Elec­tors meet­ing to be held af­ter all

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Joel Kelly

THE City of Bel­mont has done a back­flip over a de­ci­sion to hold a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing about the han­dling of De­vel­op­ment Area 6 (DA6) in Red­cliffe.

Ini­tially, Mayor Phil Marks wrote to the meet­ing ap­pli­cants say­ing there weren’t enough sig­na­tures for a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing. But af­ter a few hours, chief ex­ec­u­tive Stu­art Cole re­sponded to the ap­pli­cant say­ing the spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing would go ahead.

Red­cliffe res­i­dents and ratepay­ers gath­ered 146 sig­na­tures to prompt a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing with City of Bel­mont to ad­dress its han­dling of De­vel­op­ment Area 6.

The pe­ti­tion was pre­sented to last month’s coun­cil meet­ing, meet­ing the min­i­mum of 100 ratepay­ers re­quired to prompt a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing.

But ac­cord­ing to City of Bel­mont of­fi­cers and the WA Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, only 84 of the sig­na­tures were elec­tors in the district.

Bel­mont Mayor Phil Marks said in a let­ter to pe­ti­tioner Belle Schar­fen­stein “the re­quest for a spe­cial elec­tors meet­ing there­fore does not qual­ify.”

But it ap­peared the city did not count 49 el­i­gi­ble elec­tors who signed the pe­ti­tion, which meant it met the min­i­mum of 100 elec­tors re­quired to have a meet­ing.

The meet­ing will ad­dress a con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion to close Brear­ley Av­enue.

Res­i­dents have ar­gued to keep the ma­jor road par­tially open af­ter the re­de­vel­op­ment of DA6. Busi­nesses said it would make it too hard for many cus­tomers to ac­cess them if the road net­work changed.

But Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder has al­ready an­nounced the up­grade of Fauntleroy and Cool­gar­die Av­enue ahead of the clo­sure of Brear­ley Av­enue.

Op­po­si­tion trans­port spokes­woman Rita Saf­fi­oti met with res­i­dents on April 4.

She said it was clear that plans for the road net­work were not sup- ported by the com­mu­nity. She flagged rais­ing the is­sue in a griev­ance to Par­lia­ment in May, fol­low­ing on from ques­tions raised by East Metro MLC Sa­man­tha Rowe.

“What struck me was the lack of con­sul­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“It’s clearly some­thing that needs to be looked at be­cause it ap­pears this has been driven by the want to close Brear­ley Av­enue rather than what the area needs and would sup­port.”

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