200 attend Bassendean meeting to discuss town centre development plans

200 attend Bassendean meeting to discuss town centre development plans

TWO hundred people filled the Town of Bassendean community hall on Wednesday to voice their concerns about the activity centre development plans ahead of a council decision on September 27.

The special meeting of electors served as an opportunity for ratepayers to address the Council about the development plans for the BIC Reserve, Bassendean Oval and Wilson Street carpark.

Residents delivered presentations related to survey results, Aboriginal sacred sites, a development agreement between the Town, LandCorp and Swan Districts Football Club and preserving green open space.

The audience presented four motions and all but a handful of people in the hall passed three of the motions.

Three of the motions involved the Town of Bassendean, Swan Districts Football Club and the State Government terminating the development agreement.

Mayor John Gangell said Council would consider the passed motions on September 27.

Cr Gangell said while there were certain aspects of LandCorp’s proposal that he was not satisfied with he supported the developments.

“I understand that there are legitimate concerns,” he said.

“As a council, we have to grow the Town in the future… I am supportive of development in the town centre.”

Cr Gangell said he would not use his casting vote if the decision later this month resulted in a split vote.

Cr Paul Bridges asked the audience to raise their hand if they wanted development at the three different sites.

Most of the crowd wanted development at the Wilson Street carpark but were against the plans for BIC Reserve and Bassendean Oval.

He said that 29 out of 32 community working group members voted to save green open space in a LandCorp survey and other surveys just required people to “tick a box”.

Cr Bridges said the councillors were not satisfied with some aspect of the plans.

Resident Graeme King said there was a vast difference between surveys conducted by community group Save Our Bassendean and LandCorp.

“It is also intriguing to see a petition signed by 1355 people and 763 responses to a community survey being dismissed as non-representative yet a LandCorp survey of 502 is deemed credible and was interpreted to show strong support for the project – despite only 10 per cent of people (50 people) having seen the plans,” he said.

Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said he did not support the current plans.

“Old Perth Road, particularly at the Bassendean train station end is really struggling and a sustainable Swan Districts Football Club is a genuine community asset,” he said.

“I just don’t think we need to build on so much green space to achieve this.”