FORTY FIVE Melville residents held a rally on the steps of Parliament on Tuesday, as two petitions attacking their council’s handling of a proposed wave park were tabled in the upper house.
Melville council has approved a 50-year lease for Urbnsurf (Perth) at Tompkins Park in Alfred Cove, with the company currently going through the approval process for the $28 million venture, which will occupy 4.4 hectares and include the 1000-an-hour wave machine as well as a cafe, climbing wall, parkour trail and skate course.
But the proposal has divided the community, with 719 residents supporting the proposal and 587 objecting during the consultation phase. The process was also marred by controversy when it was revealed that a council manager had previously held shares in Wave Park Group, the proponent’s parent company. The council has refused to explain how the manager, Todd Cahoon, came to be on the agenda of a confidential briefing to councillors a year prior to divesting his shares, other than to say the meeting never took place. That’s currently under investigation by the WA Public Sector Commission.
The first petition presented to parliament this week calls on the McGowan government to conduct an inquiry into Melville’s officers and councillors. It also asks for the inquiry to examine changes in council zoning rules and its approval of developments which do not comply with established standards.
That petition garnered 3,462 signatures. The second petition of 2,804 signatures calls on Mr McGowan to block the wave park proposal by knocking back any applications that have to come through the state government.
by STEVE GRANT