I’m a proud “northerner”. I have lived in Eaton for over 5 years now and have no desire to leave. I scoot between Eaton and Australind and Treendale. I only really ever go “into town” for work, specialty appointments and to go to Target. We feel sorry for the “Bunburyites”. Why would you live there? Bunbury has increasing traffic congestion, parking meters, and ordinary customer service. Eaton on the other hand is casual, family-friendly and has a great mix of rural and picturesque. And we have a fantastic, beautiful river on our doorstep.
Which, by the way, brings me to why I’m writing this piece. Why oh why don’t we have a glorious waterside cafe or restaurant?
There are some great eateries in our area. The Eaton Tav springs to mind. Henks Cafe at Australind (formerly Cafe Portico). There’re the cafes in the shopping centres. But there’s only so many times you can go to those places and besides a WATER VIEW WOULD BE GREAT! The only restaurant with a slight water view was Uncle Vinnie’s pasta but that has long gone.
Our river is beautiful and the sunsets are amazing. Even in winter it’s an appealing place and the wildlife is prolific. There are always boats and rowers making the most of the calm waters and the walker’s track has some pretty scenery.
I spoke to Citygate’s Geoff Prosser, recently about this (thank you Sir!). He agrees the river is crying out for a nice eatery. I asked him if he was going to do anything about it and he replied “my interests for now are with Eaton Fair”. ( And us northerners are very grateful for that, how exciting! A cinema!) But this is another reason we should consider a waterfront eatery. Eaton is booming and will continue to create excitement in the years ahead. We need facilities to match that.
So why hasn’t anyone tried to do something about leasing land to get a waterfront eatery happening? I called the Shire of Dardie and was very surprised to learn that the Shire considered an idea to have a café or restaurant on the Collie River foreshore near the look out platform at the river elbow a few years ago. Following community consultation and strong objection to the site the idea was removed from the townscape plan. Strong objection? I wonder who these people were who objected? Residents whose water view would disappear? Existing food operators? I wonder just how many people complained – was it really the majority? I doubt it.
Although the shire has not received any further applications from persons wishing to establish a waterfront café, the Council is developing ideas for the landscaping of the Eaton foreshore closer to the river mouth and the idea of a café will be considered again for this area. This will also be subject to further community consultation.
If you want to be a part of fabulous Eaton’s development you need to get behind this plan, which should come out in over 12 months. I would love to see a waterfront eatery and I know I’m not alone. Let’s not have this idea stopped again. No change attracts no change. You cannot ignore the fact that Eaton is growing and we can’t keep living in the 1950s anymore. Eaton is an amazing place with everyone from miners, savvy business operators and mums and dads. We are proud of the fact that we hang north for all our needs, but for the scenic lunch we have to travel into town.
Let’s instead stay on the Collie River. Sipping a glass of wine………tucking into a steak sandwich or risotto…….and once again marveling at the view and feeling sorry for those poor Bunbury suckers.