More communication needed, says resident

More communication needed, says resident

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Oakford resident Morgan Byas says the shire needs to be more welcoming of residents who are moving into the area and opting for a semi rural lifestyle. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

An Oakford resident says there needs to be more communication between residents and the local council after the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale asked residents to complete a community safety survey to identify issues affecting the area.

Oakford resident and Neighbourhood Watch member Morgan Byas said he took the survey seriously but said more needs to be done to improve community relations.

“Many of the issues stem from a broken relationship between the community and the council,” he said.

“We need to be more welcoming as a community and there needs to be a genuine attempt to engage with one another.”

Mr Byas said he did not want the shire to become a hot spot for crime, however, some of the issues affecting the shire in previous community safety surveys were burglaries, drugs, theft, anti-social behaviour and traffic, including hooning.

Mr Byas said the shire was focused on ‘plonking new developments,’ wherever they fit but needed to focus on cultural and social implications of the place due to the rapid growth of the population.

“Many people who are moving to the shire move from suburbia to semi-rural or rural,” he said.

“For many they are not prepared for managing a semi-rural property and I understand everyone needs to take responsibility for their actions but it would be nice if the shire was more engaging.”

Shire president John Erren said the shire recognised the diversity and multiculturalism of the community.

“It is one of the key themes contained within our strategic community plan,” he said.

“A healthy, active, connected and inclusive community.”

Mr Erren did not say if the shire felt there was a ‘broken relationship,’ between council members and the community.

Instead, he said through the development of the shire’s strategic community plan and the corporate business plan, the shire has engaged extensively with the community.

To complete the community survey visit sjshire.wa.gov.au/community-safety before August 14.