Greens (WA) MLC for the South West, Diane Evers, has expressed frustration and dismay at Puma Energy Australia’s plans to build a 24-hour petrol station in Dunsborough, despite overwhelming community resistance.
Objection to the project has been so strong that residents and ratepayers funded a full-page open letter in The West Australian last week to plead their case.
Ms Evers said she strongly believed there was no need for another fuel station in the centre of town when it is already served by two existing outlets.
“As a tourist town, Dunsborough is choked with traffic at peak times,” she said.
“For the past two years, the community has been calling on Puma not to put the service station/convenience store in the middle of Dunsborough, taking the second to last piece of vacant land in the town’s main street.
“They believe this will negatively impact the amenity, safety and traffic flow of the town centre. An attractive alternative site has been identified adjacent to the town centre that will allow Puma to provide a full range of services that are needed in the town, such as space for a car wash and safe access for caravans and boats, but this option has not been considered by the company.”
Ms Evers wrote a letter to the chief executive of Puma in February this year to explain the problem, but did not receive a reply.
“It’s a shame that Puma management choose to ignore the community concerns. They are putting a lot of goodwill at risk,” she said.
A Supreme Court appeal is being heard to determine if Puma is legally permitted to build the convenience store that sells petrol as planned.
But Ms Evers said there was a more crucial matter to consider.
“Notwithstanding the safety and traffic aspect, it’s about listening to the community Puma plans to serve,” she said.
“The people of Dunsborough will applaud Puma if it changes its mind and builds out of town. But ignoring their wishes would definitely jeopardise their support of the new station.”