Wanneroo councillors hot and cold on cooling

GUMBLOSSOM Hall could be breezier in a year or two following a council decision to install mechanical air extraction or airconditioning equipment in 2016-17.

Arguments that it was one of two emergency evacuation centres in the City of Wanneroo won over most councillors at their October 13 meeting. The council report had recommended immediate installation of four wall-mounted fans, expected to cost $4000, in response to a 94-signature petition requesting airconditioning or industrial fans.

It also recommended listing further upgrades in the 20-year capital works program.

Having tabled the petition in March on behalf of a member of the Prime Movers exercise group, councillor Sabine Winton moved an amendment on October 13 to spend an unbudgeted $25,000 designing air extractors or airconditioning.

Her amendment also sought to find more funds in the 2015-16 mid-year budget review or 2016-17 budget to install the equipment.

“It’s been used as an evacuation centre – it would definitely benefit the centre and our residents in those types of circumstances,” she said.

Cr Brett Treby said while it wasn’t normal to provide airconditioning in sports halls, the primary mover for the upgrade was that the centre was an evacuation facility.

The hall became an emergency evacuation centre twice during last summer’s bushfire season.

“Fires of that nature don’t happen in winter, they happen in summer,” Cr Treby said.

Cr Linda Aitken voted against the amendment, saying she could not support unbudgeted expenditure, and Norm Hewer, Glynis Parker and Russell Driver also voted against it.

With support from the rest of the elected members, the amendment passed.