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Buck stops here

THE Shire of Mundaring is rejecting claims it favours some suburbs over others after spending $31,000 on a handcrafted stone bus shelter to replace its rusty predecessor in Darlington.

Shire of Mundaring chief executive officer Jonathan Throssell said the recently constructed bus shelter was consistent with the theme of the Darlington village.

“The reason the stone shelter was chosen was because a delegation of Darlington Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (DRRA) members approached the Shire requesting the shelter be of this design to match the stone wall work within the town centre public open space and stone work at the intersection of Hillsden and Darlington roads,” he said.

“The request was investigated and agreed to because the shelter is within the direct Darlington precinct town centre boundaries and consistent with the theme for appearance of public places of complementing materials that assists development of an identifiable character and relaxed people-oriented village atmosphere.”

On the Rates Mundaring Facebook group, Diane Caravelli said she was fed up with Mahogany Creek being a poor relation in the shire’s pecking order.

“I’ve asked for a new bus shelter on the corner of Great Eastern Hwy and Craven Rd on multiple occasions and was told the usage didn’t warrant a replacement,” she said.

“The amount that was spent on the Darlington shelter could have bought two or three standard ones for other areas.”

Kelly Moore said a tin bus stop would have been just as practical.

“Not as pretty, but just as effective,” she said.

“The leftover money could have gone toward much needed footpaths in the areas that sorely need them.”

Rates Mundaring convenor John Bell questioned whether $31,000 for a single bus shelter was a suitable investment.

“When I see the list of both past and projected capital projects together with the ever increasing rates you have to wonder if this was an appropriate investment,” he said.

“It is a sort of, ‘let them eat cake’, approach but is symptomatic of a sense of disconnect with the broader community in the shire.

“I really do not want to be grumpy, because the new shelter is certainly nice but I am uncomfortable with the cost when I see what needs to be built elsewhere.”

Mr Bell said councillors were expected to represent all ratepayers equally but it appeared there had been an imbalance in the allocation of funding to different shire wards.

“I don’t want the debate to be anti-Darlington, they clearly have effective councillors,” he said.

“But logically you would think that those with the fewest public amenities should have the most spent on them but perhaps the opposite is true.

“I think some of the other wards are asleep at the wheel and unfortunately it seems the current system rewards a few at the expense of the many.”

But Mr Throssell rejected claims the shire favoured some suburbs over others.

“Glen Forrest had Morgan John Morgan Reserve upgraded, Mt Helena had Pioneer Park upgraded and Chidlow Village Green was upgraded with shire funds consistent with themes and objectives of precinct plans in those areas,” he said.

“The shire does not proportion funding according to areas but on priorities as set in the Corporate Business Plan, which is developed annually with information from informing strategies such as asset management plans that review asset renewal needs and new asset needs.

“In the current budget there is $1.1million to upgrade Bailup Rd in Wooroloo, which is the most expensive road job this year.

“Whilst the suburb of Wooroloo would not always get the most capital road works funds it would from time to time depending on the asset renewal needs and council priorities.”

Councillor Patricia Cook, who said she was expressing her personal opinion and not that of the council, said the shelter would last a lifetime and be an iconic feature for Darlington.

“The Darlington Precinct Plan, which DRRA were involved in some years ago and the shire adopted, means that there is a higher standard and particular requirements for developments within our historic, village area,” she said.

“The rock for the new shelter was sourced from Beverley to match the local rock and reflects our community which is functional, artistic and collaborative with a great appreciation for beauty of nature.”

By Sarah Brookes

About Sarah Brookes

9 comments

  1. The Glen Forrest Residents and Ratepayers Association had to lobby the council for over two years to get the upgrade to the Morgan John Morgan reserve, and from memory all they would contribute was eighty thousand dollars on a project that was for ALL residents in the area. 32 thousand for one bus stop seems to be generous when it will only be used by a few people, how do they allocate funds I wonder.

  2. Lol one sided much? With no actual figures of how much a standard shelter actually costs just one persons rough guesses of 2 or 3 shelters worth, nor any mention of the fact the DRAA put money towards the project

    Lazy journalism at its finest

  3. As Paul said, we had to lobby and lobby to get that playground upgraded. Frank Alban was a great help and suggested we apply for a Lotterywest grant. Lotterywest kicked in $80k, which helped convince the shire to go ahead with the upgrade. There was a fence allocated, between the playground and the road (to stop small kids from running onto the road), however, the shire “ran out of money” due to cost overruns, so no fence. We had said from the start we wanted a stone wall like Darlington’s one at the Pines but that was too expensive apparently! They offered a cyclone fence (how attractive), however, we ended up with no fence at all. So obviously Darlington residents’ comfort and style whilst waiting for a bus is more important that the safety of kids playing at the Glen Forrest Train park (which lots of Darlington people frequent, by the way). We had to push and push every step of the way to get that park happening. The comment from the Darlington Councillor, that “there is a higher standard and particular requirements for developments within our historic, village area” says it all, really.

  4. Midvale gets nothing

  5. If Mundaring Shire does have “pet” suburbs it is not the only Council to do so. Take a drive around the Midland area for proof.

  6. The Council should be ashamed of themselves and made to account for the all of the critical decisions made to agree to such a ridiculous amount of money spent on a clearly extravagant and next to useless item. If I recall correctly the low stone wall around the Pines park was originally supposed to be a cyclone fence (offered by the council) which was rejected by the rate payers and they got their stone wall. Clearly the squeaky wheel gets the most grease either that or there are an inordinate number of councillors living in Darlington.
    Dont hide behind BS Darlington is clearly looked after when it comes to capital works, it has a great look but how about a village atmosphere for all Hills townships not just one ala South Australia.
    I often ask myself when passing clearly high value road/footpath works like the western end of Philips Road; “Who lives there?” a fantastic looking kerbing, pathing and road surfacing, but why when there are clearly more deserving/needed projects. What about a roundabout/crossing at the Helena College Senior Campus ?which is only a moments distraction or poor decision away from serious injury or death of a student. There are many more, I hope this is a wake up call to the Council but I doubt it.

  7. Krystyna Lancaster

    It surely is a lovely bus shelter.But could it not have been built as a community project with fundraising events and local people and craftsmen volunteering their skills and time? Let’s use public funds to ensure basic needs of communities are met first.

    NOTICE OF MEETING
    The next meeting of the Mount Helena Residents and Ratepayers Progress Association Inc will be held at the CWA Hall Keane Street on Monday 21st November 2016 at 7:30pm

    AGENDA
    Apologies: John Bell

    Special Presentation by the President and Welcoming of Guest Speakers

    1. Minutes of Meeting on 19th September 2016
    2. Business arising from minutes.
    3. Correspondence:
    Inwards: The $500 grant has been approved, Invitation to Swan Community Cabinet Meeting, Chidlow Rezoning, Capital Works request submissions to Shire, Bushfire Redi- plan.
    Outwards: Response from Joan to a ratepayer saying she will follow up his complaint about the state of the oval.
    4. Treasurer’s report
    5. Guest Speaker: Jessica Shaw, The Labor candidate for Swan Hills.
    6. Guest Speaker: Neridah Zlatnik from Mundaring Shire on the Bushfire Redi-plan
    7. Whim Festival update.
    • Billy cart race
    8. Motion on notice: that the MHRRPA approach the Mundaring Shire regarding more proactive use of pet licencing fees for animal welfare purposes. Moved by: Anna Lancaster, seconded by Krystyna Lancaster
    9. General business
    • invite councillors Daw, Fox and Bertola to ratepayers meeting
    • condition of tennis courts and cricket net, skate park,
    • cover over play equipment

    The next meeting will be held on Monday 16th January 2017 at the CWA hall at 7:30pmbsic needs of communities are met first

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