Hon. Don Punch MLA
Community Town Meeting
10am, Saturday 20 August, 2022
Dalyellup Community Centre, Gosse Way, Dalyellup
Tea and Coffee provided
10am Don to welcome all
Overview of current priorities –
SWSC funding for new indoor courts, opening of Hay North Pavillion, funding for Hands Oval
Redevelopment of BRH, upgrades to Glen Iris Road Network, Port Bridge, BORR, Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront stage 3.
Don encouraged people to visit CoB website to view Glen Iris district structure plan and provide comment.
Noel Seymour asked if there is a timeframe for the new breakwater in Koombana Bay?
Don answered yes - the works are expected to begin in approximately 12mths.
Keith Halkett questioned why developers weren’t required to fund the road upgrades and new intersections. Don explained the roads in question are state roads and there are not currently developments underway that impact directly on those roads.
Dalyellup Multipurpose Community Centre, redevelopment of Carey Park Scout Hall, upgrades (storage) at Stirling Street Arts Centre
Progressing AMTECH, ECU Creative Technology Hub
Bail Amendment Bill, Mining Amendment Bill, Retirement Villages Act
10.10am Feedback from previous Town Hall Meeting
Hospital Parking – Don has received a response from Min. Sanderson to the suggestion made at the last meeting that the hospital distribute priority parking permits.
- The BRH recognises the need for prioritised parking beyond the provision of the required ACROD parking bay
- The hospital has in place eight dedicated spaces adjacent to the main entry for people with low mobility
- Consumers are allocated the most accessible parking at the BRH above all other users.
- Carpark planning for the future is considering the need to provide sufficient parking closest to the hospital entry for hospital users that need them most
Vacant property in Kurrijong Circle – A concern was raised about a property in Glen Iris that had been vacant for a long time. Given the housing crisis, it should be repaired and leased. Don made enquiries with the Department of Communities regarding the property.
- Housing has advised the property has been vacant since late March 2022. Extensive work has been required to bring the property back to a lettable standard. Works were due to be completed in late June and all of the rubbish and building materials expected to be off site by the end of the month.(seeking confirmation of the completion of works)
Development in Stratham – In reference to Killerby Estate, will the road go right through from Dalyellup to Minninup Road? – Don wrote to the Shire of Capel for an update on the development.
- Construction of the subdivision has not commenced and timing will be subject to the developer meeting all condition of the subdivision approval, including construction of a portion of Minninup Road and reconstruction of the existing Water Corporation bridge over the 5 Mile Brook Relief Floodway.
- The Shire of Capel (Shire) expect that civil works may commence on the former Killerby’s site towards the end of 2023
- In accordance with the subdivision approval, Minninup Road is to be constructed to a rural sealed standard road (where it abuts the proposed Killerby’s subdivision) and this will include a primary route shared path to one side of the vehicle carriageway.
- A secondary access road constructed to an emergency access way standard is required to be constructed from the northernmost extent of Minninup Road, at the northern edge of the proposed subdivision, through to Harewoods Road, Dalyellup to the north.
- The full construction of Minninup Road to Harewoods Road once subdivision commences could take in the order of 10 or more years to be completed
- The Shire has made application to the Federal Bridge Replacement program for a contribution towards the replacement of the Minninup Bridge.
- Potential impacts from the development of the former Killerby’s Estate land on the local Stratham area, were considered as part of and detailed with the subdivision approved in May 2022. This included but was not limited to local traffic volumes, vehicle speeds and potential local road network management considerations.
Maureen had further questions re: the estate. Don offered to put her in touch directly with the Shire.
Keith Halkett again questioned developer contributions. Don explained the progress of the development is being managed by the Shire of Capel and as such questions are best put to them. Don will take the question on notice and refer it to the Shire of Capel.
AEC withdrawal from Bunbury – Why does the AEC’s phone line and website still say it is operating in Bunbury when it is not? Don explained it is a federal issue and he will raise the matter with Senator Louise Pratt.
- The official AEC website has now been updated to show the Cockburn AEC office is the office to provide services for the electorate of Forrest.
Telecommunications – Don sought advice from SWDC regarding telecommunications upgrades and improvements being undertaken in Bunbury is response to question asking which areas would benefit from these works.
- Currently nearly all of urban Bunbury is connected to Fibre to the Node(FTTN), which includes the City of Bunbury, Dalyellup and the western portion of Gelorup. There are some small areas in Dalyellup(and Millbridge) that are serviced by a non NBN fibre provider.
- Areas outside this are serviced by fixed wireless NBN services. NBN is planning on upgrading these areas so they can offer faster speeds in the future. It is unlikely that if someone is currently on wireless that they will be moved over to FTTN or any other fibre connection given that NBN will be rolling out an upgrade of wireless network expected to be completed by end of 2025. NBN are planning an upgrade that ultimately will allow fixed wireless connection speeds of up to 250Mbps-(NBN estimate 85% will get access to this) which is faster than existing FTTN speeds of 100Mbps. (Note this last upgrade is subject to final confirmation)
- In the Bunbury CBD there is the opportunity to upgrade to fibre services for business users who need(and are prepared to connect to higher cost business grade plans).
GROH Housing – Don wrote to Minister Carey after an attendee raised the need for more housing for professional government employees in the Bunbury area. A response has been received.
- As at 30 June 2022:
- GROH had eight properties in Bunbury which are allocated to Department of Education and WA Police; and,
- GROH client agencies had represented demand for two additional homes in Bunbury under the GROH program.
- In Bunbury, the GROH Program does not currently lease any homes to WA Country Health Services for their employees.
- WA Country Health are not a proclaimed agency under the Government Employees Housing Act 1964 and manage their own housing portfolio.
Street Lighting in Withers – There is a need more street lighting in Withers, darkness is contributing to an unsafe environment. Don referenced Withers redevelopment and will ask Minister Carey where street lighting fits in. A response has been received.
- As part of the new road connections and other road works being delivered by the City of Bunbury in Withers, through the Regional Renewal program, lighting upgrades will be undertaken to improve community safety and public amenity.
- The Withers Regional Renewal program remains on track, with detailed designs for civil works underway and due to be released for tender by September 2022.
Mary Dunlop expressed some concerns about the servicing and monitoring of both lighting and the CCTV network in Withers. Don will request an update from the City of Bunbury.
Seniors’ Security Rebate – The rebate program will not allow a rebate for a security door if it has a doggie door.
- As thieves have previously used pet doors as access points for children breaking into houses they are no longer allowed. It is not possible to determine a size that protects security whilst remaining effective as a doggie door and as such there is a blanket refusal of rebates for security doors with doggie doors under the scheme.
Tourism – What tourist accommodation for people with a disability is there in Collie/Dwellingup area? – This query was referred to Jodie Hanns MLA as the local member for that area and response was provided directly to the attendee.
10.30am Item One – Housing and Homelessness in Bunbury
This issue was suggested by a number of members of the CRG. The concerns focus on the need for immediate relief for homelessness rather than medium to long term solutions.
Bunbury Rental Review (incl. Eaton/Australind) 16/8
71 properties found
Cheapest – 1x1 unit $250 p/w
Dearest – 4x3 House $1000 p/w
Properties available for under $300 p/w – 3
Properties available for between $300 to $400 p/w – 18
(Current Jobseeker rate $321.35 p/w, max rent assistance $72.90. Weekly total $394.25 for a single person living alone)
Points for discussion
Multiple contributing factors to current scenario – many people returned home and stayed home as a result of the pandemic, domestic intrastate tourism made Airbnb options very attraction for many investors, supply chain issues and labour shortages have inhibited the building of new dwellings, high demand and cost of living increases have combined to drive rents higher.
Minister Carey visited Bunbury recently and met with affordable housing providers.
The Minister is focussed on solutions to homelessness which means concentrating available funding on creating more permanent housing.
Current initiatives in Bunbury
- Tiny Houses have been very effective with wrap around services being the key to its success.
- I have met with local real estate agents to better understand housing shortages.
- $34.5 million for the Housing First Homelessness Initiative which is providing wrap around support and linking people sleeping rough in the Perth Metropolitan Area, Rockingham/Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton to accommodation.
- Social housing providers based in Bunbury (Accordwest, Alliance and Pathways) received $4 210 368 this year for property refurbishment works. This is in addition to ongoing operational funds for homelessness services.
- $5mill for revitalisation in Withers
Current initiatives in WA
- Beginning to deliver build to rent developments under long term ground leases of govt. owned land.
- Boorloo Bidee Mia has been operating for 12mths for rough sleepers in Perth. Assisting 66 people with 44 having been living there for more than 6mths.
- Establishing building panel to deliver social housing
- Initiatives to support more housing across WA and further incentives for urban infill include:
- 50 per cent land tax concession for new build-to-rent projects commencing July 1, 2023;
- stamp duty rebate of up to 100 per cent for eligible off-the-plan apartment purchases;
- planning reforms to include density bonus for private projects which includes five per cent social housing; and
- new and updated Keystart loan products helping more Western Australians access housing finance.
- Established the Local Government Partnership Fund for Homelessness
- Under used GROH properties transferred to social housing incl. 8 properties in the SW
- Introduction of the modular build program
- $875mill allocation to social housing in 22/23 budget
- $2.1bill commitment to social housing over next 4 years, includes delivery of 3 300 new homes.
- Further funds are committed to homelessness services.
Since July 2021 McGowan Government has added 600 social homes, 429 of those in the last 6mths
A gentleman raised concerns regarding his son who lives with mental ill health and has just become homeless and indicated he would like to better understand the issue. Don will speak to him individually.
Keith Halket wants to know exactly how many mental health workers are now working with police? Don to seek advice from the relevant Ministers regarding the structure of the response team in Bunbury.
11.00am Item Two – Rising Sea Levels and the Impact on Bunbury
Item proposed by Marg Garrett
To slow rising sea levels we need to address general environmental issues and reduce emission to slow global warming -
General actions to improve the environment
- Aspire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050
- State Govt. emission to be 80% below 2020 levels by 2030.
- Closing down coal fired power generators
- Ending logging in native forests
- Strategy to abolish single use plastics
- Invested in the Future Battery Industries Co-operative Research Centre
- Renewable Hydrogen Strategy
- Electric Vehicle Strategy
- Containers for Change – Since 1 October 2020 1.5billion containers have been recycled.
- $750million Climate Action Fund
- Investment in public transport to reduce traffic congestion
In the Greater Bunbury Area
- Creation of the Kalgulup Regional Park
- Investment in water treatment plant to recycle waste water for use in irrigation
2021-22 showed a total of $33.5mill over five years to fights erosion and protect WA’s coastline.
Impacts of rising sea levels
- In Bunbury, biggest impacts will be felt in East Bunbury around the inlet (including a portion of the CBD) as opposed to along the actual coastline.
- View the modelling by visiting coastalrisk.com.au
- Modelling by Coastal Risk Australia shows a rise of approximately 0.84 metres by 2100.
- With no action, it is estimated rising sea levels could claim 100 houses statewide over the next 30 years. An additional 1830 (statewide) will be at risk in 60 years. RP Data Corelogic Report
- Revetment wall along the Back Beach to protect against erosion and storm damage.
- Main Roads risk assessment of all major roads.
- Local governments commission Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaption Plans.
- The Shire of Murray CHRMAP (encompasses the estuary and Australind) is underway.
- The Koombana Bay CHRMAP has been completed
- The Capel/Leschenault CHRMAP is underway and takes in Forrest Beach to McKenna Point, Koombana Bay (inc. Inner Harbour to Cut), Leschenault Inlet/Estuary/Peninsula, Capel, Preston, Ferguson, Collie, Brunswick Rivers, Five Mile Brook Diversion, the Parkfield Drain and Millar’s Creek
Noel Seymour raised concerns about the revetment walls at the plug which will possibly prevent the flood gates from operating unless remedial works are undertaken. Don provided an update on conversations he has had with the City of Bunbury and the actions being taken.
What will provide power when Muja closes? Don explained that already 50% of the power in used is the South West region is renewable. Government is now looking at the opportunities presented by battery storage, pumped hydro storage and the expansion of wind generated power. The biggest challenge is how we store power, and we are now investing in batteries.
What about Blue Waters? Don explained they are a private operator so how they continue in the future will be a commercial decision.
Peter Ekersley – How can State Govt continue to approve large gas projects up North when trying to move to renewables?
Why are we not looking at nuclear? Don explained the economics is very difficult for nuclear in WA as it is a standalone power grid. Hopefully future advancements in fusion power will provide options,
Noel Seymour asked how far off shore will the wind turbines be located? Don explained one proposal is for 50 to 70 kms offshore, while the other is closer to shore There are some concerns to be addressed but the development of the proposals is continuing. There are no approvals in place at this time.
Don – investments and commitments being made to advancing community batteries by the Federal Labor Government
Nick Lucas commented that the survey work of marine environments for wind farms is commencing later this year.
What is going on with hydrogen? Don explain the biggest challenge is transporting hydrogen but a pilot for trucks has been funded in Kwinana.
11.15am Item Three – The incarceration of young people
Issue suggested by Don Reid.
Mr Reid spoke to his concerns about the imprisonment of 10 year olds and the ethics of this. It leads to a cycle of reoffending and is inhumane. He would like to know the political position on this issue.
State Govt position
- All State Attorneys General support a national approach to the consideration of raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
- At the Meeting of Attorneys-General of 12 August 2022, they agreed to continue developing a proposal to raise the MACR from 10 to 12 years paying particular attention to eliminating the overrepresentation of First Nations’ children in the criminal justice system.
- An Age of Criminal Responsibility Working Group has been established and will consider matters of timing and implementation, along with diversion programs and services that would need to be available if the age is raised in the future and any other matters that may be unique to each state.
- The question of whether to raise the MACR requires careful consideration. It is important to note that any increase would need to ensure that the small number of children who exhibit offending behaviour at a young age would be properly managed outside the criminal justice system and communities are kept safe.
- WA and AG Quigley have played a leading role in the national conversation.
Circumstance in Bunbury
- Youth programs like Target 120 and RYDE operate in Bunbury and are having a significant and positive impact on youth offending in our community.
- Since 2018, this Government has committed $31 million towards Target 120 to working with young people 10-14 years and their families to avoid becoming part of the cycle of the juvenile justice system.
- Target 120 is an early intervention program that focuses on a small cohort of high-risk young people and works intensively with them and their families, to help keep them out of the justice system
- Community Youth Workers work closely with young people and their families to identify their goals, focus on their strength and develop individualised support plans.
- The program helps create safer and more connected communities by tackling factors that increase chances of offending, including substance abuse, domestic violence, trauma, mental health issues, and poor attendance at school.
- The program is delivered in partnership with community services organisations. An ACCO-led (Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation) approach provides an opportunity to work more effectively and culturally appropriately with young people in the program where participants are predominantly aboriginal.
- Target 120 has proven to be extremely successful in supporting our most at-risk children and stamping out crime. Around half of the young people who participate have had no further contact with police.
- Target 120 focuses on high-risk young people who have already had contact with police, but have not yet been sentenced by the Courts.
- Target 120 was originally delivered across 11 site across metropolitan and regional Western Australia. In 2022-2023 it will be expanded to 9 new sites
BUNBURY TARGET 120
- Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation is working in partnership with the Department of Communities to manage the program.
- A major strength for operations in the region is the relationship the Target 120 Community Youth Officer has formed with the Youth Policing Officer (YPO) from WAPOL which has enabled improved co-ordination of support for clients in the same cohort
- Two mentors from Breakaway provide support for Target 120 participants.
- RYDE is delivered in Bunbury by Investing in our Youth with funding provided by the Department of Justice.
- Obtaining a driver’s licence is essential for regional young people seeking independent access to education and employment opportunities. For this reason RYDE is seen as a diversionary program with positive effects on the interactions between young people and the criminal justice system.
- For an unsupported young person, 50 hours of supervised driving as a learner is very hard to achieve and this is the particular gap RYDE fills.
- The program is proving very successful. In its first year, 15 young people successfully obtained their driver’s licence with 13 of those young people going on to secure employment
Are parents required to be part of Target 120 interventions? Don – yes but they sign up voluntarily and services are then designed to meet the unique needs of each individual family.
11.30am General Q&A
- Mr Ladyman did not attend the meeting but wished to raise the issue of noise pollution from overly loud vehicles, particularly motorbikes. He asked if annual inspections had been considered to address the problem. Don will write to Minister Saffioti to ask what has been done and what options are available for complaints and the action taken to address those complaints.
- Can Dalyellup pursue funding for a community battery? (Constituent Kelly Sibley asked the question. She is unable to attend the meeting so submitted the question in writing.)
Federal Labor commitment
- Labor will spend $200m on community batteries.
- Each is about the size of a four-wheel drive.
- They will be linked to household rooftop solar and free them entirely from the grid with both inputs and outputs for the NEM.
- Each battery would cost around $500k (thought that will come down a lot more yet).
- Labor will also seek to invest in local battery production.
- 25 communities ($12.5mill) have already been identified for the batteries (in WA they are all in Perth). Something about where the unannounced batteries will be located should come out after the October budget.
Questions from the floor
John Cotter – Thank you for the electricity rebate (several seconders in the room).
- Would like stamp duty relief for seniors looking to downsize.
- Wants Fuel card increased (has numerous medical appts in Perth that eat into his fuel allowance. Mary Dunlop suggested accessing PATS to offset these costs and Don agreed)
Gentleman asked for more motorcycle parking bays. He rides a scooter to reduce environmental impacts. Don will raise with CoB and SoC during regular meetings.
Peter Ekersley commented that sometimes Beam scooters are just dumped is places creating safety hazards. They go too fast on footpaths and are very quiet.
Mary Dunlop inquired if insurance is a major issue if there are accidents with the scooters.
Iole Tuia was very concerned about parking in Bunbury CBD. In the absence of meters she is very concerned she will get a ticket so wants an update on parking in Bunbury. Don explained new parking system.
Philip Robinson – Why are they putting fluoride in our water? Don provided response.
Water fluoridation was introduced in Western
Australia in 1968. Currently, around 92 per
cent of the Western Australia population is
provided with fluoridated drinking water.
Drinking water delivered to consumers
contains the fluoride ion, but it does not
contain any sodium fluoride, sodium
fluorosilicate or fluorosilicic acid itself
A very small amount of fluorosilicic acid is
added at the treatment plant as a liquid,
where it dissolves to release fluoride ion.
Drinking water supplies in Western Australia are
monitored on a continuous to weekly
basis to ensure that fluoride levels do not
exceed the legal limit.
Fluorosilicic acid is sourced as a byproduct from superphosphate production.
Phosphate rock and sulphuric acid are the
main raw materials used to make fluorosilicic acid.
There was a survey about the fluoridation of Bunbury water in 2018 - Approximately half of the population in the Bunbury and Dalyellup areas, aged 18 years and over, agreed with fluoridation of public drinking water supplies (51%), 25 per cent were unsure, 20 per cent did not agree to fluoridation and five per cent declined to provide an answer.
Representatives of Australian Dental Association indicate a likely 30%reduction in tooth decay once water is fluoridated.
Christine – will ACROD parking still have twice as long under new parking system. Don answered yes and he has had this conversation with the CEO of the City of Bunbury and has asked him to publicise the issue.
Christine – Why does Bunbury not have stroke unit? Can Don advocate for a unit in new hospital. Don will write to Min Sanderson and ask the question.
Telstra has a monopoly on service provision in a number of areas in Dalyellup under their Velocity service. Their charges are very high and consumers have no option to go to a different provider. John Cotter indicated he believes velocity has been sold and in coming months people will be able to access different providers. Don said his office will look into when changes will occur.
Mary Dunlop commented Seniors want to work without losing their pension, can Don advocate? Yes, the State Government supports this proposition and has already written to the Federal Government in this regard.
Nick – The street lighting on Vittoria Road is very poor and needs to be improved. Don will raise the matter with the City of Bunbury.
Joan Birkett raised the new Youth Precinct. She is very worried about children mixing with traffic and hoping there will be no accidents. Joan thinks the precinct should be fenced to slow kids down. Don asked if speed limits should be lowered? People did not think that would address the issue. Don has discussed this with the City of Bunbury and said it is a shame the issue wasn’t addressed when the precinct was built. He will feedback the concerns raised to the City of Bunbury who will need to take action to mitigate the risks.
Nick Lucas asked why there is not a fisheries office in Bunbury anymore? Don explained how Services WA operated as an office front and that compliance officers are still based in Bunbury.
Noel Seymour asked if the fishing ban comes into play will fishing licences be reduced? Don said this had not been considered yet. He went on to describe the background to changes to fishing limits and restrictions.
All other than Keith Halkett and John Cotter left the meeting. Mr Halkett wanted to discuss the BORR.
He is very concerned about
- cost blow outs on the BORR.
- traffic management on Hastie Road and Yalinda Drive once BORR is operational?
- Who is monitoring those building the BORR in terms of wildlife management? They are not compliant.
- They are not compliant with requirements for number of machine etc being used at anyone time. No-one seems to be monitoring them.
- Wildlife monitor does not have working at heights ticket so unqualified people taking possums from trees.
- Premier McGowan called them all hippies – they are not, the average age is 65 years.
Don asked Mr Halket what exactly does he want him to do? Mr Halket replied he wanted Don to go to Gelorup and talk to people.
Don responded saying not is his electorate. He has met with people in Gelorup many times. He has advocated for changes to the road network in response to community concerns. All local members and relevant Ministers are aware of the multiple public views about the BORR, both for and against. It has been through an exhaustive approvals process and is proceeding on that basis.
Don has always held same view that he would abide by environmental advice regardless of what it was and has never moved from that position.
Main Roads is accountable for the delivery of the project so Don advised those with concerns about cost and about monitoring should write to the Commissioner of Main Roads.
John Cotter recited his concerns from 2 years ago. He now believes the majority of those issues don’t hold up and he supports the project.
12.30pm Meeting concludes