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BANJUP RESIDENTS GROUP (Inc.)

Rural Residents Must Be Heard !!

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Warton Road Sand Mine

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 10, 2017 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)

In August 2016, Hanson Corporation applied to the Environmental Protection Authority for permission to re-open the old sand mine at the corner of Jandakot and Warton Roads. The site has been ‘Bush Forever’ land for over 10 years.

Hanson wants the sand because its own other local sand mines are exhausted and it is having to truck sand from Ellenbrook to its concrete plants in Canning Vale and Kwinana.

Hanson could, of course, buy sand locally from the mines in Wattleup but they did not mention this in their application to the EPA.

 

The BRG submitted to the EPA that a public review of Hanson’s application be held. The EPA agreed and we expect the review to begin by March 2017.

Richgro Fertilizer Plant

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 10, 2017 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

In August 2016, the owners of the Richgro fertilizer plant at the end of Acourt Road applied to the City of Cockburn for permission to build 3 more large sheds on their property. This was advertised to neighbours and caused some consternation.

From time to time there is an unpleasant odour arising from the plant and some dust from the plant is alleged to drift over neighbours’ houses. These concerns were raised with the City of Cockburn who performed an environmental audit of the operation and identified remedial action to be taken on a dozen matters.

Richgro is performing the remedial action and anticipate that their planning application will be considered by Cockburn Council in February 2017.

341 Beenyup Road

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (3)

Work on the talking point of Banjup continues. The 2 storey mansion in Chinese ‘Siheyuan’ style - “a courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides” is now roofed and dominates the corner of Beenyup and Coffey. The building will measure 50 metres by 40 metres and occupy almost all of its building envelope It will have 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms with 13 toilets, 5 staircases, and 4 lifts.

Work has started on the second lot at the site. It will be a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom single storey ‘Siheyuan’ style residence. The building will also measure 50 by 40 metres.

The owner of the 3 lots has made applications to build a large single storey residence on the third lot on the site of the old house that will be demolished.

The first application was for a 10 bedroom, 10 bathroom single storey ‘Siheyuan’ style residence, again occupying 50 by 40 metres. The application was rejected by the Department of Water because of concerns about over-loading the groundwater in the immediate area with the outflow from 28 toilets.

The second, December 2016, application is for a building of the same size and design as the first application but some of the bedrooms have been combined into ‘Home Theatre’, ‘Sauna’, ‘Study’, and ‘Granny Flat’. There will be 5 bedrooms and 8 toilets. Whether this development will be approved by Cockburn remains to be seen.

Planning rules require that these residences be for the accommodation of one family each. The definition of a ‘family’ is not clear.

Your Committee remains concerned that these buildings might not be used by single families. It is unclear how the City of Cockburn will ensure compliance with the rules once they are all built and in use.

You can download the BRG's latest submission here.

 

Traffic Calming on Liddelow Road

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Heavy trucks of all sorts continue to use Liddelow Road to by-pass the Freeway and its junction with Armadale Road. When the new section of the widened Freeway opens by end December general truck usage of Liddelow Road might reduce but the sand trucks from Wattleup will most likely still find their way through Banjup on their way to Piara.

As part of its traffic calming plans, the City of Cockburn will construct a roundabout at Liddelow and Gibbs beginning in April 2017. Some land acquisition is required and native title concerns to be resolved.

Water Corporation to withdraw 1.5 GL more

Posted by Ian Thurston on January 10, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The Department of Water has authorised the Water Corporation to withdraw a further 1.5 gigalitres from the Jandakot Mound, making 4.4 GL in all.

The Water Corporation plans to have 50% of its supplies coming from groundwater by 2022. Resisting increased withdrawals from the Jandakot Mound will become more difficult as Perth’s population increases and the dams dry up.

Odour from Fertilizer Plant

Posted by Ian Thurston on September 24, 2015 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

There is an occasional odour from the Richgro fertilizer plant in Acourt Road. Apparently, the agency responsible for monitoring odour is the Department of Environmental Regulation. You can report bad smells here.

The more reports there are about bad smells, the more likely somehting will be done about them.

Cockburn Will Fix the Rates Problem and Council Applauds the BRG

Posted by Ian Thurston on September 10, 2015 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

At last – the City of Cockburn accepted that the “average” rate rise was not 3.5% but was almost double at 6.4%. Cockburn’s CEO admitted that the council staff had made an error in setting the rates and proposed that money should be refunded to ratepayers to bring the average down to about 3.8%. At their September meeting, Councillors agreed and a letter of apology and refunds of $50 to $1000 will soon be posted to ratepayers.

Banjup Residents have been pressing Cockburn on the rates problem since 11 June. We were dismissed or ignored on 22 occasions. Our persistence has paid off and we are pleased that the problem has now been fixed.

On 10 September, BRG Committee members met with the Cockburn CEO and senior officers for a candid discussion of the rates issues and how the City proposed to fix the problems. Afterwards, Committee members made a statement at our deputation to that evening’s Council meeting. This is what we said:

 

Statement Read to Council

Banjup Residents appreciate the time taken on 10 September by the Cockburn CEO and senior officers to explain the rates issues to us.

Banjup Residents are pleased that:

  • The City has now acknowledged that it did have a problem with the rates
  • A thorough investigation has revealed the scale of the problem
  • Ratepayers will be refunded the City’s over-collection
  • The City has given Banjup Residents open access to the rates data and calculations

However, we are concerned that our representations were dismissed or ignored for 10 weeks. If the City had listened, the rates problem could have been fixed much earlier without the angst and expense that has affected us all.

We hope that the City will learn from this experience and listen better to ratepayers’ concerns.

[Referring to the officers’ report to council], we need to put the record straight:

  • Banjup Residents did not “purport” that not billing additional waste was the cause of the higher rates bills.
  • Purport means to “falsely represent” and we did no such thing.
  • We find it offensive for us to be described so in the Officers Report to Council. We ask that the officer’s statement be corrected and reflected in the minutes of the Council meeting.

Banjup Residents look forward to a more transparent rate setting process next year.

 

Councillor Questions

Cllr Houwen asked how the BRG had alerted the City to the rates problem. The BRG replied that since 11 June they had made 22 separate approaches by email and presentations to the Mayor, councillors, the CEO, and the Finance Director. In preparation for its 21 June General Meeting, the BRG Committee had discovered that the average rates rises were not the 3.5% promised by Cockburn but were closer to 7.5%. At that meeting of 70 ratepayers, which was attended by the Mayor, councillors, and the Finance Director, the City dismissed the BRG’s calculations and maintained that they were right.

Cllr Smith asked if the BRG was pleased with the outcome of the rates review process. The BRG replied that we were but disappointed that it had taken so long.

The Mayor and councillors thanked the BRG for their continual efforts in bringing the rates problem to the City’s attention. Councillors then clapped their hands to applaud the Banjup Residents Group.

The BRG representatives thanked the Council for their kind sentiments.

"3.5% average" rates rise really 7.9%

Posted by Ian Thurston on August 13, 2015 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The BRG made a deputation to the Cockburn Council meeting of 13 August 2015. We wanted to show councillors how much in error the rate setting had been.

We wanted to make these points:

  • 3.5% average rate rise is not correct – the real average is over double that – 7.9%
  • 14,000 ratepayers have had 8% rises or more
  • Additional Waste charges for 2,000 ratepayers are now being smeared across all 37,000 ratepayers, at a cost to them of $1.97 million
  • Next year, pensioners will be worse off under the rubbish roll up scheme
  • Council has the legal ability to refund overcharged rates
  • Refunding $1.97 million will reduce the actual rates rise to 4%

 

5 minutes into our presentation the Mayor told us that our time was up. Cllr Allen said that Council's Standing Orders allowed for more time to be given, so, after referring to those orders, we got a further 5 minutes plus a bit more for a few questions. We scampered through the rest of the presentation but we were not able to drive our points home as we would have wished.

The next 3 deputations were all about a proposed petrol station in Hamilton Hill. The Mayor allowed them free rein and Council ended up spending at least 45 minutes on the matter in deputation. Just shows where the priorities lie,

Towards the end of the meeting, Council did agree that October's internal audit of Cockburn by Deloittes be extended to rate setting. We trust that all will be revealed then.

You can download our presentation to council here.

New locality name - "Treeby"

Posted by Ian Thurston on July 29, 2015 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (4)

Many Banjup residents have signed a petition urging Cockburn to consider the name "Treeby" for the new urban locality in the old sand quarry.They agree with this contention:

Fourteen men of Banjup served their country during the First World War. 6 were killed and 4 were wounded. For nowhere else in Western Australia was the toll proportionately so heavy. It must have been a severe blow to the small Banjup community of those days to lose so many young men.

Three Banjup families sent three sons each to the war: Joyce, Ribe, and Treeby. A son of each of those families died either at Gallipoli or on the western front. Three other sons were wounded and three others survived.

In this centenary year of Gallipoli, it is fitting to honour those early and ordinary Banjup men who served and died for Australia. Today’s Banjup residents would like the new urban locality that is arising from the old Banjup sand quarries to be named after one of those families that sent their sons to war for Australia. Too often, we commemorate generals – let us commemorate the ordinary troopers.

At a community meeting on 12 July, residents expressed an overwhelming preference for “Treeby”. A petition in support of this name has been prepared.

Ernest Treeby returned home from the War. His grandson is Steve Treeby who lives in Wandi. Steve would be honoured for the new locality to be named for his heroic forebears. A letter from Steve accompanies this submission.

Although the City’s formal policy is to adopt aboriginal names for new localities, the case for “Treeby”, with its long historical and honoured connection has considerable merit. By contrast, “Quendalup” – place of the bandicoot – has no specific relevance to the area. Banjup and Jandakot both already recognise in their names the traditional owners of the area.

Banjup residents urge the City of Cockburn to consider “Treeby” as a real alternative name for the new urban locality in north Banjup.

You can download a petition form here to express your support for Treeby. Contact the BRG Secretary at [email protected] by 9 August to submit your petitions with as many names from your neioghbours as you can muster.

North Banjup & Jandakot Want to Be Rezoned

Posted by Ian Thurston on July 25, 2015 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Community meetings were held on 12 and 21 July specifically for north Banjup and north Jandakot residents to discuss their response to the WA Planning Commission's [email protected] proposal.

60 or 70 people attended each meeting. Together they represent 77 individual properties in north Banjup and north Jandakot. Almost unanimously, they saw that their tranquil rural lifestyles would be lost if the proposed developments in the WAPC plan and with the further expansion of the Jandakot City commercial park.

Residents resolved to join the Banjup Residents Group submission to the WAPC that urges the rezoning of land approximately between Jandakot Road and the Jandakot Airport for commercial or urban development.

All registered Banjup and Jandakot rural residents will be invited to review and comment on the BRG submission before it is delivered to the WAPC by 31 July.

You can download the final BRG submission here.


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