Disappointment over Shire’s bush reserve decision

Walliston resident Tim Colegate said that while he understood the need for more aged care beds in the shire, the environmental impact was undeniable.

The Shire of Kalamunda determined at the council meeting that if the land was to be developed, it should be assigned for aged-care use only.

A Shire of Kalamunda spokeswoman said any decision to change the site to urban was out of the Shire�s hands because the State Government owned the land.

She said the council enacted the amendment to the Shire’s Local Planning Scheme, simultaneously with the required amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS).

�This would result in the local planning scheme stating what land uses could be developed on the site,� the spokeswoman said.

The Shire wanted to ensure the land would be exclusive to aged-care accommodation if the State rezoned the land to urban.

The Shire amendment will go to the WA Planning Commission for consideration.

An outcome on future land use will be determined under the MRS.

The Shire has moved forward with its vision to provide an integrated aged-care facility on the 10ha site to integrate a nursing facility of 100 beds with independent units.

�These are facilities where people age in place and avoid the horrific scenario of couples being forced to live vast distances apart due to having different care requirements,� the spokeswoman said.

Though there is no specific timeframe for the final decision, the Shire is hoping for a speedy outcome given the local need for aged-care accommodation.

Additionally, the Shire agreed to protect two reserves directly behind the Wilkins Road reserve �in perpetuity�.