Staff cleared by commission

MELVILLE council says the Public Sector Commission has cleared staff of any conflicts of interest regarding a wave park proposal in Alfred Cove.

The council sent an internal report to the commission after residents at a special electors’ meeting raised concerns about recreation manager Todd Cahoon’s personal and commercial relationship with the wave park proponents. He’d been a shareholder until Wave Park Group submitted its bid to the council.

CEO Shayne Silcox says the matter has been put to rest once and for all and those who aired the allegations should apologise to Mr Cahoon.

• The council chambers were filled to overflowing with opponents of the proposed Alfred Cove wave park, who made their feelings known as they left. Photo by Steve Grant

“As CEO I would hope the media and the community understand the personal impacts, stress and trauma, that are caused when unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations are bandied around recklessly,” Dr Silcox said.

“This leads me to question why those making the allegations would broadcast them so widely without appropriate due process of confidentially, other than it would seem on the face of it, to discredit the city and its officers.”

But Dr Silcox was forced to again defend his staffer at a special council meeting on Thursday night called to consider signing a lease with Wave Park Group, with ratepayers submitting a long list of questions probing everything from the relationship to traffic management.

Councillors were still considering the lease when the Herald went to print.

But the Alfred Cove Action Group wasn’t impressed by sections of the lease included in the minutes of the meeting.

It says provisions which allow Wave Park Group to waive conditions unilaterally could leave the city exposed, while the four-month extension of a rent-free period, taking it over a year, was too generous.

Several residents left the meeting muttering that they feared the wave park would fail economically and the developer would try to erect high-rise apartments instead.

Mayor Russell Aubrey told the meeting zoning wouldn’t permit housing.

by STEVE GRANT

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