I have just come back from this month’s Council meeting, (the link to the agenda is at the bottom of this page if you want more details)
Here are some of the more interesting items to share from the 117 page agenda.
1. The Council tonight decided (at the third time of asking) to approve the Telstra mobile tower at the Secret Harbour shopping centre and this was passed 7-3. There was a good debate around this with many points raised but ultimately 2 councillors had attended mediation with telstra to explore other sites but, (for a multitude of reasons) none others were suitable. I voted for this approval and respect the opinions of all the councillors on this subject where differing views around radiation and health effects were raised, ultimately though we have to consider the planning merits of these applications.
2. The Council authorised , 10-0, the Budget Review. Three budget reviews are undertaken during the financial year and of note in this review was that the city has lost around $5.75m in revenue from the landfill due to losing a contract with a regional council. Metropolitan landfills have to pay a large (ever increasing) waste levy to the state government where are regional landfills do not, so this factor combined with the waste to energy plants popping up will eventually mean less external landfill coming to the city, and therefore less revenue as more competition arises.
3. Council formally adopted the new leasing policy after this had been out for public comment.10-0
4. Council voted to support the need to expand the foreshore christmas lights program and to also conduct an annual christmas festival. Congratulations have to go to Rockingham Ward Councillor Joy Stewart for not taking no for an answer on this one as she has been wanting to see the city run a festive pageant type event for a few years. The City officers may have recommended against this but the Council voted 10-0 to support.
5. The Council voted 6-4 to approve a 6 person delegation to travel to our sister city of AKO later on in the year and to allocate grant funding to potential community groups to assist them in also attending the delegation. I may have strong views on this, and voted against this, however I respect the decision that was made by the Council tonight. Those councillors who voted for this spoke passionately about the many cultural benefits that these sister city relationships have had for Rockingham, they spoke about the long lasting relationships made between school groups and other entities. They raised the fact that around 117 delegates have come from AKO over the last 20 years and no delegation has gone to AKO from rockingham in 8 years and the time has come to cement the relationship. I respect the decision that Council made tonight and I know this decision was close and I am confident that the councillors who are going will have a full itinerary for their visit and whilst many in the community have views on this being a ‘jolly’ I am very confident that this visit will be transparent, have purpose and will be reported back on fully to the community.
It was great to have 8 residents asking questions during question time and the topics ranged from bins (or the perceived lack of) on the jetties, storm damage questions, questions on the AKO trip, as well as two residents who spoke about the need for action on Arcadia Drive in regards to the unfortunate event over the weekend.
Here is the link to the full agenda, for your information.