VASSE MLA Troy Buswell has written to Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls in an effort to help Cowaramup locals keep their Cowaramup Waste Transfer Station, following feedback from more than 300 disgruntled people.
Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council recently agreed to close the station at the request of the proponents of a proposed tourist resort, supported by Tourism WA and the South West Development Commission.
Rather than relocate the station, the council asked that the proponents contribute funding to improve the Davis Road Waste Management facility, and provide kerbside refuse collection instead.
However, while the community generally supported the resort development, the decision to close the transfer station has upset many locals.
Their concerns include that they will face a 42km round trip to the proposed Davis Rd facility, suffer a likely increase in illegal dumping, and experience difficulties in kerbside waste collection, as well as protesting a lack of community consultation.
Mr Buswell said the feedback on the matter had been “overwhelming”, in contrast to the shire staff’s informing him they had received very little negative feedback.
In a letter to Cowaramup residents on August 7, Mr Buswell said it was clear the closure was “strongly opposed”. “I should also point out that the relocation of the Transfer Station into the Light Industrial Area is also not supported,” he stated in the letter. “I met with the shire and requested that they either reconsider the decision to close the transfer station or find an alternate location. Unfortunately the shire did not agree with these requests, arguing that the closure of the transfer station would save them significant amounts of money.
“In my view this is not an acceptable outcome, as it is clear the shire’s decision removes a valued local waste service facility and replaces it with a service which is both costly, and, in a rural environment, potentially impractical.”
Mr Buswell asked Minister Grylls that before any State funding was provided, the shire be required to re-examine alternate sites in detail, with the exclusion of the Cowaramup Light Industrial Area, and engage in community consultation as part of the process.
The proposed resort is for Lot 200 near the corner of Cowaramup Bay Rd and Bussell Highway, Cowaramup.