Special  turnout

OVER 600 Melville residents attended a special electors’ meeting questioning the conduct and transparency of their council.

Applecross’s Clive Ross called for the meeting and said the turnout “sent a clear message” to the city that ratepayers were not being heard.

Mr Ross has worked with the Swan River Protection Association and Alfred Cove Action Group and said the meeting was “professionally handled” and the majority of residents in attendance were in support of his four motions.

His first requested that the local government inquiry into Melville council include the conduct of the CEO and elected members over a series of land purchases at Kishorn Road and Moreau Mews in Applecross.

Breach

The residents alleged the council breached local government legislation by buying the parcel of land.

Mr Ross said he believed some councillors, who voted against seeking legal advice and deferring the purchases of the land at a meeting in February 2016, had a “conflicting interest” and should have excused themselves when the motion was put to council.

The block of properties is located within the Canning Bridge Activity Centre Plan, where despite a nominal height limit of 15 storeys, the Joint Development Assessment Panel has approved developments as high as 30.

Despite the council considering 20 or 25-storey height caps for the precinct, Mr Ross said the council wanted to acquire land that would maximise its benefit.

“I think there obviously is a link between acquiring the property and the Canning Bridge Plan,” he said.

Other motions carried by the residents requested the council stop spending funds on the Tompkins Park development until outcomes of the Supreme Court action and government inquiry were handed down.

There was also a motion passed to stop plans for a construction of a clubhouse at Bert Jeffrey Park in Murdoch, and to rescind council decisions to move Melville Bowling Club, and to close Mt Pleasant Bowling club.

A small number of electors in attendance were against the motions, including proponents of the wave park development.

The council will have to acknowledge the motions at their next meeting, and although Mr Ross fears council will simply “note” them, he hopes the meeting will bring some momentum to the current local government department inquiry into Melville.

by CHARLIE SMITH

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