A footpath linking Jubilee Road to the Bunbury Farmers Market has been deferred after a split decision in council.
During the meeting on Tuesday, February 6, councillor Brendan Kelly put forward a motion for the council to allocate necessary funds for the construction of a pathway link from near 13 Jubilee Road to near 57 Jubilee Road.
The motion called for $75,000 to be allocated to the project from the projected surplus in the 2017/18 budget.
The idea for the footpath was put to the City by a person with disability living in the area.
At the meeting, Mr Kelly stressed the importance of the footpath link upgrade given the Bunbury Farmer’s Market’s increased popularity and traffic congestion.
“All of the pathways listed for the future are all worthy, this one I believe – from the contact I have had with with the local residents – is just as worthy and perhaps even a little bit more worthy given the way the Farmer’s Market has been so successful,” he said.
Mr Kelly added the pathway link would cover the space from Ince Road down to the Farmer’s Market.
Councillors Tresslyn Smith, Karen Steele, Joel McGuinness, Betty McCleary, and Michelle Steck were in favour of the proposal.
City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan, Deputy Mayor Jaysen de san Miguel and councillors Monique Warnock and Murray Cook spoke against the motion.
The motion was lost, with six councillors voting for and five voting against.
On the grounds of absolute majority, seven votes in favour of the proposal were needed.
The council referred the matter to the 2018/19 budget deliberations for further consideration.
Mr Brennan said the path placed seventh on the City of Bunbury’s Footpath Prioritisation Model, designed to assist areas in need across the district.
“The decision has now been made to refer that project to the budget, the 2018/19 budget process is underway now and we will conclude that as ready for adoption in July,” he said.
“I believe that every member of council is aware of the need for accessibility and inclusiveness, we practice that every day. We also are responsible for the budget and the affordability of things that we do in the budget.”
Mr Brennan said the City has made great strides with disability access projects.