Bridge petitions likely to fail

Baskerville resident Duncan Harris started a petition to rescind the Special Area Rate for the Ellen Brook Bridge.
Baskerville resident Duncan Harris started a petition to rescind the Special Area Rate for the Ellen Brook Bridge.

One of the petitions has 367 signatures while the latest has 94.

But for a petition to be valid, the name, address and signature of each petitioner must be included and presented to council in hard-copy form.

Baskerville resident and business owner Duncan Harris started the latest petition and said it was unfair to make ratepayers in the vicinity of Ellenbrook pay for a bridge they would not use.

‘As an infrastructure project, we believe the money should be raised either by the developers of the land adjacent to the project, or the State ” not local ratepayers,’ he said.

‘Construction of the bridge may improve access for (The Vines residents) and residents of new subdivisions planned in the region, which will add at least 3200 new residential lots.

‘It is important we plan for the future to alleviate potential congestion and safety issues, but not at the cost of the local ratepayers.’

To remove the Special Area Rate, the matter must be referred to the State Administrative Tribunal, which would then decide whether the levy was improperly made or imposed.

For the City to refer it to the SAT, it would require a resolution passed by an absolute majority.

City chief executive Mike Foley said this was the only way the council could seek to rescind the SAR.

Previously, it was a SAT decision that prevented the full cost of the bridge being imposed on the developers under a Developer Contribution Plan.

A 2011 traffic study conducted on behalf of the City shows 9000 vehicles would use the bridge each day by 2031.