Dardanup council to hold special meeting for Cleanaway development decisions

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett
Camera IconDardanup shire president Mick Bennett Credit: South Western Times

Dardanup shire councillors will vote on Cleanaway’s three applications at a special meeting in April.

Shire president Mick Bennett said he believed there was a lot of information for councillors to take in so the issue was best dealt with in a stand-alone meeting.

“I think we need to deal with this one just a little bit differently because of its importance and because of the information we have to digest,” he said.

“This isn’t what we normally do, but this is such an important issue that I want to give it the due diligence it really requires.”

Council decisions to refuse development applications at the Banksia Road site have twice been overturned in the past 20 years.

The council’s initial refusal to turn Lot 2 on the road into a landfill site was overturned in 1999 by the Minister for Planning.

A State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) hearing in 2006 overruled a 2005 council decision to refuse an application to upgrade the site from Class II to Class III.

Cr Bennett said it was a hard position for council to be in because it could place conditions on applications that could then be appealed.

“We can do a lot of things but they can then go to the SAT for change,” he said.

“It’s very hard when you’ve got an umpire that doesn’t take into account the community — it was strongly mentioned in the previous SAT decision that the community wasn’t important enough to stop development.

“I wasn’t on council at the time but I’ve seen the ruling and I thought it was terrible.”

During last week’s meeting shire deputy president Peter Robinson asked the audience whether it was willing to work with council to fight the application.

Cr Bennett said the strong opposition shown by the community would carry a lot of weight when it came to council making a decision.

“From my perspective, I think I can see all points of view but the community’s reaction carries a lot of weight because they are the people that are living right alongside it,” he said.

“It will affect the whole town if something goes wrong on that site so I place a lot of emphasis on the community.”

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