Recent news‎ > ‎

2015 elections - candidates respond

posted 9 Oct 2015, 08:34 by Wilkins Road   [ updated 9 Oct 2015, 08:41 ]
The following was e-mailed to all candidates listed here in the Shire of Kalamunda elections:

I'm seeking your position on the continued preservation of Crown Reserve 30314, Lot 59 Wilkins Road, Kalamunda. I would also like to publicise your response to other concerned community members.

The Shire of Kalamunda has asked the State Government to rezone this 10.7 Ha bushland reserve from "Parks and Recreation" to "Urban". The stated intention of this proposed rezoning is the development of an "integrated aged care facility". This appears to be a lifestyle/retirement village, with a small aged care facility likely to be built at a later stage. Nearly all of the reserve would need to be cleared for the proposed development.

My two questions:
If voted in as a Shire of Kalamunda councillor, would you support this proposed rezoning and development on Wilkins Rd?

More generally, do you support the preservation of our natural environment in the Shire?

North Ward

THOMAS, Margaret*
    No response. *As a councillor, this candidate voted for the LPS rezoning of Wilkins Rd reserve (24th Aug 2015).

LARSEN, Richard

"Even though I am not on council, I have been brushing up on the Wilkins Road situation as best I can. I believe the issue now rests with the WAPC. I have been told even if I were to be elected, there would be nothing I could do to stop it.

I have a young family and we love picnics in the bush! we actually have quite a lot of reserves in our Shire, some I didn't even know existed. The lesser known ones can become targets of hoons, vandals and illegal dumping.

If elected, along with concerned residents like yourself, I would like to examine ways of improving and protecting these reserves."

    No response.

North West Ward

No e-mail address provided.

No e-mail address provided.

South East Ward

"I have been asked this a number of times now, and thought it would be best if I shared examples of previous responses you. Here are a selection of responses:
1) A shortage of decent aged care facilities is a big problem in the hills. Over the years several proposed sites have been knocked back with many seniors having to unwillingly  leave their preferred lifestyle location in the hills for lack of care facilities. These seniors have given much to this community and deserve consideration. It is important to them to finish their days amongst their friends and environment in the hills. They helped develop this environment and deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and consideration. Having said that, they need a location that is nearer to services and amenities in order that they remain a part of the community such as the location of Villa Maria.
2) ) I believe that there is a need for aged care in the area because many families have a long history in the area. However, this should be done in a sustainable way that has the lowest environmental impact. However I do not believe  Wilkens Road is  a good location for an Aged Care facility  for two main reasons: Health and Safety issues (such as rescue) would mean that more natural vegetation would need to be cleared to create sound fire break zones as it is in a  high fire risk area and secondly , the Black cockatoo breeding area will be disturbed as a result.

This does not mean that I am anti-development, with the changing demographic of our community with an increase in the number of young families in the shire, we need to move forward but this can be achieved in sensitive manner that protects our character as a village. If Wilkens road was to be developed I would see it reflect an activity that suits / reflects the essence of Kalamunda - for example, eco tourism walks, information centres, family picnic areas, homeware etc. Examples would be Whiteman Park or Tambourine Mountain in Queensland. I want to keep the Rural areas alive and vibrant In summary, my vision is to have Kalamunda offering city
services but retaining the village / rural outlook.

But in order to do this, and this has become clear to me with my doorstops and walking the area to chat to residents, we need to restore community confidence in the Shire council and heal the disconnect between the Shire and the people. This is why I have campaigned on a ticket of "VOTE for CHANGE" and the basis for this is to listen to what residents think and want,  and to represent their views - an activity that the current Shire do not seem to be able to do (hence my reason to stand for the first time)."

"Thanks for your email and great that you are being proactive in seeking your council nominees views directly, I wish all residents were as engaged as you! I have attempted to answer your questions as forthrightly as I can and please feel free to contact me again if you have further queries on other issues.

My background includes considerable aged care expertise and the Shire does have an urgent need for more aged care facilities. However I am a passionate conservationist and I could never in all conscience support a decision to erase a large tract of biodiverse bushland for a development, regardless of the benefit it would have for the ageing hills populace.

My view is that these outcomes don't need to be mutually incompatible and that the Shire should be expending greater energies in identifying other non-bush tracts of land on which this aged care development can occur. My understanding is that considerable work has already been done on this front with the Kalamunda aged care committee and that there are other viable options, so I would not be supporting the Wilkins Rd development if elected.

One of my strongly held beliefs is that we must not lose our heritage and environment in a push to develop the region. Sustainability is a key factor in all my experience and decision making and I would oppose any housing or other development that impacted the intrinsic rural and bushland nature of the Shire. One of the major attractions of the hills is its unspoilt environment and it would be a major mistake to develop these areas and lose that. It would not only impact the irreplaceable bushland and ecosystems, but also the growers and primary producers of the region and the growing tourism industry we are developing around wineries, walking and the arts."

FERNIE, Michael
No e-mail address provided.

"My question to you is what do expect should be done with our elderly knowing full well that there is no other prospect on the horizon for a satisfactory solution on other parcels of land"... "if any other candidate says any different that's because they not got the knowledge,of what has transpired
Once they get elected nothing will change, there is no magic wand."
    *As a councillor, this candidate voted for the LPS rezoning of Wilkins Rd reserve (24th Aug 2015).

    No response. *As a councillor, this candidate voted for the LPS rezoning of Wilkins Rd reserve (24th Aug 2015).

South West Ward

"The short story is no I don't agree and wouldn't endorse use of Gavour or Wilkins road for the very few reasons and more but I'll be brief
1. Bushfire risk
2. Environment risk
3. There's plenty of other "dead" space sitting around- ie the Wattle Grove Primary school, the Agricultural building, the Pioneer Park and even potentially when the train line is built in the closer to the train the better in my opinion. In my honest opinion at the resident association meeting Tuesday two weeks ago counsellor Morton appeared to talk about the Ag. building being an option they were considering also.

For those reasons and more I would certainly object"... "That and actually being open and honest about using retirement villages or residential care or hospices etc- it isn't fair to give people hope they may get a place when it's not really part of the master plan. I know there is more money in retirement villages but we need aged care more than that!

We need to advocate for the long term environment because long after many people who make the decisions are gone there will be people like yourself and i who are trying to figure out what to do when a the damage is done.

I hope that I have gained your trust and support. If you or anyone else is interested I am happy to talk and meet with whomever about the issues. I am an independent person and a young family member who works full time rehabilitating people in community and gaol. My plan is to work part time so I can service the community adequately as well. I have no agenda other than making sure the community has their voice heard and serviced in council!"

WHITTEN, Justin*
    No response. *As a councillor, this candidate voted for the LPS rezoning of Wilkins Rd reserve (24th Aug 2015).

RASPA, Alethea
    No response.

MORTON, Allan*
    No response. *As a councillor, this candidate voted for the LPS rezoning of Wilkins Rd reserve (24th Aug 2015).