A “COMMON sense” stance saw City of Wanneroo councillors vote against cutting off the top of the Fred Stubbs Park playground so shade sails could be lower.
The council considered a report on installing the shade sails at their September meeting and voted against a report recommending the removal of the highest parts of the playground to reduce the impact on views from nearby properties.
The City received two petitions in May, with a 693-signature petition requesting shade sails and another with one signature that objected to them.
Staff held consultation with residents about alternatives, including suggestions to move or modify the playground.
The report said it would cost $141,000 to sink the playground about 1m, $27,000 to remove the highest climbable section or $513,151 to move it nearer to the toilet block. All estimated costs included $25,000 for shade sail installation.
Councillor Glynis Parker, who is up for re-election this month, moved an amendment to install shade sails with no change to existing equipment.
“Fred Stubbs has always been a public space,” she said, adding it “desperately needs shade to offer sun protection to young users”.
“I cannot support setting a precedent that residents’ views over public spaces should become a consideration when implementing essential changes,” she |said.
Cr Dot Newton, who also hopes to be re-elected on October 21, said it was a “common sense amendment”.
“Why would we go to the trouble of altering play equipment that kids obviously love using?” she said.
“The incidence of skin cancer is so high, why would we not put a sail up because someone’s view would be blocked?
“It’s an iconic area, it’s well used and this will only add to the enjoyment of those families this summer.”
Cr Samantha Fenn echoed the “common sense” comment and said the council had a responsibility to use “money wisely”.
Cr Nat Sangalli, who co-founded the Save Our Foreshore Quinns group before being elected to the council in 2015, supported the amendment over options to move the playground.
“Our community fought a long, hard battle to get Fred Stubbs Park back to where it was,” she said.
Thanking staff for consulting residents, Cr Brett Treby said there was “no case that protects the rights of views”.