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The public filled City of Kalamunda council chambers on Monday night. Picture: CLAIRE OTTAVIANO

Wattle Grove South saga rolls on

TENSIONS ran high in Kalamunda on Monday night as community members and council reconvened to bring the potential industrialisation of Wattle Grove South back to the table. 

About 260 people filled the public gallery and a second room for two meetings, one a special elector’s meeting and the second a special council meeting. 

The elector’s meeting saw the public vote 173 to 17 in favour of a motion calling on Council to cease all efforts to rezone up to 310 ha of the area described as Wattle Grove South in the draft Industrial Development Strategy for industrial purposes.

The motion specified that recent community consultation had shown a majority of residents wanted Council to reject the proposal described as an “environmentally destructive land use option”.

Council and members of the public listened to six arguments for and five arguments against the motion for one hour and 45 minutes.

Prior to the meeting, Deputy Mayor and meeting chairman Dylan O’Connor asked gallery members to be respectful while speakers had their say.

Some chose not to follow the request and the meeting had to be paused several times while Cr O’Connor called for order. 

There was at times confusion over the exact amount of land designated for rezoning from semi-rural to light industrial with one elector asking for clarification.

Development services director Peter Varelis said about 130 ha south of Crystal Brook Rd was proposed for light industrial investigation and residential rezoning north of Crystal Brook Rd.

The successful motion will now see the item return to council for further consideration.

The second meeting contained an item to consider community feedback on the draft Industrial Development Strategy, which identified Wattle Grove South as one of 11 industrial areas in the City, and for its final adoption.

The report said 27 submissions objected to the identification of Wattle Grove South as an industrial investigation area, nine were in support and one had no preference. 

In response to the community consultation results, administration recommended reaffirming a previous decision made at the October 22 special council meeting to determine the future of Wattle Grove South through a Community Consultation Committee of Council (CCC) but remove Wattle Grove South from industrial investigation pending the outcomes from the CCC and undertake environmental studies of the area.

City staff will now investigate the possibility of creating the Consultative Community Committee of Council, including associated costs and potential members, and report back to Council in May.

By Claire Ottaviano


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