South Perth councillors debate meaning of temporary, impermanent

Councillors had a crash course in synonyms at their recent meeting.
Councillors had a crash course in synonyms at their recent meeting.

CAN a local government change the meaning of a word?

City of South Perth councillors debated whether the word impermanent meant temporary during their council meeting on August 22.

It follows the council’s application to the Department of Lands to change the zoning of part of Sir James Mitchell Park to allow pop-up entertainment and food venues.

The council called it “recreation and impermanent food, beverage and other entertainment events” in the management order sent to the department.

Councillor Ken Manolas brought the motion that the use of the word impermanent meant temporary.

Cr Glenn Cridland was critical of the motion. He labelled it one of the most misconceived motions he had ever seen and that the council could not change the meaning of words.

Cr Cridland said the professional advice the council had received was that impermanent was a better word to use.

The councillors voted 6-3 against the motion.

Among Cr Manolas’ reasons for the motion was that it had caused some anxiety in the community.

He said a petition had been sent to Lands Minister Rita Saffioti to reject the changes.

The petition was put together by South Perth resident Harry Anstey on behalf of Mends Street business owners, who are concerned that pop-up venues would take business away from their street.

Mr Anstey said the business owners were concerned by the use of the word impermanent instead of temporary.

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