Shire Response Concerning Planned Protest at Guilderton

Published on Wednesday, 8 February 2023 at 4:16:49 PM

There is currently circulating within the Shire a Facebook post advertising a public protest at the Guilderton Foreshore. This post contains errors and misinformation which the Shire wishes to clarify.

1. Calling for the Removal and Standing Down of Shire CEO Aaron Cook

All matters affecting the Shire of Gingin requiring high-level decision-making go through a regulated process, and are carefully researched, presented, discussed, debated, and resolved by an elected Council representing the community.

The role of a local government CEO is to implement the strategic vision of Council and executing their decisions - the CEO cannot make decisions unless delegated authority has been given by Council.

With regard to recent decisions affecting Guilderton, the CEO and his administration have undertaken courses of action as directed by Council.

The aspersion that there is no chain of responsibility is false and the calling for the removal of the CEO in this context is arbitrary and not supported.

2. Removal of Belgravia Leisure Lease for Both Café and Caravan Park

Belgravia Leisure’s lease for the Café and General Store is for 5 years, with an additional 5-year option respectively, and is legally binding. Belgravia Leisure are also committed to a service contract for the management of the Caravan Park.

The Shire has been working with Belgravia to address operational issues affecting the Café and Caravan Park.

Updates concerning the Café, including changes to lease arrangements if any, will be provided to the public as they come to hand.

3. Removal and Non-Replacement of Playgrounds, Family Infrastructure Being Lost

Shire staff recently completed an audit of all playgrounds and equipment across the entire Shire. Those playgrounds not compliant with Health & Safety Standards have been or are in the process of being removed.

Going forward, the Shire will work with communities on decisions to replace playground infrastructure. In the meantime, public safety – particularly children’s - comes first.

4. Boardwalk Repairs/Replacement

The Guilderton boardwalk was originally a community funded and built structure. However, owing to safety risks identified following a safety audit, it has been closed to the public.

The Shire understands the boardwalk is important to the Guilderton community and this project has now formed part of the list of priorities to be determined by the Guilderton Foreshore Working Group.

5. Future of the Guilderton Groyne

In 2021 the Shire engaged coastal engineering consultants to undertake a structural condition inspection and assessment report for the groynes at both Ledge Point and Guilderton.

Subsequent to report’s findings, the Shire applied for DoT grant funding in 2022 for an engineering study to determine options for reinstatement of the Guilderton groyne. Unfortunately the grant application was not successful at that time.

The Shire is aware of the community’s desire to see the groyne functional, however while we are doing what we can (subject to grant funding), the Shire is not authorised to undertake any works on the groyne without DoT approval.

6. Paid Parking Revenue & Nothing Being Done

Since paid parking was implemented at the Guilderton Foreshore, all revenue other than operating costs (meter repairs etc) has been assigned to a Reserve Account for the purpose of funding significant improvements which may include new ablutions, boardwalk repair/reinstatement, Visitor Centre, and others as determined by the Guilderton Foreshore Working Group on a priority basis.

All Foreshore maintenance is funded by Shire municipal funding.

While we understand that some Foreshore projects aren’t happening as quickly as people would like, the Guilderton Foreshore Working Group (which consists of community members and Shire representatives) are working to progress the community’s wishes for the Foreshore, and the remark that ‘nothing is being done’ on the Guilderton Foreshore is false.

Should members of the community wish to address issues with Council directly, they can do so during Public Question Time during any Ordinary Council Meeting. Alternatively, they are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting of Electors on Tuesday 7 March at Council Chambers in Gingin.

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