Burns Beach will not receive additional landscaping services after a specified area rating was declined

BURNS Beach residents will not receive additional landscaping services after Joondalup councillors last month declined the request for the establishment of a specified area rating (SAR) following community consultation.

An SAR requires ratepayers in the area to contribute funds to receive a higher level of landscaping service than the City would normally provide. It was estimated it would cost ratepayers an extra $150 per year.

Consultation ran from August 4 to September 2 with surveys sent to 1251 houses in Burns Beach.

The City received 469 valid responses representing 552 properties ” 44.1 per cent of those surveyed ” and of those, 54.9 per cent supported a SAR, 40.6 per cent were opposed and 4.5 per cent were unsure.

Under the City’s SAR policy, a minimum of 75 per cent of the surveys needed to be returned and in support.

In July, the Burns Beach Residents Association (BBRA) requested the City consult old Burns Beach ” the south-west section of the suburb that is not part of the Peet Limited development ” separately.

Of the responses from old Burns Beach, 12.3 per cent were in support, 84.9 per cent opposed and 2.7 per cent unsure. From new Burns Beach, 61.4 per cent supported a SAR, 33.8 per cent opposed and 4.8 per cent were unsure.

‘Based on the high level of opposition and results falling significantly low of the requirements of the policy, it is recommended council declines the request for the implementation of a SAR,’ infrastructure services director Nico Claassen said.

Cr Tom McLean asked if there was any justification to go ahead with a SAR in new Burns Beach given the better response.

‘It did not give us that overwhelming support required by the policy,’ Mr Claassen said.

At the council briefing, a representative of the BBRA said they had sent a letter to the City saying the information provided in the consultation surveys was not sufficient.

‘The council cannot be seen as promoting one or the other decision,’ Mr Claassen said. ‘We had to be impartial in the information provided.’

Cr McLean said at the meeting he was disappointed with the outcome. ‘Unfortunately the numbers didn’t work out,’ he said. ‘I’m sure in time the residents will see the benefits of SAR.’

Mayor Troy Pickard agreed. ‘I suspect when the residents realise the impact of the taps being turned off on verges and medians that currently enjoy healthy water and vegetation coverage that will subsequently decline, they will be on our doorstep again calling for the City to reinstate what I think is a very attractive suburb,’ he said.