Esperance Shire seeks community consultation on draft policies

In a bid to spruce up the town centre and encourage creativity, the Shire of Esperance are seeking community consultation on their proposed draft policies for public spaces.

Consultation on the policies to support the Activities in Thoroughfares and Public Places and Trading Local Law 2016 began this week and is open until October 30.

The draft policies include traders and vendors, A-frame signage, buskers and street entertainers, and outdoor eating facilities in public places.

Shire president Victoria Brown said the next step was to open the policies to the public after the business community had their say about what they did and did not like. “We just want to make sure we’ve given everybody the chance to have a say because all the time we’re criticised for not communicating,” she said.

“But my experience is that quite a lot of the time we don’t actually get the numbers of people who are coming to these community consultations so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.”

However, debate was sparked in last month’s council meeting during this item, with councillours Ronald Padgurskis and Beverley Stewart saying the document required further scrutiny.

Mr Padgurskis said the policies were too focus on what people were not allowed to do rather than what they were allowed to.

“I can not adopt something going out to the public that kills off innovation. Some of it is 16th century and I cannot adopt it as draft, we should firstly look at it ourselves,” he said.

Other councillours such as Victoria Brown, Lara McIntyre and Natalie Bowman said council the draft would first be put to the public for feedback rather than implementation.

“We’re always accused of being slow, by start of summer we will have lot of people in town,” Ms Brown said.

“By adopting the draft policy we have 21 days to do all these things. A lot of things have come from community consultation and it is up to us to encourage strong, vibrant consultation. I’m all for it.”

To view the policies and have your say visit www.esperance.wa.gov.au/current-consultations