Julie Matheson

Subiaco Councillor | Certified Financial Planner | DAP Expert

#Beekeeping lost by 1 vote

On Monday I was asked to speak on radio (see link at 1hr38mins ABC720) with Geoff Hutchison about an application before Subiaco Council for a bee hive in Shenton Park.  The officer’s recommendation was to refuse.

I asked ABC listeners to help me build a case to support this application.  The response was overwhelming.  I received many phone calls putting me in touch with experts on beekeeping:

  • Dan Dowsett, Registered Beekeeper 20 yrs, Honey and Wax Judge, Teacher of BK, and life member WA Apiarists Society Inc, 1954
  • Tiffane Bates, Apiary Manager, UWA Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER)
  • Tim who rescues neglected beehives.  He advised that if beehives are not re-queened on a regular basis, the genetics become problematic, and the bees become “a bunch of bastards who misbehave”.

Armed with research and two speakers in support of my motion to approve the beehive, I went to Subiaco Council last night to put the case in favour of the beehives.  It was a packed gallery.

There were two speakers for and two speakers against.  My two experts put a scientific approach in favour of beekeeping in high density places.  The two speakers against gave their personal experiences with one of them presenting all the drama of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, except this was about bees.  All presenters were very good.

When came to the vote Councillors and the Mayor voted 6/5 against the beehive.

Whilst I am disappointed, all is not lost.  Mayor Henderson advised me after the meeting that Subiaco staff will work on a policy to support beehives in Subiaco, with the policy adaptable for other communities to use with their local councils.

As for the application they can wait for the policy and reapply, or challenge the decision at the SAT which is a costly exercise.

To hear more of this story on ABC720 radio see this link:

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2016 by in Planning, Small business and tagged , , , , , .
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