No go on electors’ poll for Shelley Beach Park

Shelley foreshore.
Shelley foreshore.

CANNING council has rejected plans for an electors’ poll quizzing support for a café or restaurant at Shelley Beach Park.

Council voted 8-3 against the idea to ask all City’s ratepayers at the same time as they vote in October’s local government election whether they would be in favour of a café or restaurant at the riverfront location.

In his rationale for proposing the poll, Councillor Ben Kunze said including the question with the council’s election postal vote information was a unique opportunity many local governments did not take up, and one that could help increase voter turnout.

He argued an electors’ poll on what had proved to be a divisive community issue would be an excellent chance to canvass opinions from residents from Canning Vale to Queens Park.

Despite applauding the initiative, most of his fellow councillors disagreed with his motion.

Cr Lindsay Holland said he could not support the poll as it would be an over simplistic question given a restaurant or café was not locked in to be part of the park in the future.

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The future makeup of Shelley Beach Park has been a topic of hot discussion for some time, with separate petitions for mobile food vans and a restaurant or café circulated by local residents.

Three versions of the Shelley Beach Park masterplan will be released later this year for community feedback.

Cr Graham Barry said a significant amount of money had been spent on surveys and community consultation and the city had no need to spend money on more feedback.

Cr Jesse Jacobs agreed with the idea of having an electors’ poll with the postal vote but did not believe it was wise to use it for this specific issue.