Railing against land grab: Shire of Kalamunda

David's Garden Centre owner David Bacchion at his High Wycombe business.Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au   d443858
David's Garden Centre owner David Bacchion at his High Wycombe business.Picture: David Baylis        www.communitypix.com.au d443858

A SPECIAL meeting of Kalamunda Shire tonight will discuss proposed changes to the Forrestfield North District Structure Plan.

Cr Andrew Waddell said he would propose an amendment to the Forrestfield draft strategy about plans for three areas identified as carparking.

The recommendation to the council is expected to call for the State Government to provide more certainty to landowners in the area who may be faced with a compulsory acquisition of their land.

Cr Waddell said he also wanted to ensure the council’s intentions were clearly stated.

He said the Public Transport Authority would have to put up a very good argument for the additional carparking area.

While the Kalamunda Shire consultants have developed the plan in conjunction with the Department for Planning and the PTA, the new draft strategy allowing for 2500 carparking bays is not considered to be a good planning outcome by the Shire.

The Shire would prefer a carpark be developed next to the proposed train station, not on land that was further away.

Kalamunda Shire chief executive Rhonda Hardy met Transport Minister Dean Nalder separately to landowners last week.

Landowners and their legal representatives said Mr Nalder was sympathetic to the landowners’ concerns.

He was open to being convinced to identify the carpark only at its final location but needed to be satisfied on planning grounds.

There are three blocks of land that have been sold so far, with another seven expected to be sold.

High Wycombe business owner David Bacchion works and lives on his land at David’s Garden Centre.

His land falls under the reclamation area and he said his biggest concern was the retrospective legislation which allowed his land to be sold at the date of the first sitting of the current parliament.

Under government legislation, owners of land that has been resumed will be paid what the land was worth when the Bill for the resumption was first introduced.

“In this case my land would be valued at the date of April 2, 2013,” Mr Bacchion said.

“I don’t think this would be fair if my land is effectively frozen and can’t be sold for another 10 or 20 years because of a plan the government has to resume the land then,” he said.

“I want a fair compensation for my land and to know what the outcome will be now, not in 10 or 20 years time. There is so much uncertainty.”

Dundas Road residents have been advised the street will be closed next year when excavation for the railway line begins.

They will be expected to use Eureka Road to exit and enter their properties when this occurs.

Affected landowners have now requested a meeting with Planning Minister John Day and hope that the Shire of Kalamunda will be able to convince him the PTA has identified the wrong area for a carpark.