2019 AGM President’s Report
I would like to welcome our current members and invited guests, thank you for attending the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Riverton, Rossmoyne & Shelley Residents’ Association.
As the year is rapidly coming to a close and we are all finding we have more things to do and less time to do, it in my intention is to provide you with a brief overview of the Associations’ achievements for 2019 and where we are heading in 2020.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the RRSRA committee, who have once again given of their time and expertise to make this a better place to live. Many of the committee members have been long standing and have a wealth of history and knowledge that we can draw on and our newer members have bought renewed enthusiasm, energy and fresh eyes. Thank you all.
The RRSRA’s Achievements for 2019:
Street Verge Permits
I would suggest that one of our greatest achievements for 2019 has been the review of the use of verges in the local area – the formalising of the verge permits process, clearer instructions on the City of Canning website, negotiating an on-going process to manage the use of verges by al! the relevant stakeholders. My sincere thanks go to Stephen Johnston for his thorough research, presentation to Council and continued engagement with the City of Canning to ensure the proposal had relevance.
This is a work in progress, but members of our Committee have been undertaking an audit of the footpaths in the local area to ensure that it meets the future needs of the Community. There are competing demands for appropriate footpaths to cover the needs of walkers, cyclists, prams, gophers with a vast range of ages – the very young to the very old all members of our Community who need to be accommodated.
The Audit team are looking at the current provision and future needs with regards to access to major thoroughfares such as transport and retail precincts to ensure all our residents have access appropriate to their requirements. Particularly in view of the redevelopment in the area which will without doubt change the current demographic quite significantly. lt is anticipated that this report will be available in the New Year. ‘
This is without question the jewel in our crown and makes the place where we live so special, and l am sure you are all aware we have a very divided community on how to best use this space in the future – better recreation spaces, more trees restaurants/coffee shops, additional parking while managing a fragile environment and struggling waterways.
The RRSRA has been actively involved with the Community Workshops organised by the City of Canning to ensure the Associations’ members views have been presented. We have aligned ourselves with the “Save Shelley Beach Park Community Group” to strengthen the support for the preservation of the environment. We have very fortunately gained a driving force of the Save the Shelley Foreshore group in Mr. Richard Aldridge who I am very happy to say joined our Committee in 2019 and will again be with us in 2020.
Richard has already demonstrated his passion in effectively managing this very special part of the world by measured and well researched arguments to the Consultants, City of Canning Administration and Councillors and I am happy to say he’s on our side.
The RRSRA has gone viral.
You may or may not be aware but the RRSRA has actively engaged with social media. We are now engaging with 4 Facebook community web pages-:
- Riverton Rossmoyne Shelley community page
- I love Shelley
- I love Rossmoyne
- ! love Riverton.
This has directly attributed to increased traffic to the RRSRA website, doubling in the last three months.
This has presented the opportunity for people in the community to see and hear what the RRSRA represents and what we are doing – it has also enabled the Association to have exposure to approx. 2000 residents. As with all organisations with the will to survive we see our next step as launching our own Facebook page – what can I say “stay tuned” we are looking forward to leaping into the new age.
To ensure that the RRSRA continues to grow and represent it’s residents with relevance, we as an Association believe it is time to look at our future directions and what we need to do to ensure our continued existence and how best we can serve our members.
So, our priorities for 2O2O are:
- Significantly increasing our membership and to ensure it is inclusive and representative of the local community both within its membership and the committee.
- Review our current practices to ensure that our processes and procedures are current, effective and work in the best interest of the community we represent and to also develop effective practices that will provide better communication channels between the Committee and our Members.
- Choose our projects. Without question the most important issue is ensuring that we provide an effective and appropriate response to the Shelley Beach foreshore project. This I would suggest is a priority and I would ask now that our members engage as actively as possible over the next 12 months particularly. At the end of the day this goes to the ongoing quality of our life and that of future generations.
- While we see this as a high priority it does not mean it is our sole project and we would very much like to hear from our members to provide direction on what they see as priorities.
We have lot of business to get through until we get to the supper table so I will finish. Again, I would like to thank the committee:
- Don Munro
- Tim Brook – A special thanks goes to Tim Brook who has worn many hats this year but in particular for his role as acting secretary – his efforts have been most appreciated.
- Bill Young
- Peter Agar
- Robert Suann
- Stephen Johnston – thank you for all your efforts this year and all good wishes for your future endeavours. Steve has withdrawn from the committee because he thinks he’s going to retire.
- Richard Aldridge
- Gail Barbera
I would also like to thank our Members for their continued support and look forward to building our numbers, so we are a representative force for the Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley community.
11th November 2019
NEWS UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2019
Hello Dear Members,
My apology for the late issue of the September News Update but have been travelling and out of the country.
The City of Canning has now released its draft Urban Forest Strategy for comment. Comments close on Friday 4 October 2019.
The central objective of the Strategy is to address the depauperate level of tree canopy cover in the City – 7.6 per cent, one of the lowest in Perth – and increase it by 22.3 per cent through the establishment of an additional 61,215 trees. Aside from the City’s public open space, where it is planned to plant an additional 35,500 trees, street verges are the key area. The City has a target to increase the average streetscape canopy cover on from 6.1% to 12.9% by 2039, based on planting at least one tree on every road verge. This presents a huge challenge because in 2015 only 27.5% of verges within the City had a verge tree.
This target – and therefore the City’s overall tree canopy target – cannot possibly be achieved under the current approach which predominantly relies on residents to request a tree or trees on their verge. It would be reasonable to suggest that a certain percentage of the population are very supportive of street trees, a certain percentage are dead against them while the majority as fairly apathetic. There is a fair likelihood that the first group have taken up or will take up the City’s offer. The second group definitely won’t. Some of the third majority group may do so but for many others it just won’t be a priority and although not necessarily opposed to street trees, they may simply not be sufficiently motivated by the City’s proposed promotional campaign to act.
If my assessment is largely correct, only adoption by the City of the opt in/opt out approach will have some chance of achieving the City’s target. What it would mean in practice is that in the wake of general and then more area-targeted public relations campaigns promoting the values of street trees, the City would advise residents in a street or in an area comprising a number of streets that, consistent with the City’s Urban Forest, Street Trees and Local Biodiversity Strategies, the City would be planting street trees between certain dates on verges where there were none. The notice would include a list of the approved trees for residents to make their selection, except where the City wanted to maintain species consistency or where there were particular local circumstances that limited the number of options that could be offered from the approved list. Residents would be given a reasonable time to respond, maybe two months (to accommodate those who were away) to indicate on a simple form:
- whether they would like one or two trees on their verge;
- what species on the approved list they would like planted; or
- If they wished to opt-out of the scheme and not have any street tree(s).
Residents would be advised that If they did not return the form by a designated deadline, their silence would connote consent and a tree or trees of the City’s choosing would be planted on their verge.
The principal advantage of this approach is that it would get a large number of trees onto verges which would not be there if the City relied on resident pro-activity. It would play to the City’s strength – verges are public land which the City is responsible for managing and therefore it is completely in their power to implement an endorsed strategy on the verges while still giving residents the right to opt out.
Peter M Clayton
NEWS UPDATE – AUGUST 2019
Hello Dear Members,
It is very pleasing that the City of Canning has now adopted all but one of the recommendation RRSRA have put forward for improving the City’s verge permit application form and information on its website and checking on builders’ compliance with the permit conditions. The only proposed change the City has not adopted – which is disappointing and we will continue to advocate for it – is the public display of verge permits at the front of building sites.
Probably the most significant indication of the City’s serious commitment to improving compliance is the pro-active auditing by City officers of at least 30 building sites a month. This is actually more than we asked for in our submission but it is commendable and should be maintained indefinitely, regardless of whether compliance increases or not. To play on the words of an old phrase, the price of compliance is eternal vigilance.
This commitment by the City was outlined to us at a very productive meeting, facilitated by Cr Ben Kunze, between myself, Tim Brook and Stephen Johnston with the City’s Director of Sustainable Development, Graeme Bride and the Executive Director of Healthy Canning, Clint Burdett on 13 August. As a further contribution, Stephen told Graeme and Clint of the significant inconsistencies he had identified in the wording of the verge permit conditions, the application form and the City’s website. He forwarded to Clint suggested changes which Clint advised last week would all be adopted by the City. With so much redevelopment going on in Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley, we made it clear that we will be watching closely and reporting any sites that are clearly in breach of the verge permit conditions.
Another great initiative has been Gail Barbera’s work in promoting the Association’s work by posting material on local community-based Facebook sites. The statistics Tim Brook (Webmaster) received from the Web Host on the hits to our website are notable and it will be very interesting to see if they have increased following Gail’s Facebook initiative. Thanks Gail for making the Facebook proposal and for your continuing work in getting the Association’s name and achievements out there, it is really appreciated.
Once again, sincere thanks to Stephen Johnston, a valued member of your Management Committee, for the preparation of this Update Report.
Peter M Clayton
NEWS UPDATE – JULY 2019
Missed out on a June issue of News Update but pleased to post the following:
TREES ARE VITAL FOR CANNING’S FUTURE
In the next five to six weeks the City of Canning will release for public comment its DRAFT Urban Forest Strategy to address the accelerated loss of vegetation under suburban development over the last 60 years.
The City has one of the lowest levels of tree canopy cover in metropolitan Perth, a status that is even more invidious as it takes into consideration the extensive tree canopy of the 266-hectare Canning River Park. And the decline is continuing as houses in Riverton and Rossmoyne, which have among the highest levels of canopy cover in the City, and Shelley, are being demolished at a rapid rate and their mature trees and shrubs razed to make way for two large houses with little room for gardens, let alone trees.
The City’s laudable goal is to achieve a major increase in canopy cover in the next 20 years with the planting of tens of thousands of trees on road verges and public open spaces. To achieve this goal two major challenges have to be overcome – obtaining sufficient ongoing funding in the City’s stretched budget and gaining agreement from many thousands of Canning residents to have trees on their verges. Currently less than a third of properties in the City have verge trees despite the City offering to provide, plant and initially water semi-mature trees that cost three figure sums at a nursery. The lack of take-up may be partly due to insufficient marketing by the City of its verge tree program but is also almost certainly due to residents’ antipathy to trees that is evident right across Perth.
This antipathy is striking for someone emigrating from the eastern states. While, for instance, Melbourne is experiencing a similar loss of tree cover due to urban consolidation, the total metropolitan canopy cover is still more than double, and in the eastern and south-eastern suburbs more than triple that of Canning. The Perth antipathy to trees is difficult to reconcile with its Mediterranean climate – long, hot summers extending into autumn that are becoming hotter and drier. Where there is little or no tree shade and a house is surrounded by a large paved area bordered by walls, the temperatures are increased considerably by the heat bank effect of the hard surfaces.
The greatest potential for substantial and sustainable increases in Canning’s tree cover is on the City’s public open spaces – parks and recreation reserves – because they comprise relatively quite large areas and the City controls their management. Many thousands more trees could be planted on these spaces without in any way impeding their value for recreational activities. To name just two of the most obvious prospects, the treeless Willeri Park at the southern end of Karel Avenue and the former tip site, Centenary Park (West).
But the City’s urban forest initiative will be very lopsided and therefore only partially successful if it’s mainly restricted to the scattered public open spaces. For Canning to retain in the more established suburbs and gain in the newer suburbs, an attractive, leafy appearance with habitat for birds and insects and a reduction of the heat island effect of hard, exposed surfaces, it will require the support of residents to retain and plant trees on their properties, or at least allow trees to be planted on their verges.
My sincere thanks to Stephen Johnston, a valued member of your Management Committee, for the preparation of this Update report.
Peter M Clayton
NEWS UPDATE – MAY 2019
It has been several months since putting pen to paper and providing you with some ‘News Update’.
We are still looking for additional Committee Members and an Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. Neither of these positions are onerous, especially that of Treasurer. We would welcome nominations to fill these vacancies ahead of the November 2019 Annual General Meeting.
You would all have received a copy of our May 2019 Newsletter. We have purposely kept this down to a double-sided single page. This has been done primarily to accommodate the volume of articles provided from our various contributors. If we receive the additional volume of article to fill an additional double-sided sheet, we shall expand the newsletter. Our Newsletter Editor would welcome topical articles and photographs. The next Newsletter is due for release in October 2019, just ahead of our Annual General Meeting in November 2019.
With respect to Membership, we are still lagging in recruiting new and younger members. Many of our existing members have been with us for some time and now retired and less active. Whilst a well informed and recognised residents’ body does not necessarily depend upon numbers to influence changes or improvements within our City precinct, supporting numbers do count and even more so if members of that recognised body.
So, the challenge to all our existing loyal members is to promote membership of our Association and to each recruit at least three new members over the next two months. We would dearly love to have a greater representation from the Riverton area and encourage members with friends and acquaintances in that area, to canvas support. The membership application form is available on our website and can be printed from your personal device.
At our most recent Committee Meeting we recognised that many of our members and no doubt the community at large, may not be aware of the weekly bulletin published by the City of Canning. This bulletin, known as Canning in Focus, can be accessed from the City of Canning website, however it is a better idea to subscribe to the bulletin and then is delivered to your nominated email account on a regular basis and keeps you informed on the many activities within the City and important decisions being made of your behalf. Become an informed and active member of our City Community.
As noted in the May 2019 Newsletter, the draft Shelley- Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan is currently out for comment with responses closing on 27th June 2019. This is a voluminous publication and can be reviewed in hard copy at the City of Canning Administration Office or at any of the City Libraries. It can also be downloaded from the City of Canning website for reading on your selected device. Your Committee encourages all residents to review this important document and to lodge appropriate comments. It is a significant environmental area and one that is important to community health, relaxation and recreation.
You will have read in our May Newsletter and postings on our website of the action taken by your Committee with respect to the Use of Street Verges. We encourage all residents’ to be aware of the regulations that control the use of this area and where there are breaches of those regulations, to report the matter to the City of Canning. This can be done electronicaly through the ‘Report an Issue’ function on the City Website (find it under the Contact Us menu) or by email or telephone. We recognise that the densification program being promoted by the State Government will only increase the volume of residential building works throughout our Ward and that there will be a level of inconvenience resulting from these works. Builders and their sub-contractors need to be aware of the regulations and most importantly consider the existing residents’ health, wellbeing and entitlement to the quiet and safe occupation of their property.
Your Committee Members, who’s contact details are listed on our website (www.rrsra.org.au), welcome contact from any of our members or concerned residents, particularly where we may be in a position to advocate on a particular issue.
Peter M Clayton
29th May 2019
USE OF VERGES DURING BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 19th February 2019, the Committee, and in particular Stephen Johnston, delivered a paper to the Council on the Use of Verge during building and development, current deficiencies and recommended solutions. The Association is keenly awaiting Council consideration and action.
The development and preparation of this paper was undertaken by a small sub-committee but in the main pulled together by Stephen and eloquently delivered to Council within the strict time limits. We congratulate Stephen on his untiring effort with this submission and record our appreciation for his work and that of the other sub-committee members.
In order for all members understand the impact on our neighborhood of the increasing re-development building works that have been spawned by the revision to town planning schemes and R Codes, attached below is a .pdf copy of the submission.
Please take time to read the submission and join members of your committee in remaining vigilant with respect to building construction sites and report to Council any violation of permit requirements, unsafe and untidy sites.
We believe that through the adoption of the recommendations and the vigilance of residents’, we can improve the use of verges and maintain the amenity of our streets.
1 March 2019
Release of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030
Waste Authority WA has just issued the following media release:
I am writing to thank you for your contribution to Western Australia’s new waste strategy – Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.
The Premier Mark McGowan, MLA has released the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030. The strategy is now available on the Waste Authority’s website (http://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/about/waste-strategy). The new strategy sets the direction for waste and recycling in Western Australia. It contains new objectives – to avoid waste, recover more value and resources from waste, and protect the environment by managing waste responsibly – as well as ambitious but achievable targets.
Importantly, the strategy was developed with contributions by you. The Waste Authority received input from individuals and organisations right across the state. These contributions helped produce a strategy which we can all be proud of, and a strategy that others will look to as a great example.
I believe we are at a turning point with waste and recycling. Community awareness and expectation is at an all-time high. I believe this strategy responds to the expectations of Western Australians and will help us to build on past successes and provide momentum going forward.
Once again, I thank you for your valuable contribution in developing Western Australia’s new waste strategy. The development of the new strategy would not have been possible without your support.
Chairman Waste Authority
Marcus Geisler was also on the ABC Breakfast program this morning and stressed that the success of the three bin system relied on householders doing the correct sorting of their waste to ensure no contamination. Cross contaminated waste streams are diverted to land fill. Recycling also relies on the processor having a point of sale (market) for the end product. Else it goes to landfill.
I believe that our City Council needs to implement an education program for all households to clearly define and identify the appropriate waste streams for each bin.
11 February 2019
NEWS UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2018
Presidents Report -2018 Annual General Meeting
It is my pleasure to be able to report on my first year as president of the Riverton Rossmoyne and Shelley Residents’ Association.
Firstly, I would like to thank my fellow committee members who have helped keep me on the straight and narrow with special thanks to Caroline Dunsire for her long service as secretary, and long-term members of the Association, Robert Morgan and Ellen de San Miguel. Robert Morgan took over as Chairman following the election of Paul Ng as Mayor and this year shared the role of treasurer with Ellen. The Morgan family have been long term members and Faye was on Committee for several years. Caroline, Robert and Ellen will be greatly missed by the committee.
The Association thanks sincerely the anonymous person or persons who generously donated $2,000 for a laptop. We really appreciate that as we will be able to bring all of our past records together and make them readily accessible.
I have been providing a President’s report after each committee meeting. This report has, in most instances, been summarised and published on our website as an Update Report and sent out electronically to members. Any member is entitled to attend committee meetings and they will be very welcome.
Our membership has continued to grow but we need it to grow even more and encourage members to participate by joining our committee. It is not at all arduous job with monthly meetings and email communications in-between. Most importantly with Caroline and Robert’s retirement from the committee, we are currently seeking a secretary and a treasurer as well as additional committee members.
We now hold our committee meetings at the Shelley Sailing Club house and we thank them for the use of that facility. In making this change we will assist the Sailing Club in meeting their revised usage requirements imposed by the City of Canning.
As of today, our membership comprises:
– Rossmoyne 86
– Shelley 52
– Riverton 6
In an effort to improve our membership coverage, we conducted an extensive letter box drop in the Riverton area in May 2018. However, there was a very poor response to this drive and we plan to conduct further drives over coming year.
Nevertheless, our existing members are our greatest asset for advertising and we encourage you all to promote membership and participation.
While individual residents can take up issues with the Council, the united larger voice of a residents’ association generally has a greater combined experience in, and knowledge of, local policies and by-laws plus a commitment to pursue issues over a long period if necessary.
For example, this year we took up the problem with the charity bins that were opposite the Rossmoyne shopping centre. People were using the bins and surrounding area as their junkyard while others were pulling out and sorting through the bin contents. The result was an almost perpetual mess left for others to clean up. A City of Canning officer initially claimed the bins were on Rossmoyne Primary School property and therefore not the City’s problem. When this claim was easily rebutted the City arranged for them to be removed.
Another significant issue we have been and will continue to work on in 2019 is the lack of compliance by some builders with council guidelines on the use of verges. Before anyone can use a verge for storing materials, rubbish or building equipment, a verge permit is required to be obtained from the City. Our committee has brought to the attention of the City and a local newspaper a number of instances in Rossmoyne and Shelley of blatant breaches of the verge guidelines, particularly where they impeded pedestrian traffic.
We have prepared a detailed submission on this matter to the Council highlighting serious flaws in the City’s own regulatory structure and real weaknesses in their approach to reporting and compliance. Being constructive critics, the committee’s submission also makes recommendations for sound remedies for these deficiencies. If you are interested in this issue, you will find the verge permit and guidelines on the City’s website and in early next year we will distribute our submission. I encourage you to report to Council any apparent breaches of the permit and guidelines and also to alert the Association. With 40 and 50-year-old houses in our local area being demolished almost every fortnight it seems, and the relatively large blocks often being subdivided, this problem is only likely to increase.
Last year the City conducted well publicised consultations on the future of the Shelley Beach Park and we now await what I understand will be three alternative draft master plans to be released for public comment. During the consultation period we have heard much debate over whether there should or should not be a café at the Park but there are other very important related issues like parking, traffic along Riverton Drive and pedestrian safety, the lack of shade trees and scope for creation of a dedicated dog exercise area. Debate on all these issues will continue into 2019 with the release of the draft masterplan options and ultimately Council’s consideration of the options.
Meanwhile in Rossmoyne it is difficult to find out anything about the masterplan that was looking at the future of the retirement village in Tuscan Street and other nearby Council assets. Given the wide scope of this review – it includes properties like the Bowling Club, Rossmoyne kindergarten and the Scout Hall – the committee would have expected a lot more information on how it was progressing plus public invitations for community input. I understand there may have been some agreements in principle, but we have not been told what they refer to and we find that unsatisfactory.
By comparison, the City has openly invited public involvement in the review of the outdated Shelley Rossmoyne foreshore management plan with an online survey and two workshops, the first of which was held on Tuesday with more than 30 people attending. The Council’s consultants, Urbaqua, are expected to finalise a new draft management plan by the middle of next year.
Community input was also invited in the draft Local Biodiversity Strategy, the draft Street Trees Strategy and next will be the Urban Forest Strategy. Together these provide a valuable blueprint for the greening of the City which has lost so much vegetation with new housing and the removal of gardens with demolition of old houses and subdivision of those blocks.
And finally, the City has moved to a new rating system which will enable more effective rating of vacant land and possibly being able to charge exempt properties.
Sadly, we have heard of reports of a number of criminal actions in the Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley areas this year including illegal entry to properties, keys taken and cars stolen.
I would encourage all members to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to Police.
It would be good if we could also be advised of illegal acts in our region so we can keep our community informed.
Tim Brook has been very active this year and designed a banner to advertise our Association which we did at a market held outside IGA Rossmoyne recently. There was a positive response, many people did not realise we existed, and we signed up some new members. We will also attend the Australia Day event at Shelley Beach Park next year to further promote the Association. We will need to attend other shopping centres in future to alert residents to our role, to hear any local issues they may have and to sign up new members.
We acknowledge and thank IGA Riverton Fresh and IGA Rossmoyne Fresh for their sponsorship of the Association banner.
So, as I said at the beginning, there are and will continue to be lot of important issues affecting our community which the Association is keen to provide a strong voice for residents and ratepayers. We want to hear the ideas and concerns of the residents of Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley and the more people who join us, the stronger our voice.
I wish everyone a very happy and enjoy full Christmas Season and the best for the year ahead.
Peter M Clayton
15 November 2018
NEWS UPDATE – AUGUST 2018
TREE VANDALISM MUST BE STOPPED!
It was very gratifying to see that the Council endorsed unanimously at its 17 July meeting the new Street Tree Strategy for the City with an amendment moved by Cr Patrick Hall and seconded by his Bannister ward colleague, Cr Ben Kunze, addressing the issue of tree vandalism.
The amendment states that: The City will not tolerate activities that damage street trees and will undertake all reasonable steps to protect street trees. The City will investigate measures, including through local law development and enforcement, to discourage acts of street tree vandalism and will seek to invoke all statutory powers to prosecute persons involved in such acts.
The Street Tree Strategy is very comprehensive, well informed, rigorous and thoughtful. Together with the Local Biodiversity Strategy that Council approved in June, it provides an outstanding blueprint for the much-needed greening of Canning: the protection of existing vegetation in the City and a steady, significant increase in the area of natural vegetation and tree canopy cover.
While it will be challenging for the City to find the many millions of dollars required to implement these two strategies, Cr Hall’s amendment recognises that the other biggest challenge will be countering the impact of environmental vandalism by Canning residents: damage, unauthorised poisoning or removal of trees and plants in street verges, parks and reserves.
While only a small minority of people are involved, they still have a disproportionately large, adverse impact on the amenity of our public places and the costs for the City. For example, last November a rampage by one, or maybe two people, along the Shelley foreshore, Canning River Regional Park, Bicentennial Adenia Park and the streets of Riverton will cost the City $37,000 and significantly set back revegetation plans in the affected areas, particularly where it involved well established, semi-mature trees that would have provided habitat and shade. In May this year, within a week of Council staff planting 68 trees along High Road, Riverton, 21 of them had been vandalised to the extent that 15 have had to be replaced at an estimated total cost of $14,490.
But probably the starkest example of the long-term impacts of environmental vandalism is at Shelley Beach Park. One of the unanimous recommendations coming from the two community consultation sessions held recently on the future of the Park, was for more trees. This echoed one of the main findings of last year’s community survey on Shelley Beach Park and a recommendation of the original Shelley Rossmoyne Foreshore Management Plan. But 17 years after that management plan recommendation, there are there still so few trees at the Park; canopy cover would be no more than 20 per cent.
The City has certainly tried to implement the recommendation by planting a number of semi-mature eucalypts and melaleucas. Some died of natural causes, after all the Park was originally just a sheet of sand and shells dredged from the Canning River. But other trees were vandalised, replaced by the City ……and vandalised again. While a very small number of trees managed to survive from that original and subsequent plantings, the net effect is that we still do not have anywhere near the tree cover needed for adequate shade and bird habitat.
I suspect that the mentality behind some of the vandalism is that when people spend a considerable sum of money to buy a house near the river, they can be deluded into believing that this entitles them to establish a clearer view of the river by cutting or killing trees on adjacent public property. This narrow-minded selfishness shows contemptuous indifference for the wonderful environment in which we are privileged to live and the interests of the wider community.
There is clearly no single, simple solution. If there was, the problem would have been overcome a long time ago. What is needed is a broad-scale approach that extends from soft consultation to hard-nosed action. Education alone is clearly not the answer.
It is firstly very important that councillors use the communication media with their constituents to promote the Local Biodiversity and Street Tree Strategies and speak out against those acting illegally to undermine them. Some good examples were Cr Hall’s response to the High Road incidents and Cr Kunze’s response to the November incidents. And they also need to support the City’s Parks staff who are regularly subjected to abuse and threats by residents when they are planting street trees. Silence from community leaders in response to incidents of vandalism or verbal abuse is a passive form of acceptance…which is unconscionable.
We also need a long-term plan for targeted community engagement on the establishment of street and parkland trees, complementing the education and tree advocacy program proposed in the Street Tree Strategy.
This targeted engagement should be based on:
- hearing any residents’ concerns,
- providing reassurance where possible, for example, that parkland plantings can be planned and managed to limit obstruction of views, …..
but at the same time
- providing the firm message that Canning has one of the lowest levels of tree canopy cover in Perth and the City is therefore committed to rectifying this while responding to repeated community demands for more trees.
As vegetation vandalism on public property, particularly along the Swan-Canning River system is a longstanding Perth-wide problem, Canning and all other particularly affected Councils need to pool their experiences and approaches to this issue.
They need to look at the erection of those steel signs on the sites of vandalism, that were successfully used by the former Swan River Trust and are used by other Councils but seem to be largely absent from Canning, possibly due to all the hoops and steps that have to be jumped through and over before they can be erected. They need to look at penalty levels, investigative methods, for example the use of CCTV cameras, and evidentiary standards – can they be simplified while still producing sufficient evidence to successfully make a case beyond reasonable doubt?
And if there are successful actions in response to acts of vandalism they need to be publicised widely as a critical part in reminding the community that this is an offence which the City is determined to combat.
Peter M. Clayton
NEWS UPDATE – MAY 2018
Pressing issues require active citizenship
It is very pleasing to see our membership growing as we have made a concerted effort in recent weeks to increase awareness among residents of Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley of the Association and the important role it can play.
I am also very pleased that one of our relatively recent members, Ben Ang, has agreed to join the committee. We still have vacancies on the committee – particularly for secretary – so if any member would like to get a little more involved, please consider nominating for the committee. It is not a particularly burdensome commitment but one that I’m sure you will find rewarding as you can help influence what is happening in our community.
However, I do appreciate the time pressures on all people, particularly those in the workforce and there is certainly no obligation to join the committee if you join the Association – your membership alone is highly valued and an indication of a wish to become a more active citizen.
Active citizenship is particularly important with a Council that tends to respond to some issues rather than pro-actively identify and deal with them. The continuing problem of encroachment of building construction works onto footpaths and verges is a prime example of this. Our recent experience is that the Council usually only becomes aware of, and acts after, they have been notified by residents. Of course, as we highlighted in a previous Update, this is not surprising when Council officers will normally only inspect building sites before work commences and after the work has concluded.
A verge permit entitles the holder of the permit to use a verge for temporarily storing materials, accessing private property from the road or siting a bulk bin. More detailed information can be found on the City of Canning website and searching for Application Form for Verge Permit and Guidelines for Use of the Verge During Building works and Development.
If you believe use of a verge does not comply with these requirements and guidelines, you can lodge a complaint with the Council by phone or email. I find email – to email@example.com – easier and it is always useful to have a copy of the complaint and the time and date it was sent.
The future development of the Shelley Beach Park will be the focus of public consultations over the next two months. There is of course a diversity of views within our local community about this very popular area and particularly whether it should or should not have a café. Aside from alienating scarce open space for a commercial enterprise, the major issues that concern the Association about the proposed café are increased traffic in residential streets and pressure for a lot more parking spaces.
Unlike the Riverton Bridge Park, that had a relatively low level of visitation before the Low Quay café and adjacent playground were constructed, Shelley Beach Park has always attracted a lot of people and off-street parking near the Park is at a premium on weekends and public holidays. The only place a lot of additional parking could be provided is on the paddock – east of the toilet block.
These issues will no doubt get a lot of airing at the forthcoming consultations and I encourage all members to be active citizens and have their say.
Peter M. Clayton
NEWS UPDATE – MARCH -APRIL 2018
CANNING PROPERTY RATING STRATEGY – HAVE YOUR SAY!
Last night (26/03/18) your Committee had an excellent briefing from the City of Canning on the Draft Rates Strategy. The City is considering a rating framework that allows for differential rating, specified area rating, rating exemptions and rate notice charges. We were joined by representatives of the Willetton Progress Association and Wilson Residents and Ratepayers Association.
The City is conducting a brief survey to gain an initial insight into ratepayers’ opinions. The survey closes at the end of this month and can found through this link: https://www.canning.wa.gov.au/en/Residents/Rates/Rating-Discussion-Paper;. We urge you to complete the survey. Your opinion is valued and will help Council with their decision making. If you have friends who are not online, print off some copies so they can send them in. The survey should take no more than about five minutes to complete.
Don’t be daunted by the first seven questions about the rating system itself. It is designed to help the City send out better information. If you are unsure how the rating system works, go to question 8. From thereon they are seeking your views on how rates should be set. For some valuable background, you might like to refer to the relevant parts of a very informative 27-page discussion paper which can also be accessed through the link referred to above.
In the discussion paper, the City says that our current rating structure takes a simple approach without any distinction across all residential, commercial, industrial or vacant properties. It says a single rate in the dollar is applied against a property’s gross rental values as determined by the Valuer General, with a minimum rate payable. Gross rental values are reassessed every three years.
“The recent revaluation resulted in increased residential valuations and a decrease for non-residential. This created a shift in the rating burden. After many years of mostly consistent economic growth, future revaluations may also create further change
“A rating strategy establishes a framework by which the burden of rates and charges can be equitably shared by the community. It aims to address the following key elements:
1/ That the basis for rating continues to be Gross Rental Value.
2/ To maintain consistency and transparency each year in rating charges.
3/ To provide specific funding towards specific services and infrastructure.
4/ That properties exempt from rates have the same access to and enjoy the use of City infrastructure and services.
5/ That electronic communication methods are more efficient and effective. “
NEWS UPDATE – MARCH 2018
Welcome to the Riverton, Rossmoyne & Shelley Residents‘ Association News Update. We will be producing News Updates after each monthly committee meeting to keep you, our members and other interested parties, up-to-date with local issues, your Association’s views on these issues and what we are doing about them.
It’s important that you let us know of any local issues concerning you that you would like us to take up. Please let us know by emailing us:
You can also write to us:
Riverton, Rossmoyne & Shelley Residents’ Association (Inc)
P.O. Box 2034
Rossmoyne, WA 6148
BUILDERS’ COMPLIANCE WITH VERGE REGULATIONS
As the cyclone fences go up and the demolition crews move in almost every week it seems to pull down another 1960s-1970s-vintage house and make way for a new single or dual occupancy, the impacts in our suburbs of demolition and building works on public areas is looming large.
The impacts include unsecured waste left on verges to blow down the street, footpaths cracked by heavy equipment way in excess of the footpaths’ load capacity, waste water from concrete mixing flowing down – and staining – street gutters, and vehicles obstructing footpaths.
RRSRA committee members have recently been focussing on a few particularly problematic construction sites including one on the corner of Corinthian Road and Fifth Avenue and one in Dianne Close, both in Rossmoyne. But the committee’s discussions have also highlighted important generic issues which could affect all demolition/construction sites unless they are addressed.
The first of these is the lack of evident connection between the City of Canning’s Application for permit to use verge during building or development works and the City’s Guidelines for Use of the Verge during building works and development. The RRSRA President, Peter Clayton, said one might at least expect that in making the application, the builder would have to undertake to abide by the Guidelines. “But there is no such requirement on the application form which refers briefly to only six of the builders’ obligations whereas the Guidelines cover nearly four pages. It would be interesting to survey how many builders working in our suburbs are even aware of the Guidelines. But really, what’s the point of them anyway if they have no legal force? If they are important enough to be included as guidelines then they should be elevated to the status of conditions” Mr Clayton said.
The Association’s second main concern is the adequacy of provisions in the Guidelines. Mr Clayton said the most glaring weakness was the lack of Council site inspections. “The permit fee covers the cost of processing the application and two site inspections – before approval of the application and upon expiration of the Permit. In other words, the inspections are carried out before building commences and the problems can emerge and after the building has been completed and problems have finished. Clearly what is needed are random inspections while the work is going on; these should not just be triggered by residents’ complaints. If these additional inspections necessitate an increase in the paltry $297 permit application fee, then so be it. Application of the current compliance requirements is now not adequate.”
Mr Clayton said the Guidelines should also require a sign listing the conditions of the verge permit usage to be placed in a very visible place so all contractors, trades people, delivery drivers – and members of the public – can see and read it from a distance of about three metres. “These conditions are not just matters between the builder and the City – members of the public need to know what they are so they can identify and report any infringements.”
Speed limits on Riverton Drive North, Shelley
We have been concerned for some time about speeding vehicles along Riverton Drive and the risks they pose, particularly to the sometimes large numbers of people who are accessing their cars parked beside Riverton Drive North while visiting the Canning River foreshore between Beatrice Avenue and Corbel Street in Shelley. We suggested dropping the speed limit to 40 km/h in this section of the road.
In response to the Association’s concerns, the City of Canning advised that under its designation as a Local Distributor Road, Riverton Drive can be expected to ideally carry up to 6000 vehicles per day at an operating speed of 50 – 60km/h. The last traffic survey of Riverton Drive North indicated a daily traffic volume of 1,756 vehicles per weekday, which was travelling at an 85-percentile speed of 58km/h. The 85-percentile speed is the maximum speed that 85 per cent of motorists travel at. “It is recognised as the operating speed of the road and as the general safe speed perceived by motorists. Riverton Drive North falls within those parameters,” the City’s response said.
“Having regard for the function of Riverton Drive North in the road hierarchy, it would be difficult to justify to Main Roads WA (the State’s traffic signing and speed limit authority) to reduce the road’s speed limit. Justification would include, but not [be] limited to, demonstrating high on-going pedestrian activity adjacent to and across the road, which does not appear to be the situation. The City does implement a traffic management plan at times of major foreshore events that attract large crowds.”
However, the City said the issue will be considered in the context of the Shelley Foreshore Masterplan public consultations over the next couple of months.
Congestion at Webb Street/Leach Highway intersection – Rossmoyne
It’s long been recognised as one of the most congested intersections in the region, particularly between 8.00 and 9.00 am and 3.00 and 4.00 pm during school terms, not just because of the volume of traffic but also the proximity of the Webb Street-Bull Creek Road intersection less than 50 metres from the Leach Highway intersection.
Since February last year when the then State Treasurer and Member for Riverton, Dr Mike Nahan, pledged $200,000 in to the City of Canning to improve the intersection, we’ve not heard of any progress on this issue which could be further exacerbated when the eight-storey Rossmoyne Waters development in Bull Creek Road is fully occupied.
The Association committee noted positively at its February meeting the change to the traffic lights with both right and left turning arrows coming on simultaneously. This little change has had a significant impact on waiting times at the intersection, but is obviously not a solution.
The Association is writing to the City of Canning to ask what is the long-term agenda for this intersection. We’ll keep you posted in future News Updates.
Have we enough footpaths?
At the February committee meeting it was suggested that there is a lack of footpaths in our area with people inclined to walk along the roadway rather than across a series of verges and driveways. This can be particularly dangerous at night if a pedestrian is some distance away from a street light and wearing dark clothing.
The committee agreed to ask members to advise us of streets they believe need footpaths, so we can approach the Council.
So please let us know and tell us any particular reasons why you think a footpath is required in that street.