New Kalamunda President sets agenda

Kalamunda Shire President Andrew Waddell has been supported by residents to amend the North District Structure Plan
Kalamunda Shire President Andrew Waddell has been supported by residents to amend the North District Structure Plan

NEWLY-ELECTED Kalamunda Shire President Andrew Waddell says he has been inundated with messages of support since amending a Forrestfield planning resolution at a special meeting of the Shire on September 29.

Cr Waddell, who was elected Shire President on October 19, presented an amendment to the North District Structure Plan to protect landowners near the proposed Forrestfield Airport Link.

Cr Waddell, whose ward encompasses High Wycombe, Forrestfield and Maida Vale, proposed that council adopt the plan with modifications to the parking strategy, only if an independent parking study was conducted to identify suitable land for the purpose of relocating landowners.

He said he was delighted with the unanimous response to his resolution from fellow councillors.

“I’m very happy with the council and the feedback from the community, which has been overwhelmingly positive,” Cr Waddell. “Residents have told me how surprised with how much we were on side.

“We now await the government to come to the party and give a response. “I’m hoping it doesn’t become a political football and a battleground for the next state election.”

The new Shire president said it was an honour to be entrusted with the responsibility and he looked forward to working with all councillors.

“Debate is healthy and normal and we need to get on with the job,” he said at his swearing in ceremony. “It’s the greatest place to live.”

Cr Waddell was Forrestfield MA for 4½ years and hoped to have a productive working relationship with current MLA Nathan Morton.

But he said he still had some concerns with parking in the rail centre in Forrestfield.

The Shire of Kalamunda has informed ratepayers that in coming months, it will engage a consultant to conduct a parking study to determine the total number of parking bays required for the Forrestfield train station.

“The Shire will also request the State Government complete all necessary acquisitions in this term of Parliament and that they work with the Shire to identify land for any landowners whose businesses will be affected by acquisitions,” an email from the Shire said recently.

Cr Waddell said it would be possible to rename the area with the arrival of the new train station, given confusion over its location.

“I believe this is a feasible and achievable goal, to rename it,” he said.

Cr Waddell said it was a conversation that he expected the council to have within the next 12 months.

“We could certainly create a new suburb name altogether,” he said.

“It’s a realistic response given the confusion over the location and the current government propensity for calling it Forrestfield North when it’s actually in High Wycombe.

“Naming the area with a new name is not that difficult and it wouldn’t be a huge upset but that’s a debate that will happen in the next sitting of council, I believe.”