Coun­cil ob­jects to wa­ter pol­icy pa­per

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Tari Jef­fers

Man­jimup Shire Coun­cil has added its opin­ion to the voices op­posed to pro­posed wa­ter li­cens­ing fees and charges.

At the coun­cil meet­ing on Thurs­day, the coun­cil voted to “strongly ob­ject” to a dis­cus­sion pa­per by the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion.

The dis­cus­sion pa­per the coun­cil voted to ob­ject in­cluded mea­sures such as the pro­posed cost in­creases on the com­mu­nity and the coun­cil.

“The State Gov­ern­ment should be aim­ing to sup­port in­vest­ment in wa­ter se­cu­rity and pri­mary pro­duc­tion — build­ing eco­nomic ca­pac­ity and in­vest­ment — rather than dis­cour­ag­ing in­vest­ment through ex­ces­sive and un­sub­stan­ti­ated fees,” the coun­cil agenda rec­om­mended.

As part of its de­ci­sion, the coun­cil also re­quested more de­tailed jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the need for the cost re­cov­ery mea­sures de­scribed in the dis­cus­sion pa­per.

Man­jimup shire pres­i­dent Paul Omodei said coun­cil staff had been work­ing hard to ad­dress the is­sues.

“We’ve done a lot of work in the past, in about 2007 the State Gov­ern­ment looked at in­tro­duc- ing wa­ter li­cens­ing leg­is­la­tion,” he said. “We will be lob­by­ing with all mem­bers of Gov­ern­ment in an ef­fort to stop the cost re­cov­ery in­creases.”

The vote also in­cluded a clause about pro­posed in­creased costs to land clear­ing per­mits.

For ex­am­ple, un­der pro­posed changes, and ap­pli­ca­tion to clear 1ha of veg­e­ta­tion would in­crease from $50 to $1000.

As ex­plained in last week’s coun­cil agenda, per­mits for shire-man­aged road re­serve im­prove­ments or main­te­nance would in­crease from $200 to $2000 each.

“We see this as a real im­post,” Cr Omodei said.

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