Esperance Tanker Jetty, Ratepayers circulate petition for special meeting

Photo: Shire of Esperance.
Photo: Shire of Esperance.

The Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association is collecting signatures for a petition to request the shire president to call a special meeting on the future of the Esperance Tanker Jetty.

The petitions states “we wish to discuss matters related to the future of the Esperance Tanker Jetty.”

Under Section 5.28 of the Local Government Act, 100 electors or five per cent of electors, which ever is smaller, are required to sign a petition which is then to be presented to the shire president. 

If the petition meets the requirement of the act, the shire president will then select a date for a special meeting no more than 35 days after he or she received the request.

The petition must state what will be discussed, which will mean only the future of Esperance Tanker Jetty can be discussed if this meeting goes ahead. 

The association moved to present the petition at their Monday, August 6 meeting.

The decision to launch the petition came after the association unanimously carried a motion during a meeting on June 4 to ask council for a public meeting on the design. 

Shire president Victoria Brown rejected the proposal stating it would not be an effective way to engage the community.

The petition will be submitted to the shire president, if and when the Heritage Council approves the draft design for the new jetty.

Association secretary Kaj Nieukerke said council’s consultation process was not “appropriate” or “sufficient”. 

“From our perspective we feel that there is a need for an elaborate discussion with the community which is provided through an elector’s meeting,” he said. 

“If the Heritage Council says ‘we feel [the design] is okay’, our view is the community should see that,” he said. 

“Not as part of some advertising by the shire and then writing a letter here and there, but through a meeting.”

Roe MLA Peter Rundle said the petition indicated members of the association felt they hadn’t been heard on past occasions.

“I think they feel that the public consultation process hasn't served their needs,” he said.

“They've obviously got ideas that they would like to pass on to the shire council and I think that it’s important that they get that opportunity.

“If this process is required to get that access to be heard, I think that it’s important that they follow through and take that opportunity.”

The Esperance Shire has declined to comment before the petition is submitted.