Bayswater Mayor defends position after questioning from ratepayer over cost of appealing concrete batching plant

BAYSWATER Mayor Barry McKenna defended his position after a ratepayer asked if he would step down after spending more than $280,000 in appealing the Collier Road concrete batching plant approval.

The amount accounted for legal and specialist environmental consultants’ costs in defending council’s opposition to the original and revised concrete batching plants at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

In January, the council did not appeal SAT’s Collier Road decision to conditionally approve the WA Premix proposal, after seven years battling the proposal.

At the August 22 council meeting, Bayswater City Residents Association president Tony Green questioned whether ratepayers’ funds was effectively used in the SAT process.

Cr McKenna said Mr Green was “ill-informed” and took his question as an offence.

“Could you know the anger in the Central ward?” he said

“I will always fight for my ratepayers.

“I sat for two hours in a witness box to fight for council only to have a person in there that could not tell me how much maximum production rates are.”

Cr McKenna said while he accepted SAT’s approval, Mr Green’s comment that he did not use the costs to the best of his ability was not the community’s opinion.

“Once they go above the (production) limit, they need to be fined a top amount or else I will personally knock on the Premier’s door and tell him to get the Department (Water and Environmental Regulation) to check it out,” he said.

Cr McKenna’s response drew claps from members in the gallery and some councillors.

Mr Green said Cr McKenna’s response was the best answer he received in years.