A PROPOSAL for a cafe at Shelley Beach Park drew lengthy debate at last week’s City of Canning council meeting.
The council was split on whether to accept a recommendation to endorse the next steps for a business feasibility study for the cafe and a foreshore master plan.
Mayor Paul Ng used his casting vote to quash the motion.
It was also voted against by councillors Ayse Martli, Margaret Hall, Christine Cunningham and Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland.
The business feasibility study and master plan has a price tag of $50,000 – an amount already allocated in the 2016-2017 budget after the council agreed to the proposal in October 2016.
Acting chief executive Graeme Bride said if the council wanted to understand whether the cafe proposal was viable a business feasibility study was required.
Mr Bride said if the council was concerned about the process, a rescission motion would need to be passed.
City officers said the recent Shelley and Rossmoyne residents survey cost $35,750, with the initial fee of $25,900 to market research company Painted Dog Research engaged to conduct the survey, increasing by $9,850 for follow-up communications.
Cr Patrick Hall, who spoke in support of the motion, said it was exciting to see a community in action.
“We are simply asking for the continuance of a course of action that council put in train some time ago,” he said.
“Some months ago this motion was brought to council to engage community on an issue that has been bubbling in the community for many years.
“For 20 years the community has been advocating for a cafe offering.”
Cr Hall urged councillors not to backflip on the motion to proceed with the proposal.
“We need to listen to 66 per cent of the people who are supporting a cafe and not listen to the minority,” Cr Hall said.
Cr Hall said he had been attacked in the media and in emails he had received about the stance he was taking on the issue.
“I am not frightened about losing my position in council in the October elections. I have the resilience to say we need to move forward on this issue. This is a community master plan that we have been asked to champion,” he said.
“This is an all of Canning issue, not a Shelley or Rossmoyne one. As a council we need to keep pushing forward.”
Cr Cunningham said the survey showed residents wanted other foreshore facilities such as barbecues.
She said she did not think a Shelley foreshore cafe should be a priority for the council, citing other areas that needed development.
“I guess I want to get off the train,” she said.
“I have not been convinced this is where we want to do a development.”
Cr Holland voted against endorsing a business feasibility study prior to the City engaging in further wider community consultation.
He said starting a business feasibility study prior to the results from wider community consultation could be a waste of money if the community decided it did not want a cafe.