Contract biffo

DAVID ROSS is the executive chairman of URBNSURF Perth, which has secured a lease to build a Wave Park in Alfred Cove. It’s not been a smooth ride and last week one of the opponents got stuck into the lease, saying Melville council had signed up to a one-sided deal that favours the developer. In this week’s THINKING ALLOWED Mr Ross argues that’s not the case and it’s just a common, no-thrills agreement.

Last week, David Maynier provided his thoughts on the lease arrangements between our company, URBNSURF Perth, and the City of Melville for the surf park development at Tompkins Park.

David has a copy of our lease and he knows its content back to front (probably better than me).

So why did he use his article to pose wrong propositions about the lease to Herald readers?

It’s time to address David’s comments head-on and inform those residents and readers who want to understand the facts.

If you don’t know David, it’s important to understand he’s the convenor of the Alfred Cove Action Group (formed solely to prevent our development from occurring).

Nearest neighbour

His article introduces him as a resident, but he’s also a founder of the new organisation, The Swan Foreshore Protection Association (formed so David and his friends could start a Supreme Court legal action to overturn our lease).

Finally, he is the nearest neighbour to the wave park and enjoys expansive and unobstructed river views across public land.

Our lease is the most common, vanilla, commercial ground lease you are likely to find – nothing to see here.

David implies the city has somehow given away its power under the lease to URBNSURF Perth and we have complete contractual flexibility.

This is nonsense. The lease is on the city’s website – it is simple to understand, and I invite everyone reading this to review it and make up your own mind –

The URBNSURF Perth development needs the consent of 13 different state government entities and it must pass public consultation, and once that occurs, we can start construction.

If the development consent is not obtained, the lease ends, that’s it.

Why would we have a lease if we can’t undertake the development?

David says the city needs to “fork out $10m to prepare the site” for our project.

Utter nonsense – URBNSURF must prepare the site under the lease (take a look at clause 9). There is no cost to the city for our project and no financial risk at all (read clauses 12 and 13).

David says the initial lease payment could be years away. Well, if David and his supporters ceased their efforts to play the system and use every avenue available to delay our project, we could pay the rent sooner.


For someone who thinks the system is stacked against the individual, David and his friends are adept at working the rules to obstruct, delay and confuse a project that will deliver enormous recreational and economic benefits to the rest of the Melville community, to Perth, and to many people, particularly a younger generation of local residents.

David says “URBNSURF can walk away at any time”. Some advice David – we’re not going anywhere.

Along with the new community groups that will utilise this world-class facility, and the younger generation of residents that actually wants their community to progress, we are looking forward to becoming your near neighbour as soon as possible.

2 responses to “Contract biffo

  1. As a melville city resident with a young family, I look forward to making use of this excellent facility. I just wish the self interest groups would stop all this expensive delaying thats costing our council and ratepayers so much. The company has enough hoops to jump through to ensure the suitability and safety of the project. I trust the government vetting systems already in place will identidy any problems with the plan, if there are any. I want a facility to be proud of that will generate cash for our community and provide popular exercise activity for our young people.

  2. Obviously Andrew Ross has little concern about his Wave Park project obstructing his nearest neighbour’s expansive views – or anyone else’s views and for that matter. Afterall, it’s not in his back yard. Perhaps he’d be more convincing if he answered Mr Maynier’s concerns, rather than try to discredit him and his valid motives. By the number of people actually turning up at Council Meetings, Mr Maynier is far from the only one that opposes the Surf Park at Tompkins Park.
    Mr Ross says the project wont cost ratepayers a cent. Questions relating to the cost to the city to develop Tompkins Park have been asked Council Meetings many times – the amount discussed is $9.4million. If its not for preparing the Surf Park site, what is it for? Why does the city even need a private commercial enterprise on Tompkins Park? The city ensures enough revenue comes from its rates.
    As suggested by Mr Ross, I did have a quick look at the Land Lease. Hardly rivetting reading but in my lay opinion, it does seem to be favourable to the Lesser.
    Mr Ross fails to refute Mr Mayniers statement that URBANSURF can just walk away at any time. What are the penalties to URBANSURF if they do walk away from the project? Just say, the rent payments are not made, who will ultimately pick up the tab?
    A Surf Park surely would benefit the local community and Perth wherever it is built and most people, young and old, want to see our city progress. But anyone who cares about declining open space, sports areas, and threats to the Swan River foreshore would argue that a Surf Park at Tompkins Park is not progress, it is a backwards step and detrimental. Tompkins Park is not an ideal location for a Surf Park. Where else is a Surf Park located so close to residential homes? URBANSURF expect 300,000 visitors each year and the closest neighbour would be around 100 metres away, maybe less – I’d be concerned too. Another site needs to be found that can better cater for surf activities- weekend competitons, music and functions that are bound to eventuate.
    Finally if those in authority that support the Surf Park, and their friends, answered questions (Mr Ross’ response is an example) directly without fobbing off or beating around the bush, then perhaps there might be less confusion and doubt around this project.

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