A tidy Withers stamps out "drug deals": resident

PRUNING trees and keeping grass in check in Withers was an important step towards stamping out crime and changing the suburb’s reputation, according to resident Glen Willetts. 

Withers Action Group leader Mr Willetts called on the City of Bunbury to tidy up an overgrown reserve at the end of Wilkerson Way and Whitley Place in September. 

Mr Willetts claimed the reserve was being used by drug dealers to carry out exchanges under the cover of unruly bushes and trees.  

He said the City had acted on his concerns and the reserve had been pruned and cleared. 

“I’m very happy with the outcome – it’s encouraging that the City is willing to work with residents to combat crime in our neighbourhood,” Mr Willetts said. 

He said the City’s cooperation was one step towards shaking Withers’ long-standing reputation as a suburb plagued by antisocial behaviour. 

City works and services director Phil Harris said council had worked with the Withers Action Group to address a number of projects including upgrading paths and parks. 

Mr Harris said public areas should be seen as places where the community interacts, exercises, plays and has fun. 

“We attempt to maintain our public facilities to provide attractive places that encourage people to use the spaces,” he said. 

The Withers Action Group worked towards a plan to rejuvenate Withers for more than a year before funding was announced at the start of this year. 

The South West Development Commission and the City of Bunbury teamed up to fund an $80,000 urban renewal project which will guide the future of the suburb. 

Survey results show positives and negatives of Withers

HUNDREDS of people have weighed in on the future of Withers as part of a strategy which will guide development and investment in the suburb. 

A bad reputation and problems with crime, safety and antisocial behaviour need to be addressed in Withers, according to residents. 

But a close proximity to the beach, parks, shops, schools and recreation facilities and its affordability were positives named by community consultation. 

The City of Bunbury and South West Development Commission held a public meeting last week which gave residents an insight to the results of the consultation. 

Consultation revealed residents were disappointed by the poor public perception that has long plagued the suburb.

They want to see issues with crime, safety and antisocial behaviour addressed as well as presentation, amenities and maintenance. 

A final report with proposed plans for enhancing Withers is expected to be delivered by the end of the month. 

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