Boulters not meeting expected heights

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
VideoBoulters Heights

The notoriously lacklustre Boulters Heights is again in the firing line as the bill to improve the area continues to climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Two former Bunbury city councillors are among those questioning what the money has been spent on and when the “eyesore” will be rejuvenated.

Michael Buswell questioned the council during last week’s electors’ meeting, labelling the area the “most dreadful part of Bunbury”.

“That area behind this building is the most dreadful scene to come to in the city of Bunbury,” Mr Buswell said.

“Any other city would have beautified and made it the backdrop to the city with colourful trees and blossoms and whatever.

“I know there’s great expense, there’s been money spent up there ... I’m just wondering if council can surely in the next little while, put aside a decent amount of money with probably State money to make that backdrop there to the city one of the reasons for visitors and tourists to come to Bunbury.”

It comes 10 years on from a South Western Times front page story in which then councillor Stephen Craddock labelled the area a disgrace following a $600,000 revamp.

In 2008 Mr Craddock said the hill should be regarded as Bunbury’s Kings Park.

The front page in 2008.
Camera IconThe front page in 2008. Credit: South Western Times

Speaking to the Times this week, Mr Craddock said he could not see a lot of improvement.

“It’s taking an awful long time ... when are we going to see anything practical up there to improve the eyesore that is Boulters Heights,” he said.

The council has a Boulters Heights Reserve Management Plan – which focuses mainly on bushfire mitigation and landscaping – but it is in need of further funding.

The council is in negotiations with the State Government over two parcels of land above the hill at Withers Crescent in a bid to take freehold of the blocks, sell them and use the money to implement the management plan.

Mayor Gary Brennan told the Times that the only thing holding the council back was funding.

“Once we have the funding identified we can then carry out the works,” Mr Brennan said.

Responding to questions of what he thought was possible for the area, Mr Brennan said “anything is possible”.

“At the moment our focus is to get the landscaping, walkways and the bushfire risk, all of those things attended to and that will require investment,” he said.

“It’s challenging because of the slope, you can do a lot of work up there and not see the benefits of it.

“There are a few challenges with it, but nonetheless it’s certainly one of our areas that we have to get on with and we will when funding becomes available.”

Mr Craddock said the management plan was “fine” but it was taking too long.

“Can’t we hasten the project to see something happening,” Mr Craddock said.

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