brennan said.
Cr Sam Morris attempted to over-rule Mr Brennan but a seven to five vote not to accept the late item prevailed.
As a disgruntled crowd left the chambers, members of the boating fraternity expressed their irritation.
“We’ll see you at the next election, or we won’t see you at the next election . . . we can play that game too,” one man yelled. Another yelled “unreal”. Speaking to the South Western Times yesterday Sports Marine owner Greg Collett said the boating community only wanted the bridge raised by 600mm and it was a “fairly cheap” exercise.
He said the group’s campaign was not about allowing bigger boats into the inlet, but rather for the safety of boat owners.