By Claire Ottaviano
SAVE Perth Hills signage has come under fire with the Shire of Mundaring requesting their removal this week.
Residents supporting the Save Perth Hills movement, a campaign against high density development in the proposed North Stoneville townsite, received calls from Shire staff members to take down associated signs.
Hills Optician and Contact Lens Centre owner Larraine Richardson said she received what she thought was a suspicious phone call from a Shire staff member who would not identify themselves.
“A lady from the Mundaring Shire rang and said there was an issue with a sign on my fence line,” she said.
“I told her, that’s unusual I’ve put up signs before for the Gidgegannup Show and local school fates.
“She said they were more to do with community services but this was a protest.”
The sign says ‘support safe sustainable development, save Perth’s backyard’.
“I had a receptionist who had a property when the Stoneville fires went through, everyone was trying to get their horses out and it was chaos at first, add another 4000 people and no extra roads there’s going to be disaster.
“I am not against development in the Hills but paramount is fire safety and the road system is not set up for increased traffic.”
Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell confirmed the requests did come from the Shire.
“If signs are placed illegally by any persons, the Shire will request they be removed,” he said.
“Prior to engaging in any formal compliance process for signage on private property, it is common for Shire officers to first call the landowner to discuss the situation and advise them of Shire requirements.”
Signage restrictions are outlined in Local Planning Scheme No. 4 and the Signs Local Law 2009.
“Unless otherwise exempt within one of these documents, the erection of any sign first requires approval of the Shire,” Mr Throssell said.
Stoneville Rd resident Scott Bryce, who has a similar sign on his fence, received the same phone call but was wary because the caller would not name themselves.
Mr Bryce also has a sign supporting the Mount Helena Pool which, after being posted for eight months, must also come down.
“I believe that I am doing things that benefit the community and speaking on behalf of, who I believe, are the majority of the community who don’t want this proposal,” he said.
Mr Bryce said he has no intention of removing the signs.
Residents are eagerly awaiting the findings of public comments on the proposed development and the Shire’s recommendation to the Western Australian Planning Commission.
Mr Throssell said the report was expected to be presented to Council at a special council meeting in May at the earliest.
The number of submissions received currently stands at 950.
Mr Throssell said the majority of submissions received objected to the development.