CITY of Kalamunda councillors pushed back against a staff recommendation this week to permanently close the Zig Zag Scenic Drive, instead proposing an alternate motion to maintain evening closure only.
A lengthy debate ensued at Tuesday’s council meeting where staff’s suggestion to save money by shutting the popular tourist attraction failed to garner support from all of the councillors.
Instead Cr Dylan O’Connor proposed an alternate motion to keep the current night-time curfew between 8.30pm and 11am, saying it was an important drawcard for tourists.
“Some people say that because the road belongs to the State Government that we should close it and walk away, save a few dollars, and wash our hands of the Zig Zag,” he said.
“Those people are wrong.”
Cr O’Connor said it was important to look ahead at what the region would need in the future.
“We have a duty to look past our short-sighted solution and us, as councillors, are custodians of the attractions the City has,” he said.
“We are both trying to make Kalamunda more attractive on one hand, yet we are proposing to remove access to a popular attraction which people love.”
Not everyone agreed, however, with one resident who lives close to the drive, backing the staff recommendation during his deputation.
“For over 10 years the north ward of Kalamunda has been held hostage by unwelcome visitors,” Andy Farrett said.
“They continue racing up arterial roads, they are still firing guns, taking drugs, doing drug deals, sleeping in their cars and leaving all types of unwanted souvenirs of their time at the Zig Zag, all for City staff to clean up.
“Closing the one-way stretch to vehicles 24/7 will help remove the Zig Zag from the list of desirable destinations by unwanted visitors.”
Councillors expressed support for Cr O’Connor’s alternate motion, voting 8/3.
By Morgan de Smidt