Bayswater batching plant clash looms

Bayswater batching plant clash looms

Bayswater resident Barry Kramer is against the proposed concrete batching plant.

The council rejected the original application from WA Limestone on behalf of Ransberg for the plant at 277-279 Collier Road in 2011 with concerns about noise, heavy vehicle traffic, close proximity to residents and health risks from pollution.

Since then the matter has gone back and forth to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) and the city, with the council last week voting against the latest revised plans in front of a packed gallery.

Councillor Terry Kenyon moved the motion against the officers’ recommendation before Cr Michael Sabatino abruptly left the chamber, stating the alternative motion was tabled too late for proper assessment.

In a passionate speech, Cr Barry McKenna said the city was faced with choosing between two versions of a plant no one wanted.

“I relate it to capital punishment and being asked whether you’d like to be in the electric chair or hung,” he said.

“The Supreme Court is the only jurisdiction that can look at this.”

Mayor Sylvan Albert, who voted against the alternative motion, said the council did not have a choice and that if the latest plans were rejected it could revert to the original application.

Cr Albert said it was about what was best for the wider community, reminding councillors that defending it could cost ratepayers further legal costs.

Cr Martin Toldo said money did not matter because it was a health issue, which should take precedent.

Resident Barry Kramer said the community had been let down by local government because it failed to put firm policy in place to prevent any noxious industries being built so close to homes and Joan Rycroft Reserve.

Mr Kramer said that by voting for the plant councillors were going against the city’s own strategic plan, which includes to promote and facilitate a healthy lifestyle, and meet the needs and expectations of the community.

WA Limestone approvals and environment manager Roger Stephens said WA Premix was “obviously disappointed” by the council’s decision.

“Unfortunately yet more ratepayers’ money will now be spent defending this decision in the SAT,” he said.

“Council meeting documents show that councillors ignored the advice of their own environmental consultants who recommended the amendments be approved, and legal advice that a refusal is likely to cost the city a further $140,000 in legal costs.

“It will now be up to the tribunal to make a final decision and examine whether the council genuinely considered the application on its merits.”

The matter will go to the SAT in November.

WA Premix is not a subsidiary of WA Limestone, but both companies share common directors and management.