City of Wanneroo defers decision on Dewars Track

City of Wanneroo defers decision on Dewars Track

THE City of Wanneroo will hold a special council meeting next Tuesday after deferring a decision on Dewars (Durrs) Track this week.

The council was due to consider closing the beach access track on December 18 at its December 8 meeting but, following a developer’s deputation, sought further legal advice.

Representing landowner Capricorn Village Join Venture, Acumen Development Solutions principal Nick Perrignon gave a deputation prior to the council meeting.

The City currently holds an easement for the track through agreements with two landowners and staff had recommended it surrender that easement because the risks of maintaining Dewars Track were rated “extreme”.

Mr Perrignon said they wanted to negotiate an “orderly closure” as track users were likely to get frustrated if they had no warning and that could negatively affect local residents.

“The key issue around the closure of the track is managing risk (but) there’s no track record of collisions, injuries or death,” he said. “I don’t have any knowledge of any major incidents whatsoever.”

Mr Perrignon said the terms of the easement required the City to negotiate its surrender and they needed time to prepare for the closure or there was likely to be “poor behaviour”.

He said that could include damage to “virgin bush” in the surrounding areas caused by people wanting to drive off-road.

The City’s chief executive Daniel Simms said the City would continue to work with landowners on compliance issues if it did close the track.

When the council came to consider the report recommending closure, they went behind closed doors for 45 minutes to get further legal advice.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Tracey Roberts said the report would be considered at a special council meeting on December 15 from 5pm.

During public question time, surfer Mark Sutton said the track allowed surfers and fishermen access Dewars Beach.

“It’s been a bit of a debacle what’s actually happened; four-wheel-drivers have taken advantage of the track,” he said.

Mr Sutton asked the council to come up with other solutions rather than closing the track.

“All we want to do is go surfing; I’ve surfed that place for 40 years,” he said.