Spalding residents’ wish-list: clean up crime and damaged properties

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Spalding residents say they want more policing in their suburb.
Camera IconSpalding residents say they want more policing in their suburb. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Spalding residents have given a mixed response to plans to revitalise the suburb, suggesting they support proposals to upgrade facilities but want more police patrolling the streets.

The feedback was given during consultation sessions with the Department of Communities, where residents were showed plans to upgrade and build a range of infrastructure, including an aged care facility, a sporting oval, a community farm, and new roads.

At the sessions, residents flagged antisocial behaviour as an ongoing issue, said they wanted to see CCTV installed, and an increased police presence or a police facility.

Residents added they wanted damaged homes demolished or fixed, graffiti removed, yards tidied, a retirement village and more “age-appropriate” housing for seniors.

They were also lukewarm about plans for a sporting oval, saying they did not think it was needed.

Cr Graeme Bylund, who represents the Champion Bay ward including Spalding, said he wanted to see the government thoroughly investigate residents’ ideas but said it was not smart to endorse anything straight off the bat.

“Though I do agree with the feedback about the parks and ovals, we have plenty of those,” he said.

“I’m not sure about having little police substations all over the place. I think the issues are bigger and can’t just be resolved by having more police around, so I’ll have to stay reserved on that one.

“I’m open to all ideas, they’re great, but we don’t operate on knee-jerk reactions.

“The State will investigate the suggestions and weigh them up.”

Mr Bylund said he was pleased with government action on Spalding, describing it as a “long time coming”.

He said he loved the suggestions on the table and that the State was finally committing.

“This is a positive step towards building better communities,” he said.

Greg Cash from the commercial operations area of the Department of Communities said in the latest consultation sessions, held on August 6, the government had liaised with 40 to 50 people.

Mr Cash said the department was compiling feedback and would submit it to the City for consideration at a council meeting later this month.

“The Spalding Precinct Plan is a long-term strategy that aims to guide future development and investment in Spalding to enhance its sense of place and encourage a safe, connected and supported community,” he said.

“If the council accepts the final draft plan, it will proceed to a 21-day formal consultation period.

“This will allow the community another opportunity to have its say on the plan.

“If there are no significant objections, the plan will be endorsed.”

The other Champion Bay ward councillor, Steve Douglas, declined to comment.

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