Council approves controversial housing amendment

About 500 people turned out to oppose the Housing Options amendment at last night’s Town of Cambridge special meeting.
About 500 people turned out to oppose the Housing Options amendment at last night’s Town of Cambridge special meeting.

AFTER hours of public question time, deputations from both sides of the argument and discussion from councillors, the Town of Cambridge council last night approved its Housing Options amendment.

Mayor Simon Withers along with other councillors faced heckling and jeering throughout the night but still voted to approve the watered-down version of Amendment 31 to the Town Planning Scheme.

A number of people in the audience yelled that Simon Withers should resign, compared him to Hitler and shouted that he was �not elected to make social changes.�

The amendment would see an increase in density in City Beach and Floreat, allowing two apartments made to look like one house on a lot more than 900sqm and two houses on corner lots over 900sqm.

Robbie Young owns three properties in City Beach, none of which would be affected by the amendment, and gave a deputation for the amendment to go ahead.

�I�ve lived in City Beach for 65 years,� Mr Young said.

�Change is always difficult but there is not a single person in here who doesn�t love this municipality.

�If the council votes against it you are telling your cousins in neighbouring suburbs that it�s ok for you to have pneumonia but we can�t even handle a runny nose.�

Keri Shannon spoke against the amendment and said the survey results showed 82 per cent of people in the area opposed it.

�I was initially reluctant to speak tonight but I believe I owe it to the people who have opposed it from the start,� Ms Shannon said.

�Retention of trees is still a major issue.

�You (the council) have no mandate to proceed.�

Mayor Simon Withers said it was unrealistic for people to think that their house lots would stay the same while the rest of Perth�s development mushrooms around them.

�The garden suburb has to evolve or die, it has to adapt,� Mr Withers said.

�We have to acknowledge that the government is putting the heat on local governments.

�This change is being driven like a team of horses by the government.�