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Subiaco council slammed for ‘inappropriate’ letter to volunteer group

Gareth Parker
Article image for Subiaco council slammed for ‘inappropriate’ letter to volunteer group

A volunteer group that supports families with newborns in the King Edward Memorial Hospital neo-natal intensive care unit has received an “intimidating” letter from the Subiaco council.

Last month Helping Little Hands proposed the council increase a parking permit program for families from 20 to 40 permits per week.

The City of Subiaco council denied the motion and instead opted to send the proposal to an independent consultant for assessment.

Speaking with 6PR’s Gareth Parker co-founder Joanne Beedie said despite assurances the council was working on a solution, she hadn’t received any correspondence from them until Friday.

“At the end of last week I opened up an email, to be informed that I had breached a local bylaw within Subiaco council,” she said.

During the council meeting in June a photograph was taken of Ms Beedie presenting her statement and posted to social media.

“I was instructed to take it down, or basically the consequence was a $5,000 fine.”

She was also reprimanded for deviating from her pre-submitted statement during the meeting.

“Very much the core essence of my statement was the same,” she said.

“I can only take these responses to be one, a deviation away from the issue at hand … but also an intimidation tactic to try and squash our voice.

“When all we are doing is advocating for families who are in a really delicate situation.”

City of Subiaco Mayor Penny Taylor, who supported the motion at the time, said she was shocked by the council’s letter.

“I am absolutely stunned by this,” she said.

“I think it is entirely inappropriate, I have written to the CEO this morning asking what has happened.

“I don’t think it is acceptable at all, I think it is an overreach and could almost be seen as an abuse of power.”

Press PLAY to hear the full interview 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Gareth Parker