Esperance Shire Council Meeting

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More than 100 residents attended the Special Council Meeting on Monday, February 19, to discuss the five motions raised at the Annual Electors Meeting on January 30.

The meeting included 50 minutes of public question time before Council proceedings commenced.

Of the five motions raised, debate saw three motions noted and two declined.

The first item on the agenda saw Council note Esperance Ratepayers Association spokesperson Brian Pearce’s motion for a review of chief executive officer Matthew Scott’s performance.

Speaking on the motion, Mr Pearce called on Council to act before any further damage could be done.

Seconder Kaj Nieukerke had said Mr Scott was ignoring strongly expressed views.

The noted motion saw Council request Mr Scott prepare for his annual performance review, as required under Section 5.38 of the Local Government Act 1995.

Council moved to acquire the services of an experienced independent facilitator to oversee the review, with quotes currently being sought and a review expected to take place before the end of the financial year. The motion was carried 9-0.

An announcement made just hours earlier confirming the Environmental Protection Authority would undertake an assessment of Lot 12 saw a motion moved to defer any decisions on the proposed landfill site.

Council declined a motion to acknowledge environmentally sensitive areas deemed unsuitable for hazardous industries, stating they did not have the power to implement the proposal.

The motion to desist from advocating demolition as the only option for the Tanker Jetty was also declined, with Council instead moving a motion to continue working towards a replacement jetty led by a Heritage Architect.

Council moved to consider a subsidy to the Eastern Suburbs Water Charge, after a motion proposed by Doug Backhouse encouraged the Shire to cap the cost of treated water supplied to various organisations and sporting bodies within the Shire at the current rate of 71 cents per kilolitre for the next four years.

Shire President Victoria Brown said the meeting contained a few controversial issues that were being dealt with within the community.

“Councillors are elected and are charged with the responsibility of making sound, informed decisions for the benefit of the community,” she said.

“The outcomes reached are examples of this.

“While not everyone may agree with all the decisions, there are no easy answers.

“There are many diverse opinions in our community and Council takes these into account when making decisions.”