Town of Bassendean left with one ranger after staff leave

Local News, PerthNow - Central, Politics, Local Government

Staff departures have left one ranger to look after the Town of Bassendean.

The town can have up to four but since April it has operated with just one after two left to take up work with other councils.

A new senior ranger is scheduled to start on June 24 and the town has also extended a trial of using the City of Bayswater’s rangers service by three months.

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Under the trial, which started on April 19, the city is providing ranger services in the town outside of business hours and during busy periods.

The town is invoiced based on the number of call outs. By the end of last week there had been 38 call outs.

The Bassendean council was questioned at its May 28 meeting about what had happened to the rangers.

“I was just wondering if that was a decision on financial reasons,” Bassendean resident Aaron McKay said.

He also raised concerns about the safety of the remaining ranger.

“(I am) a bit cautious about some activities because she has no back-up to support her if something happened,” Mr McKay said.

“I see other councils use rangers with surveillance cameras on their vehicles or a body camera.”

CEO Cameron Woods said the town was aware of the current situation with its ranger and body cameras were “on the way”.

“We have a duty of care to make sure that we manage that as best we can, hence why we’re recruiting and hence why we do have support from the local police if it’s a situation where we think it requires police support,” he said.

“We also have support from Bayswater ... for instances that might be requiring two people.

“Our one ranger at the moment knows that support’s there and should not put themselves in a position or if they feel uncomfortable they should retreat from that position and then seek those other alternatives.”

Mr Woods said the rangers had not left because their hours had been cut — they had joined other local governments and replacements were on their way.

“We’ve recruited one and we’ve done interviews and another will be employed shortly,” he said.

“The decision about whether there are any more rangers will be a subject of a future council decision.”

He said the trial with Bayswater gave the town an “expanded service”.

“We were never previously operating a 24-7 service where for emergency situations we now have that available to our ratepayers,” Mr Woods said.

During the trial, the town’s ranger service is operating as usual from 8.30am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays. Bayswater’s ranger service is being used to respond to urgent matters from 5pm Fridays to 8.30am Mondays.

Residents are asked to call the town’s ranger service on 9377 7480 in the first instance.

A position description on the town’s website says rangers are responsible for parking and vehicle control, protection of public amenity, pet registration, animal control and fire risk management.

They also attend court for prosecutions, issue infringements and warning notices, provide support at community outdoor events and deliver confidential documents.

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