Verge waste row reignites

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

A glowing report into the new City of Stirling verge policy was tabled at the City’s infrastructure and community development committee meeting last week, but before the report was accepted Deputy Mayor David Michael moved an alternative motion that ‘an urgent report be presented to council on returning the City’s bulk waste collection process to its former level of service.’

Cr Michael was the only councillor to vote against the changes to the verge policy that were instigated without public consultation in late November last year.

He said that while the intent of verge collection was waste management, the community had come to see it as a service and he maintained that he could not vote for a motion that would see a reduction in services to ratepayers.

While the motion failed to gain a seconder and lapsed, three other councillors who are not members of the committee ” crs Bill Stewart, Joe Ferrante and Giovanni Italiano ” said there was a need for an urgent review into the new policy that has divided public opinion.

But within the committee, there was significant opposition to a review.

Cr Italiano relayed a story of an elderly Balcatta resident who cannot dispose of a large television, which prompted Cr Terry Tyzack to suggest that if Mr Italiano was so concerned for the welfare of the elderly woman, perhaps he should remove the television for her. He maintained there was no reason to change the policy for one person.

Cr Sharon Cooke requested that a matrix of waste management systems used by other local governments be included in the report to full council, a suggestion that gained widespread support during debate.

But crs Stephanie Proud and Keith Sargent stated it would be detrimental to commence a review when the new policy had been in place for such a short time, with Cr Proud saying she had received mostly positive feedback on the new system.

Cr Ferrante, however, said he had received nothing but negative feedback.

Several councillors, including crs Ferrante and Italiano, suggested looking at the system used by the City of Bayswater, where residents were able to request up to three skip bins or tip passes.

The motion to receive a six-page report on the Bulk Waste Verge Collection process, put forward by Cr Proud and seconded by Cr Cooke, passed with only Cr Michael voting against it. The report will be put to the next full council meeting.