Cowaramup residents are likely to get kerbside rubbish collection after councillors elected not to go ahead with a planned move to install a new transfer station in the hamlet’s light industrial area.
However, councillors cited price more than community backlash as the impetus behind Wednesday night’s decision.
Although a tentative $800,000 price tag attached to the project was previously dismissed by shire president Ray Colyer, a council report said a new comprehensive facility would cost more than $1 million.
The transfer station on Cowaramup Bay Road would be shut down after members unanimously agreed it was necessary to make sure the $65 million Cowaramup Resort was built.
Wednesday night’s decision would investigate the feasibility of kerbside pick-ups, with Cr Jenny McGregor saying it could be an opt-in system.
Augusta Cr Mike Smart said he would also push for a twice-yearly bulk waste collection.
If the project moves ahead, the developers would give $300,000 to the Shire for closing the transfer station and a new vesting could give them the 4ha site.
Another $350,000 would be sought from the WA Government.
Councillors such as Ian Earl said elected members wouldn’t be doing their jobs if the touch-and-go project was allowed to slip away.
“When you turn up with $60 million to spend and the transfer station is there, we have an obligation to move it,” he said.
Fellow Cowaramup councillor Jenny McGregor also gave the shift her backing.
“Yes the transfer station was there when they bought the land, but they can’t go ahead,” she said.
The closure decision would adumbrate a review of transfer stations across the shire, with a detailed review planned for the future of the main Davis Road tip after years of difficulties with compliance and increased Government expectations.
Cr Neville Veitch said even with $650,000 in funding, there would still be a significant shortfall in the future cost of Davis Road.
Cr John Bell was upbeat about the project and the developers.
“I think we should congratulate them for their determination to make it work,” he said.
Councillors acknowledged the rush to apply for Supertowns funding put residents’ noses out of joint, but community consultation was important to the Shire despite the logistical challenge of communicating every policy change.