BIG TURNOUT FOR MEETING ABOUT
APPLICATION FOR WASTE DUMP

More than 200 people attended a public meeting convened by the Shire of York concerning the waste dump proposed on Allawuna Farm west of the town.

Shire president, Cr Matthew Reid,  adjudicated at the meeting in the town hall on February 24 and emphasised that the purpose was to inform the community how to make submissions to the Shire concerning the development application from SITA.

Cr Reid reminded people that the meeting was not to criticise any group or individual and that he was not in a position to express an opinion on the matter as he was one of five people including deputy shire president, Cr Mark Duperouzel, on a panel set up under state legislation to consider the development.

The York Shire planning officer, Jacky Jurmann, encouraged people to make submissions but emphasised the importance of keeping them concise, unemotional and providing information to back their points of view. It was her job to go through the submissions to extract relevant information to be included in her recommendations.

In its guidelines, the Shire said a submission was a way for groups or individuals to express their opinion and provide supporting information as to why a proposal should be supported, withdrawn or modified. Suggestions as to alternative courses of action were also welcomed. A submission was not the same as a vote and the number received for or against would not determine the result. Rather it was a reasoned argument as to why a proposal should or should not go ahead and would help the Shire review the proposal before proceeding.

The Shire welcomed comment from individuals, groups and organisations. The suggested framework for a submission was:  A title to help sort submissions; the application number, site address and lot description in the title; it should also state support or opposition and be as specific as possible.

It was important those making a submission use their own words. It was tempting to copy the content of another but a submission in one's own words would have more impact. It should state any specific changes sought for the development proposal. It should then be signed and dated and include an address and phone number. If more than one person signed the submission they should also include their name and address.

Comments of submissions should focus on the issues that arise from the proposal. If there are a number of components it was important to say exactly which ones were being addressed. Points of view must be stated clearly with reasons for conclusions and recommendations.

People were reminded that  the Shire was subject to the Freedom of Information Act  and may be subject to applications for access under the act. Copies of submissions or their content, may be disclosed to third parties, the guidelines said.

The period for public submissions closes at 4.00pm on March 17. For more details visit http://www.york.wa.gov.au/residents/council_services/planning/proposedsita

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: More than 200 people attended a public meeting convened by the Shire of York to inform people of the process to make a submission on the application by SITA to establish a waste dump on Allawuna Farm about 18 kilometres west of York on Great Southern Highway.