Decision on whether to close Hillarys Horse Beach moved to December

Cassie McEntee with Lucy. Picture: Martin Kennealey d454896
Cassie McEntee with Lucy. Picture: Martin Kennealey d454896

A FINAL council decision on whether to close Hillarys Horse Beach has been deferred until December.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, Joondalup councillors considered a report on submissions received during public consultation and were recommended to amend the City’s animal local law to close the 160m beach on Whitfords Avenue to horses permanently.

In 2010, the council resolved to phase the closure of the horse beach over four years and restrict access to Mondays to Saturdays from daybreak to noon, after which the area becomes a dog beach.

MORE: Public views sought on Hillarys Horse Beach

The closure will enable the horse float car park to be reconfigured to allow for more car bays for dog beach users.In June, the council voted to seek public consultation for six weeks on the proposed amendment.

The City received 318 submissions, of which 311 were opposed, and a 2827-signature petition objecting to the beach closure.

At the meeting, Cr Christine Hamilton-Prime said it had “always been the will of the council to close the horse beach”.

“A decision of anything but the officers’ recommendation to make the local law risks bringing the working relationship between the council and administration in to disrepute,” she said.

“The City does not accept that equestrian activity belongs as a legitimate use of land within our local government boundary.

“Catering for a rural land use in an urban environment is not appropriate.”

She said she was wary of the precedent reversing the council’s decision could set.

Mayor Troy Pickard said he was “conscious this is a significant issue in our community”.

He successfully moved to defer the decision to the December 13 meeting “to enable all elected members to participate in the deliberation”.

This was because Cr Liam Gobbert had been granted a leave of absence from August 29 to October 4 and was not at the meeting.The motion was passed 7-5 with Crs Nige Jones, Russell Poliwka, Mike Norman, John Chester and John Logan voting against it.