Ban on Swan Valley churches ‘North Korea level crazy’

Stock image.
Stock image.

A STATE MP has labelled a proposed ban on churches in the Swan Valley as ‘completely insane’.

Liberal Democrat MP Aaron Stonehouse said he will consider moving a disallowance motion in the Upper House to block the City of Swan’s proposed ban on places of worship in the region.

“You may think that organised religion is funny and goofy,” he said.

“Fine, you’re allowed to think that.

“But, to ban other people from catering for their religious practises is North Korea-levels of crazy.

“There’s something fundamentally totalitarian about a mayor of a city saying that there’s enough suppliers of a particular good or service in their city.

“Who is the Mayor to decide whether or not there’s enough of something in their city?

“It’s people who build churches, and its people who decide whether or not they are needed.”

City of Swan CEO Mike Foley said the City’s priority is to ensure that the rural character of the Swan Valley, and its agricultural and horticultural tradition, is upheld and preserved for future generations.

“The State Government is currently undergoing a review of the Swan Valley Planning Act,” he said.

“In November 2018, the City of Swan Council asked City staff to prepare some options to amend the Local Planning Scheme No.17 in order to address some immediate Swan Valley planning issues while the City awaits the release of the new Act.

“Council will consider a report on the matter at its council meeting next Wednesday, which proposes certain land use classes, including food and beverage production, place of worship, restaurant, roadhouse and tavern, are no longer permitted in the Swan Valley Rural Zone.”

Mr Stonehouse called on the Premier and community leaders to condemn the proposal.

“I will be researching how the City is proposing to carry out this ban, and if it is through a by-law or a regulation, I will move a disallowance motion in the upper house to block it,” he said.

“When new migrants take the oath of allegiance, they promise to respect and uphold the democratic beliefs, rights and liberties of Australia.

“The Mayor of Swan is failing to uphold the very oath that he oversees at citizenship ceremonies, and he should seriously consider whether he is the right person for the job.”