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Council Responds!


Dear Beagle Editor,

I wish to share Council’s response to my 3 questions regarding the Bay Aquatic and Arts Facility, published in Beagle 30 Nov: ‘COUNCIL RESPONDS WITH NO ANSWERS.’

QUESTION 1

Apart from Otium, who provided the other 2 quotes for the development (a mandatory requirement under Council’s Code for Procurement)?

This question was answered:

* ISG Projects Pty Ltd, with offices in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Mongolia.

* Brockmann Eco-Consulting. Don’t seem to have a website.

QUESTION 2

Again I ask, why were community submissions not sought on the concept plan(as RMS has done for Bay Bridge)?

This question remains unanswered as the response is made up of 7 paragraphs of copy and paste ‘blurbs’ relating to how council informed the community and provided us with information about the project. Which, of course, has nothing to do with community input on the concept plan as specified in the question.

The only opportunity for community input was in regard to the use of the Bowling Club, which is not part of the development.

QUESTION 3

Again, I seek your comments regarding whether the Principles of your Community Engagement Framework(CEF) have been met. In particular, I refer to Council’s letter to schools seeking support for grant funding, which did not include the concept plan with a 25m pool – “did the participants get all the information they needed to provide meaningful input?”(CEF)

Council states, we are “satisfied that the principles of the CEF have been met in the planning process to date.....”

“At the time of seeking letters of support for the purpose of grant funding, the business case and concept plan options were available to view on Council’s website.”

So it seems, the schools are at fault. If only they had checked out the concept plans on Council’s website first, they wouldn’t have had to withdraw their support.

A SHAMEFUL JUSTIFICATION, FOR A SHAMEFUL TACTIC!

Of note, is that council’s Community Engagement Framework consists of 5 levels of ENGAGEMENT:

1. INFORM – tell, 2. CONSULT – ask, 3. INVOLVE – discuss, 4. COLLABORATE – team up, 5. EMPOWER – follow (community decides).

INFORM applies to minimal impact activities like installing street furniture.

However, a major development that would impact most/all of the shire, with a high level of community/media interest and is likely to involve contentious issues, would warrant the need to COLLABORATE.

At this level, “Council works together with the community to identify preferred solutions and alternatives,” and “incorporates that advice and recommendations into the decisions....”

This has not occurred in regard to developing the Concept Plan for the facility. We have simply been INFORMED.

As for Council ENGAGING “with the community in the detailed planning process yet to come,” will we simply be INFORMED again?

I guess it doesn’t really matter now, because if the grants are approved, only minor changes to the plan will be permitted.

So no 50m pool and no economically viable event/concert seating.

Council wins!

Community ???

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley


Editor: Reminds me of the scene in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy written by the remarkable Douglas Adams: “‘People of Earth, your attention please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council'

‘As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. ‘There’s no point acting all surprised about it. 'All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.’

#Opinion

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