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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12661

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (16:07): I have rise to speak on the Harper Street, Woodbridge, unit development. On Tuesday, 16 October I met with residents of Harper Street and the surrounding streets of Woodbridge to hear their concerns relating to a 39-unit development in the cul-de-sac at the end of their street. At 4 pm on Tuesday afternoon, more than 30 people gathered to represent the many residents of the area who were extremely disheartened with their local council about the matter. Many of these residents have lived in the area for years and had planned to retire there, while others have built homes and had plans to raise their families in this particularly family-oriented and friendly suburb of Woodbridge.

While these people are not opposed to development in their local area, the concerns they have are legitimate. The overwhelming feeling in the community is that there has not been enough consultation or acknowledgement and that they have not been listened to when they have approached the local government with their concerns. Most significant amongst these concerns is that of safety issues, including that of the fire and emergency service access. There appears to be only one point of vehicle entry to the whole development of five separate three-storey buildings with only one walkway access to the rear units on the development. If a fire breaks out there is a very real danger to the surrounding properties.

The next issue is the traffic flow, with 39 car bays designated for the development. That allows for one car per unit. The development is at the end of a cul-de-sac, so even with just 39 extra vehicles coming and going, and with only one point of entry, the congestion, noise, parking issues and general business will be unacceptable and dangerous. Another major issue is that of the rubbish collection. There is very limited access to the small area for rubbish trucks to negotiate for the rubbish collection. The development plan proposes combined bin storage at the rear of the property, which skirts the residential property behind. The direct neighbours are concerned that the bins will cause unpleasant odours, encourage rats from adjacent wetlands and provide a breeding ground for flies. There are environmental concerns as well, as the site was previously used as a dump for asbestos, tyres, refrigerators, hospital waste and car batteries and it has taken 10 to 15 years to get the adjoining wetlands back to a vibrant state.

The valid concern about the enormity of the development is that it will once again put the area at risk. One of the issues that most residents faced was the lack of consultation and consideration in the planning processes. The point I want to make is that often residents have no real process of engaging with the three tiers of government to express their concerns and frustrations when developments occur in areas where they have planned to have families and to be in a family oriented suburb. (Time expired)