The City of Armadale council has effectively sent officers back to the drawing board after requesting that the chief executive officer find another location for the $2.47m Harrisdale Library.
The decision was made behind closed doors at Monday night’s council meeting based on a confidential report, which is understood to have contained details of the proposed lease terms and construction costs for the library.
The city has been considering sites to open a 1000-square-metre library for the growing communities of Harrisdale and Piara Waters for several years, as promised in its corporate business plan 2019-2024.
The plan outlined the city’s intention to commit $2.47m to get the project underway, with ongoing annual costs of around $1.39m.
But the council voted not to adopt the officer’s confidential recommendation and instead moved to request chief executive officer Jo Abbiss to investigate and report to the council on the location of a library facility that would serve the Piara Waters and Harrisdale community.
The report had returned to the council after it unanimously agreed to further negotiations with property giant Stockland in the hopes of securing a better deal for the multi-million dollar development back in August.
In light of the post-pandemic economic conditions, councillors had voted against endorsing the initial lease terms and construction costs for the library and instead requested that further negotiations be undertaken.
One of those was councillor Grant Nixon, who said that while he was aware that Stockland was locking up almost all of the land in Harrisdale, it was a big financial commitment that warranted further investigation.
At the meeting this week, councillor Peter Shanavas opposed the move and proposed that the original recommendation be accepted, telling the council that the community desperately needed a facility now and that it had been a dream for young families living in the area.
“The main reason I am against this recommendation is because this community needs this now,” he said.
“Not in three to five years time.
“All of the data that we have suggests that the closer it is to the shopping centre, the better utilised it will be.”
It is not yet known how the decision will affect the project’s timeline.