Locals reach tipping point on Merivale waste facility

Opposition: Merivale Tip Action Group chairwoman Jill Fitzpatrick and Esperance Stonehenge owner Kim Beale in front of the south-west corner of the new waste facility site, bordered by Merivale Road. Photo: Sam Gibbs.

Opposition: Merivale Tip Action Group chairwoman Jill Fitzpatrick and Esperance Stonehenge owner Kim Beale in front of the south-west corner of the new waste facility site, bordered by Merivale Road. Photo: Sam Gibbs.

Landowners near the future waste facility in Merivale have criticised the Esperance Shire Council for voting on the proposed site without all councillors present.

Merivale Tip Action Group chairwoman Jill Fitzpatrick said it was “undemocratic” for the council to vote without member Beverly Stewart.

“The absent councillor is known to have opposed this site from the outset and to the best of our knowledge remained firm on this stance,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“This effectively leaves council in a situation where the majority are not in favour of the decision.”

Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott said all councillors were aware of the meeting and a decision needed to be made.

“The proceedings at last week’s Special Council Meeting was in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995,” he said.

“You must have a quorum  to hold a council meeting, which is five councillors for the Shire of Esperance and we had more than this at the meeting last week.”

When asked if the shire had received any community response regarding council’s decision, Mr Scott declined to comment.

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