Community Town Hall Meeting
11 June 2022
Don opened the meeting at 10.05am, beginning with an acknowledgement of country.
- Overview of Current Projects
Don provided an update on the following projects/initiatives;
- South Bunbury Education Support Centre upgrades – the architects have been appointed and the project is underway.
- Nature playground works underway at Mangrove Cove
- Forrest Highway intersection at Glen Iris – plans endorsed for a new intersection that will take pressure off Vittoria Road.
- South West Highway Vittoria Road Roundabout – Preloading has been undertaken and the final plans public release. Construction is to commence later this year.
- Redevelopment of the hospital has commenced – carpark works are complete and allied health services have moved to the Homemaker Centre.
- Casuarina Drive Works – works on the final stage continue. Tender for new boat ramps has been awarded.
- Small business support packages intended to help overcome the impacts of the COVID Pandemic are rolling out
- Free rat kits are being distributed
- Seniors’ strategy consultation being undertaken statewide
Question from the floor – should the hospital give out parking permits for high care patients for access to priority parking? Don will write to Min Sanderson to explore this possibility.
Question from the floor – Will new boat facilities at Koombana take up more public beach? Don explained the current project is at Casuarina and will have no impact on public access to Koombana Bay beach.
Question from the floor– What is going on with the Vittoria Road/South West Highway roundabout? Don explained that construction will begin later this year. Preloading works were undertaken last year as the first stage of the project. He also explained the longer term plans to address the issues with Dodson Road to provide continuous traffic improvement.
Detailed responses were provided to all the queries raised at the previous Community Town Hall Meeting held on 26 February;
Bus Review – Don has received a response from Min. Saffioti to the suggestion put forward at the previous Town Hall Meeting.
Min. Saffioti acknowledged the feedback from the community and expressed her appreciation. She has asked the PTA to consider that feedback as part of the development of a consultation process.
Medical Specialists in Bunbury – Don has received a response from Min. Sanderson to the issues raised at the previous Town Hall Meeting.
As part of the hospital redevelopment a Department of Medical Specialties and a Department of Surgical Specialties will be created. A review of patients travelling to Fiona Stanley for treatment will be undertaken to identify specialties that could feasibly be undertaken at BRH.
There is also planning to grow the Teaching, Training and Research capability of the region which will allow specialist practitioner to train locally.
Electoral Reform – Don has written to the Attorney General for advice regarding the Upper House voting procedure for the next election.
The following advice has been received:
Put simply, electors will still be able to vote above or below the line. From an elector perspective the physical process will be very similar to the 2021 State General Election. However, electors will also have more options and control over where their preferences go. At the last State election an elector voting above the line could only put the number 1 in a box to show their support for the voting ticket that they wanted and had no control over where their preferences were allocated. At the next election in 2025 they will now be able to put the number 1 in a box above the name of the group of their choice and may also number the remaining above the line boxes in the order of their preference.
For those electors who preferred to vote below the line in the 2021 State General Election, they had to number all the boxes in the order of their preference. For example, in the South West Region there were 54 boxes below the line on the ballot paper. If an elector chose to vote below the line they needed to fill in all the boxes for their vote to be valid. At the election in 2025 electors will need to only number a minimum of 20 boxes below the line in the order of their preference (but may number more if they wish) in order for their vote to be valid.
The Electoral Commissioner fully intends to develop an education campaign, to be conducted in the lead up to the next State General Election in 2025, to inform electors as to the changes to the process of voting.
Personal Alarm Rebates – a query was been submitted, however Don was not satisfied with the advice and has asked for further information
Waste Management – Don provided advice up to date data on state based waste management programs can be found at wasteauthority.wa.gov.au. He has also written to the City of Bunbury asking for updates to be shared with residents and has received a response.
The City of Bunbury provided an extensive waste management update by letter of which participants are welcome to a copy.
In summary, the City have held 27 waste education community engagements over the past 6 months.
3.5tonnes of recyclable waste has been collected from Household Recycling Collection points since July 2021.
7million tonnes of organic and green waste has been collected so far this year. Since this figure was provided another green waste collection has been undertaken so substantially more will have been collected to date.
Housing Maintenance – A response to queries about maintenance processes for public housing has been received from Min Carey.
The Minister confirmed the process described at the previous meeting whereby regular maintenance request can be submitted via the website but urgent requests must be submitted by phone, often requiring tenants to wait on hold for extended periods of time, is correct.
The Minister recognised long wait times are inconvenient for tenants but the current process ensure urgent requests phoned through are dealt with immediately by the operator who takes the call. A call back feature has been added to try to improve the experience for tenants.
Koombana Caravan Park land ownership – clarification has been sought and received from City of Bunbury.
The additional parcel of land on the eastern side of the park is privately owned by the caravan park. It was sold to them by the City of Bunbury.
Progress report on the development of former Killerby estate – Information received from Shire of Capel.
The scheme amendment to enable residential development was agreed to by the Shire of Capel on 18 December 2019 and referred to the WAPC.
The amendment was requested for Lots 120 and 121 Minninup Road, Dalyellup. The land is owned by Cedar Woods and a subdivisionof approximately 100 lots has been approved by Council.
Minninup Bridge is an issue to be resolved before the sub-division is able to proceed. The access in and out of the development is only possible via the bridge. Funds are being sought by the Shire for the upgrades necessary for the project to proceed.
Road to Turkey Point – Clarification regarding who is responsible for the road to Turkey Point has been sought and obtained from Min Saffioti.
The Minister confirmed the new road would be an asset maintained by the Southern Ports Authority.
Community Update regarding urban renewal in Withers – Don not happy with the information received or the engagement with the community so has a meeting with Min Carey to discuss.
Don met with Minister Carey on 22 June.
Update of progress of the redevelopment of the South West Sports Centre – City of Bunbury has provided an update.
Initial stakeholder engagement, high level spatial planning and high level preliminary QS costings have all been undertaken.
It will be a staged development.
The next steps are developing a schedule of accommodation for the first stage, development of plans for the first stage, two rendered 3D images of stage one, consideration and overlay of preliminary services concept design and stage one costings by a quantity surveyor.
These works are expected to be complete by the middle of this month when the City will re-engage with various stakeholders.
Support for Indigenous Prisoners – Advice has been received from Min Johnston.
Min Johnston described a range of state based programs, including those available through the Aboriginal Languages in Custody Program and the Aboriginal Visitors Scheme and the Peer Support Program available through Prison Support Services.
In Bunbury specifically he described the Breakaway Program, a 12 week voluntary program for prisoners where alcohol and/or other drugs have played a role in their offending and the Time to Work Employment Service.
Question - Phillip Robinson – There is a vacant housing property in Glen Iris on Kurrijong Circle, that has been empty for 12 months. Given the housing crisis why has it not been fixed and mad available to someone else? Don explained delays are resulting from supply chain issues and a lack of labour. If Mr Robinson provides the address of the property we will seek an answer about the causes of the delays in this instance.
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 are due to be completed in late June and expect all of the rubbish and building materials to be off site by the end of the month.
Question - Maureen Eaton – In reference to Killerby Estate, will the road go right through from Dalyellup to Minninup Road? Don will ask Shire of Capel for more information and an update on the project.
Comment - Maureen Eaton described the difference been state and federal upper house voting. Don explained state and federal elections run under different legislation
Comment - Don Reid He expressed disappointment Turkey Point Road is going ahead, due to environmental concerns he holds. Don explained the plans for the road have been modified to minimize any impacts on the surrounding environment.
Question - Mark Blowers – 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 AEC website has now been updated and no longer refers to an office in Bunbury.
Question - Mark Blowers – Why is Perth rubbish being brought down and dumped here in our region? Don explained what he was referring to is a commercial arrangement of Cleanaway’s relating to their use of a waste management site they have developed within the Shire of Dardanup.
Don Reid raised the fact he still sees many plastic straws in use (and littered) when he believed single use plastics have been banned. Don explained single use plastic bans are not scheduled to be enforced until 1 July 2022. Lead in time has allowed hospitality business to find alternatives and adapt their business.
- State Budget
Don highlighted key items in the budget and how they will impact on the local area. Community members in attendance expressed general satisfaction with the 2022/23 budget.
Key highlights from the 2022/23 State budget include;
- $400 Household Electricity Credit
- $500 million boost to the Climate Action Fund taking the total to $1.25billion
- $400 million of additional funding for the $1.25 billion Bunbury Outer Ring Road Stages 2 and 3;
- $20 million for a new intersection and road connection at Forrest Highway and Vittoria Road in Picton;
- $85 million to continue the Bussell Highway Duplication;
- An additional $159 million to the Regional Road Safety Program, bringing the total cost of the program to $828 million. This program has already delivered upgraded shoulders and installed audible edges to more than 890 kilometres of South-West roads;
- $8.2 million for Kalgulup Regional Park to complete lookouts and accessible trails at Maidens Reserve
- $6.8 million to Bunbury Port for pilotage services and a fire protection system;
- bringing regional road maintenance jobs back to Main Roads, securing 490 ongoing jobs in regional WA; including a new depot in Manjimup and upgrading the Bunbury depot;
- $4.5 million boost to the Local Capability Fund to assist local businesses to increase their capability and competitiveness.
- $5 million for upgrades to health staff accommodation in regional WA, including in the South-West; and
- $11 million to ensure there is a nurse 24/7 at emergency departments, including in the South-West;
- $18.5 million to expand Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across regional WA;
- $113.1 million of TAFE fee reductions will be achieved in regional WA through the successful Lower fees, Local skills initiative;
- $4.5 million for a new tool rebate to support building and construction apprentices and trainees in their purchase of trade-related tools and safety equipment;
- Update on Collie Transition
Issue raised by Don Reid, “I would like to know progress on the Collie coal mine closure and the preparation of the workers for alternate jobs … The matter is related to the urgency of climate warming and I hope WA is leading the way in the energy transformation and sustainability sector.”
Don explained just transition plan for Collie
In 2018, the State Government set out the framework for the establishment of a Just Transition for Collie, in collaboration with industry, worker representative groups, local government and key community stakeholders.
This collaborative approach has resulted in the development of Collie’s Just Transition Plan which was released in late 2020.
New industries, incentivised by the State Government’s Collie Futures Fund, are choosing Collie as the town transitions away from a reliance on coal and coal-fired energy generation.
He recognised the impact of moving away from coal is affecting Bunbury and surrounding areas in terms of employment – not just Collie.
Don described the AMTECH project and the role it is intended that will play in employment and economic development in the region into the future.
The State Government is investing in the future of manufacturing in the South West, backing the potential of this sector to grow and to ensure it remains internationally competitive and create the jobs of the future.
To unlock the potential of the industry, the State Government has allocated a total of $2.48 million in funding towards a study that will examine the feasibility of establishing an advanced manufacturing hub in Bunbury Geographe.
It is envisioned such a facility would give businesses an edge when competing for contracts. It would do so by providing local access to common-use infrastructure, technology, training, education and research. By boosting business capability and capacity to link into new global supply chains, the hub is expected to support hundreds of future jobs, including apprenticeships.
- Need for Community Hubs
Issue raised by John MacKay who believes Forrest Park, for example, can play a larger role as a community hub.
Don agreed with need for multipurpose community spaces and more of them, and provided examples of how he is delivering these types of spaces for our community.
For example, when funding was secured for Picton Primary School to install outdoor fitness equipment it was on the condition it can be accessed by the whole community outside of school hours.
The State Government is funding the development of a new community hub in Dalyellup which will include a state of the art youth innovation space. This follows from the development of Yallo in Dalyellup as a community hub for families with young children.
Through Lotterywest, the State Government supported the expansion of the Stirling Street Arts Centre.
An election commitment from 2017 has seen a soon to be opened new community sports pavilion built at Hay Park.
Don has met with and is supporting the work of the Bunbury Trotting Club to create more community accessible facilities at their site to promote themselves as a community hub.
More community spaces provide greater support for volunteers and community organisations to have options to deliver their services and programs and benefit our community by promoting more accessible community activities and events.
It is important a diverse range of spaces are supported to reflect the broad needs and aspirations of our community.
Question – which areas in Bunbury are being upgraded with improved telecommunications.
This is part of a Federal program to extend fibre to node within the NBN. Don will request SWDC obtain current information about the progress of the program and put out a community update.
Question – Caravans registered in WA are being targeted over east because our rules are so lax, this particularly relates to overweight vans. The State does not recognize GBM upgrades for weight towing capacity. Can we have more universal road rules across Australia?
Don explained why rules differed for State to State and that those difference cut across many areas His office has sought advice regarding towing capacity previously and that information has been passed to the questioner.
Maureen Eaton asked – In Victoria, pensioners are allowed to work more without it affecting their pensions, why can’t rules allowing pensioner to work more without being financially penalized be introduced in WA?
Don explained pensions are federally regulated so there is no special deal for Victoria. The State Government agreeing the income thresholds for pensioners should be reviewed, particularly in light of low unemployment rates and high labour demands. The Premier has written to federal government asking for changes to the rules to be considered.
Maureen Eaton commented – seniors need stamp duty relief especially now as the cost of everything is rising.
Don explained that stamp duty of a key component of relatively limited tax income available to the State. The abolition of stamp duty would require Federal tax reform. A national conversation about the need for taxation reform has just begun and it is expected stamp duty will be part of that conversation.
Carol Reid commented – there is a need for more housing for professional government employees – eg staff at the hospital.
Don has spoken to developers keen to work in that space. State Government is doing the best it can to create additional housing in context of supply and labour shortages. Don said that the State Budget includes $5 million for upgrades to health staff accommodation in regional WA as well as substantial funding for GROH. Don will write to Min Carey to determine what GROH investments will be made in Bunbury.
Phil Mander commented – 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. He spoke about Target 120 and the RYDE program as initiatives intended to divert young people from offending and said their success. Along with safe by design, will be critical to creating safe environments.
Maureen Eaton commented – The Seniors’ security rebate program will not allow a rebate for a security door if it has a doggie door. While she recognized it had to be properly designed to ensure security she didn’t think this is fair. Don was not aware of this condition and will follow up.
Question John McKay – Trackless trams are being looked at by a few Councils in Perth. Have trackless trams been considered to link Bunbury, Dardanup, Capel etc. Don responded the Cities of Bunbury and Busselton have had some discussion about trackless trams but that is all he is aware of. He wants all options to be part of the review of public transport and encourage people to participate once the review commences. John spoke of how important effective public transport is for connected communities.
Don asked what people think of Beam scooters. The response generally was very positive. People were interested in how they work and what their potential is. Don outlined some of the legislation the State Government has put in place to enhance safety when safety concerns were raised.
Question Mark Blowers – Mr Blowers requested an update on the progress of new Australind and the progress of the development of replacement services for while Armadale line is out of commission. Don described of the bespoke new Australind and explained trialling of the new cars is set to begin by the end of next year. Work will be undertaken to make level crossings safe while Armadale line is out of commission. A study exploring a new fast train and second rail link is underway. At the time of the meeting the outcomes of the replacement services consultation were not known.
Question – Is there a time frame for a new fast train? Don said there isn’t but a second train line will definitely be required in the foreseeable future so opens up the opportunity for consideration of implementing any recommendation about a faster train.
Question – Can we bring the train station back into the CBD. Don explained the barriers to that. Perhaps we could bring it in behind the Dolphin Centre, but it is important to note most passengers getting off the train go on to the suburbs, not the CBD.
Maureen Eaton commented – we are the only state with gas guarantees.
Question Marina Quain – What are the benefits of a federal labor government? Don answered we have had a good relationship with federal government and expects that to continue with new Labor government. Don is hoping for a better integrated planning and infrastructure processes for Bunbury and that would necessarily involve the Federal Government. Federal funding seems to have focused further south in recent times and Don would like to see more come to Bunbury and Bunbury be placed firmly on the federal agenda.
Comment – If there is more development in Glen Iris there will be more pressure on Vittoria Road. Don described the general road network challenges in Glen Iris, the constraints this causes and longer term planning for improvements.
Comment – The City of Bunbury should be thanked for an improved gardening department and city greening.
Question Mark Blowers – What tourist accommodation for people with a disability is there in Collie/Dwellingup area? This question will be refered to the office of Jodie Hanns.
The issue was referred to the office of Jodie Hanns on 21 June 2022