STIRLING council has stepped up its fight against the relocation of an international school to Doubleview, voting to investigate acquiring the land itself.
Councillors at last night’s meeting unanimously supported Mayor Mark Irwin’s motion to have the City examine the potential acquisition of a portion of the Doubleview Primary School site earmarked for the International School of WA (ISWA) and retain the land as public open space.
This is contingent on the Metro North-West Development Assessment Panel voting to refuse the application for ISWA to relocate to the site, which will be decided at a meeting tomorrow.
Cr Irwin said there was community angst regarding the ISWA proposal and residents were concerned about decreased amenity, increased traffic and loss of tree canopy.
He was worried about the removal of mature trees if the development proceeded and believed the City needed to make “every attempt we can” to save them.
“There’s no way we can mitigate the loss of this many trees on one site,” he said.
A report by the City said the investigation would require up to 50 staff hours and cost about $6000 for legal and valuation advice, which Cr Irwin said “for perspective” was the cost for one street tree.
Cr Giovanni Italiano was concerned about the cost and believed the City should just write to the Education Minister indicating its position and Cr Joe Ferrante agreed, suggesting the local MP also be written to.
Cr Bianca Sandri said she supported the acquisition but believed writing to elected members would take less time and the City should engage with the State Government instead of spending “$6000 on something that may not come to fruition”.
Cr Irwin welcomed the suggestions and said these could all be included within the City’s report.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said the decision to relocate ISWA to Doubleview was made by the previous State Government.
“While we have announced Inner City College at Kitchener Park as the alternative to the City Beach High School site, all other components of the western suburbs schools strategy will be honoured, which includes the relocation of ISWA to the Doubleview Primary School site,” she said.
An Education Department spokeswoman said the site was designated for education use and the development was consistent with the State Government’s strategy for public schools in the western suburbs.
“In the development of the proposal, significant attention has been given to retaining the maximum number of trees on the site and the planting of additional trees,” she said.
“Traffic assessments have been done to demonstrate that the road networks have sufficient capacity.”