Coun­cil di­vided on hous­ing amend­ment

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

THE Town of Cam­bridge has ap­proved its in­terim re­port on the hous­ing op­tions amend­ment to the Town Plan­ning Scheme.

The Coun­cil again opened the floor to un­timed ques­tions on the amend­ment at its coun­cil meet­ing last Tues­day.

Sev­eral peo­ple ques­tioned Mayor Simon Withers about state­ments he made about the Save Our City Beach group that they found of­fen­sive and asked if he would run for mayor again.

Mr Withers re­sponded that it was a mat­ter for him to de­cide.

Four coun­cil­lors have been asked by the Min­is­ter for Plan­ning not to vote on the amend­ment, although they can par­tic­i­pate in dis­cus­sions, be­cause of a prox­im­ity in­ter­est.

Coun­cil­lors Alan Langer, So­nia Grin­ceri, Pauline O'Con­nor and Rod Bradley have been ad­vised not to vote.

Mr Withers said he did not have a prob­lem with the four coun­cil­lors vot­ing.

“The ad­vice has come from the Min­is­ter – I think it’s a se­vere in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the rules,” he said.

“No one can pre­dict how they (WAPC and Min­is­ter for Plan­ning) will re­act – if this gets to his desk and he re­jects it, it would mean Di­rec­tions 2031 would go the same way as coun­cil re­form. If he re­jects it, it would be ask­ing for him to get a beat­ing in the mar­ginal seats.”

Coun­cil­lor Rod Bradley cir­cu­lated a let­ter in the meet­ing ask­ing res­i­dents to send let­ters op­pos­ing the amend­ment to him.

“Mayor Withers has spent about $500,000 of your rates money on his fool­hardy ex­pe­di­tion into town plan­ning to al­low for du­plexes, triplexes and quadriplexes in the Coast Ward,” the let­ter read.

“I con­tinue to op­pose amend­ment 31 and I will be grate­ful if you would as­sist me. To phys­i­cally demon­strate com­mu­nity sup­port may achieve a change of think­ing from blood­y­minded to com­mon-sense.”

Coun­cil­lor Corinne MacRae said ap­prov­ing the in­terim re­port was only a step in the process and it would be the anal­y­sis of sur­veys that would be im­por­tant to the process.

“We can’t let it go on be­cause it would just fes­ter,” Cr MacRae said.

“As soon as is hu­manly pos­si­ble, it should go be­fore a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing (for de­ter­mi­na­tion).”


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