'No poo in park': Tim's Thicket waste facility dumped

The motion to not reinstate the Tim's Thicket liquid waste facility was unanimously carried by councillors. Photos: Claire Sadler.
The motion to not reinstate the Tim's Thicket liquid waste facility was unanimously carried by councillors. Photos: Claire Sadler.

Councillors have voted against reinstating a liquid waste facility at Tim's Thicket following a community protest outside of Tuesday's council meeting.

The proposed facility was to provide an interim solution for disposing waste within the City while the Water Corporation considered modifications to an existing waste water treatment plant in Mandurah.

However, the proposal raised concerns among protesters about contaminated waste leaking into nearby waterways.

Bouvard Coast Care member Mel Houghton, who made a deputation to the council, said the facility was an outdated technology.

"We did a 4000 leaflet drop and 100 per cent of respondents objected to this facility," she said.

"This is an outdated technology - it is 500 metres from the ocean, 1.5 metres above sea level on porous tamala limestone and it is next to a contaminated tip site, through which the water flows towards the ocean."

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Consultant microbiologist Elizabeth Frankish's deputation held a similar sentiment as she made mention of the vulnerability of the ocean to pollution.

"A low water table and porous tamala limestone render the ocean vulnerable to pollution - the proposed development is surrounded by Yalgorup National Park, and a Ramsar recognised wetland," she said.

"Through petitions and submissions the people of Mandurah have spoken in significant numbers and with passion about what they do not want for this city."

Environmental issues: Protesters raised concerns that the proposed facility in Tim's Thicket could pollute water in the area. Photo: Claire Sadler.

Environmental issues: Protesters raised concerns that the proposed facility in Tim's Thicket could pollute water in the area. Photo: Claire Sadler.

However, Andrew McKerrell, who represented the Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), supported reinstating the liquid waste facility.

"Due to growing demand the waste is forced north to Woodman Point and beyond - this will result in residents incurring additional costs for transport and disposal costs due to there being no facility within our region," he said.

"The PCCI believes it is the best interim solution for the City, residents and businesses to a complicated long- term challenge."

The opportunities that exist in eco-tourism and environmental protection far outweigh the benefits of a liquid waste facility.

Deputy mayor Caroline Knight

Liquid Waste worker Matt agreed there was a "growing need for this facility".

When it came time to vote, deputy mayor Caroline Knight urged councillors not to proceed with the proposal to upgrade the Tim's Thicket liquid waste facility.

"I believe the Tim's Thicket liquid waste facility no longer aligns with the strategic direction of this council," she said.

"The opportunities that exist in eco-tourism and environmental protection far outweigh the benefits of a liquid waste facility."

She said the preference for all properties to be serviced by reticulated sewerage was the responsibility of the state government and transport costs was not a complaint she had heard from any community member to date.

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In the end, the motion to not reinstate the facility was unanimously carried but amendments to the motion were made.

Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams requested himself and the chief executive seek an urgent meeting with relevant stakeholders from both government and opposition to advocate for infill sewerage in Mandurah.

"How can we sit in the second largest city in WA and have more than 3000 residents that are connected to a system that would perhaps benefit what Mandurah was 50 years ago," he said.

"We are not going to provide a band-aid solution and make it easier for other levels of government that are responsible for fixing this problem to just move away from that responsibility.

"I am very confident if there is as loud a push for an infill sewerage program as there has been in opposition to a project we are considering tonight that government and opposition will take this seriously."

A report is also set to come back to council, which explores alternative uses for the liquid waste facility site in line with the City's strategic direction relating to protecting, enhancing and promoting our environment