Demonstrators against development ejected from Stirling council meeting

Demonstrators against development ejected from Stirling council meeting
Demonstrators against development ejected from Stirling council meeting

PEACEFUL demonstrators were ejected from Tuesday’s Stirling council meeting.

A banner that read ‘Stirling Council don’t care about their residents’ was held up by Carine Action Group opposing a $40 million aged care development on Silica Road.

Mayor Giovanni Italiano called for a recess and for the “idiotic” sign to be removed from the chambers after residents questioned the City’s public consultation process in question time.

Residents are concerned about the proposed aged care centre by Opal Aged Care Group on Silica Road in Carine, which was received by the City on April 20.

Carine resident of 15 years David Goulding said the City’s public consultation process was “deceitful”.

“The whole process is deceitful, the average person doesn’t understand this process,” he said.

“I never saw a letter about it.

“We don’t want the building as prominent on the street, we want the boundaries to go back, we want them to go by the same rules as the rest of the houses here.”

Carine Action Group spokesman Lindsay Broadhurst said the group’s main concerns were the removal of trees and the setback of the development area from Silica Road which they say they were not informed about.

“They are pushing the envelope too far with this,” he said.

“ (City of Stirling) only send a letter to people within 100m; this is a $40 million development in the middle of residential area.”

Mr Broadhurst said the Carine Action Group had met with a representative from Opal but the City of Stirling had refused to meet with them on numerous occasions.

Stirling approvals manager Greg Bowering said 37 submissions were received during the consultation period.

“The City has carried out community consultation on the proposed variations by sending letters to all owners and occupiers of properties within 100m of the nearest part of the site,” he said.

“Two signs were placed on the street boundaries of the site and the matter was listed on the ‘have your say’ section of the City’s website where the plans were available for viewing for a 21 day period which concluded on June 9.

“The City values the comments and concerns raised by members of the community in relation to this application.”

Mr Bowering said all town planning issues would be addressed in the upcoming Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP), who would determine the application.

A spokeswoman from developer Opal Aged Care said nine trees would have to be removed to make way for the two-storey, 149 resident centre.

“Through recent meetings with local residents, Opal is aware residents are particularly concerned by the Silica Way (sic) elevation,” she said.

“In consultation with the City of Stirling, Opal is proposing to significantly increase the size and maturity of trees to be planted along Silica Way.

“In total Opal propose to plant 20 trees, with nine of these 20 trees to be 1000 litre trees (up to 8m high and 5m spread), ensuring immediate screening of this perspective.”

Mr Goulding said the Carine residents were not opposed to development but wanted more consultation.

“The Opal representatives showed some genuine concerns and had a meeting with us on Monday, a lot more than I can say about our own Stirling council and yet the Opal company is from over east,” he said.

Carine MLA Tony Krsticevic, who was at Tuesday’s council meeting, said he was “disappointed” in the City.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the City Of Stirling has rejected continual requests from myself and local residents for a community meeting to discuss this development,” he said.

“They pride themselves on being the level of government closest to the people yet they seem to be the most difficult to communicate with on this issue.”