Consultation shake-up

• Cr John Carey wants to make sure you’re getting your mail. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Cr John Carey wants to make sure you’re getting your mail. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

Vincent city council’s community consultation is under fire.

Locals have complained about not being notified of big developments and projects in their neighbourhood.

Leederville traders Debbie Saunders and Stuart Lofthouse say the council failed to notify them of new works at the Oxford Street Reserve, which turned out to be a snafu with the council’s database.

Over in North Perth, Hesson Razavi, Craig Willis and Paul O’Brien say they didn’t receive notification about the Albert North Perth project (mayor Alannah MacTiernan contended that given the amount of exposure she found it hard to imagine anyone could have missed it).

At next week’s meeting councillors John Carey and Josh Topelberg will ask for the consultation process to be reviewed.

Cr Carey says he’s not criticising staff but it’s sensible to look at whether it can be done better.

“We have feedback from some residents that they haven’t received information about a consultation.

“I don’t think you can ever rest on your laurels and say we’re totally happy with the way things happen.

“We can always improve the way we consult and engage with the community.”

Crs Carey and Topelberg want a working group with the mayor, two councillors and staff to review consultation.

Cr Carey said old-fashioned doorknocking might be better than mass-posted missives when it comes to important issues like town centre upgrades. This’d ensure no one’s missed by an outdated database and make sure traders—and not just the landlords—get notified of big projects.

A checklist for developers engaging the community is also on the table.

“One of the things that’s very clear from our council meetings is that time after time we have developers come along and they haven’t done the basics.

“They don’t think about it, about engaging local residents, consulting with the community.”

He wants the checklist to tell developers “don’t take a secretive approach, but engage people and bring them along with you”.

by DAVID BELL

 

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