Tidal wave of protest

NEARLY 500 angry Melville residents voted unanimously for council to suspend negotiations over a proposed Alfred Cove wave park at a special meeting of electors on Wednesday night.

Melville council approved ground lease negotiations with the Wave Park Group last month, prompting 261 residents to sign a petition triggering a special electors meeting.

The hall at the Mt Pleasant Baptist Community College was near capacity with ratepayers urging the council to consider alternative proposals for the prestige riverside site, which is curerently home to Melville Bowling Club.

Alfred Cove resident and former federal government minister George Gear told the meeting he was disappointed the “monstrosity of an industrial complex” had gotten this far.

High impact

“What is important to us as ratepayers is the public open space—not the illusionary $700,000 per year you think you’re going to get,” he said.

Residents expressed their concern that alternative uses for the site hadn’t been investigated and the lease income would be too low.

Applecross resident and Friends of Tompkins Park group member Martin Kalkhoven said locals did not want a “high impact commercial development” at the site.

“If the council is determined to pursue commercial at the site, no one else has been given significant opportunity to compete,” he said.

Residents also said they were concerned about the track record of the proponents.

Mr Ross and other supporters of WPG boycotted the meeting and organised a movie night at the front of the Melville bowling club.

Last month the WPG chief told the Chook that the wave park presents a transformational opportunity for the city of Melville and Perth.

Council do not have to abide by the vote at the special electors meeting and only have to consider it when they make their final decision.

by CHARLIE SMITH

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