Council divided on housing amendment

The Council again opened the floor to untimed questions on the amendment at its council meeting last Tuesday.

Several people questioned Mayor Simon Withers about statements he made about the Save Our City Beach group that they found offensive and asked if he would run for mayor again.

Mr Withers responded that it was a matter for him to decide.

Four councillors have been asked by the Minister for Planning not to vote on the amendment, although they can participate in discussions, because of a proximity interest.

Councillors Alan Langer, Sonia Grinceri, Pauline O’Connor and Rod Bradley have been advised not to vote.

Mr Withers said he did not have a problem with the four councillors voting.

�The advice has come from the Minister � I think it�s a severe interpretation of the rules,� he said.

�No one can predict how they (WAPC and Minister for Planning) will react � if this gets to his desk and he rejects it, it would mean Directions 2031 would go the same way as council reform. If he rejects it, it would be asking for him to get a beating in the marginal seats.�

Councillor Rod Bradley circulated a letter in the meeting asking residents to send letters opposing the amendment to him.

�Mayor Withers has spent about $500,000 of your rates money on his foolhardy expedition into town planning to allow for duplexes, triplexes and quadriplexes in the Coast Ward,� the letter read.

�I continue to oppose amendment 31 and I will be grateful if you would assist me. To physically demonstrate community support may achieve a change of thinking from bloody-minded to common-sense.�

Councillor Corinne MacRae said approving the interim report was only a step in the process and it would be the analysis of surveys that would be important to the process.

�We can�t let it go on because it would just fester,� Cr MacRae said.

�As soon as is humanly possible, it should go before a special council meeting (for determination).�