Mandurah councillors vote not to close Wannanup walkway

The Wannanup walkway that was the subject of controversy.
The Wannanup walkway that was the subject of controversy.

THE City of Mandurah has rejected an application to close a pedestrian walkway at Wannanup after community members spoke out against the plan.

The Waters Edge Strata Company had asked the council to close the access way linking the Piazza with the canal frontage on the grounds of past anti-social behaviour issues.

The strata company also hoped to install lockable gates to allow members of the complex unrestricted access.

Waters Edge said the closure was essential to provide peace of mind to owners and residents and preserve the security and amenity of the area.

Forty six submissions were received, of which 26 requested the walkway remain open for a number of reasons – including that anti-social behaviour appeared to be a rare event, and a new restaurant would benefit.

The submissions also said locked gates would ruin the atmosphere and could result in the canal becoming exclusive.

Others wanted the walkway closed because of people drinking and smoking along it and concern about children’s privacy when convenient and safer access to the Piazza was available.

Council officers said the access way had been in place for some time and was in keeping with the original intent for the Piazza.

Cr Fred Riebeling said he thought the argument for closure was that nobody used the access way.

“That now appears not to be the case,’’ he said.

“Interest in keeping the access way open is far higher than expected.”