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Green Grapes on Vine --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Swan Valley stoush

A FIGHT appears to be brewing between a group of Swan Valley grape-growers and the City of Swan over an alleged instance of unapproved infill on a neighbouring property.

Councillor Andrew Kiely has moved two motions, deemed confidential, for debate at the July 3 council meeting.

The motions read as follows – Complaints and request for an apology pertaining to (alleged) unapproved landfill at lot 401 (No. 1056) Great Northern Highway, Baskerville, and Complaints and claims for compensation pertaining to alleged unapproved landfill at lot 401 (No. 1056) Great Northern Highway, Baskerville.

Echo News understands the two motions refer to grape growers surrounding the property calling on the City for an apology and compensation in the belief the City has mishandled complaints regarding the alleged infill.

During the April 8 council meeting, Cr Kiely received answers to 18 questions, most of which referred to alleged unapproved landfill at 1056 Great Northern Highway.

According to City staff, approval is not required for fill greater than 300mm above existing ground level.

Between January 4, 2016 and October 12, 2017, 11 complaints regarding unapproved landfill on the site were lodged with the City of Swan, resulting in nine visits to the site by City of Swan compliance staff, one by the manager statutory planning and one visit to a neighbouring property.

In an answer to one of Cr Kiely’s question, it is stated that “the filling done by the current owners of 1056 Great Northern Highway were not considered to exceed 300mm and other filling was deemed to have been done by other past owners of 1056 Great Northern Highway.”

This response has been backed by Swan chief executive Mike Foley, who said the City had determined there was no unapproved landfill at the site.

“There have been 11 complaints about the site, and the City has investigated on ten occasions,” he said.

“There are various legal mechanisms under which compensation may be required, if liability is established.

“Any claims for compensation against the City of Swan must first be assessed and are managed by the City’s insurer.”

Lot 401 Great Northern Highway is owned by David Glossop, who took to his Dave Glossop for Councillor Facebook page to highlight Cr Kiely’s motion on June 21.

In his post, he questioned the ability of the CEO and the Mayor to “actually do their jobs” and had harsh words for the grape-growers.

“A legal and compliant property has been under the constant threat, hundreds of complaints and a stream of diatribe by grape growers,” he wrote.

“What is wrong with these people?

“Is it corruption?

“Is it jealousy?

“Are they mentally impaired?

“Or all of the above?”

There has been significant conflict between Mr Glossop and his grape-growing neighbours over the development of Mr Glossop’s Swan Valley Gourmet Café, in particular with an access road to the cafe that runs just metres from vines subject to spraying.

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  1. So what is this all about then, a matter of principle, loss of earnings, or is it boredom.

    Whatever it is, I am sick of the secrecy, it has the potential to cost every ratepayer in City of Swan.

    There are more important issues out there that they should be concerned about.

  2. Just wondering if ANY of the parties involved in this matter have any connection to any current councillor or official of the City of Swan?

    • Karen, the neighbours on two sides of the property in question are directly related to one siting councillor and ex mayor. Both being good grape growers.

    • Last year your ratepayers money was spent on SAT to the tune of $273’000 opposing my cafe going from 40 to 60 seats.
      We are now 60 seats.

  3. If any councillors supported this and it got out I’m sure their career in politics would come to a sudden stop.

    The fact is none of these councillors bar maybe one or two are even remotely qualified to make that call.

    It should be rejected out of hand and if the grape mob want to pursue it then take it to court and see how they get on. Ludicrous.

    Are any of these complainants (combatants) related to any councillor?

  4. Rob I think this could possibly be commonplace in the City of Swan. From my observations some of the grape growers seem to think they run the City. They are not even vintners, just contract grape growers, much like potato growers but grapes. Could the councillors and the grape growers be a bit incestuos possibly?.? Are there family connections between councillors and grape growers? The whole council should be investigated. It sounds to me like there could be a little fiefdom there?

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