CEO hits back over interference attack

Mr Mackenzie said the City had repeatedly stated publically that the Point Street development, among other projects, was of great strategic importance to Fremantle’s revitalisation.

However, he said in a statement from the City last week that briefing DAC members on such and any relevant scheme provisions was not intended to elicit a particular outcome from the committee.

He said the DAC recommendations were put to committee or council as agreed by the chair of the DAC and denied councillors had edited staff reports and DAC recommendations.

‘None of these specific allegations in the article was made in Mr Lutton’s resignation letter from the committee in December,’ Mr Mackenzie said.

‘He did express a concern at what he saw as the inability of the DAC to have any real impact on many projects, while stressing that this was not through any fault of the DAC, its members or council management.

‘In actual fact, some of the comments and concerns raised by Mr Lutton in the DAC meetings have led to a review of the terms of reference of the committee, which the City is currently undertaking. This will be the subject of a report to council in February this year.’

In a separate statement to the Gazette, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said council met with the DAC to discuss how its advice could be improved.

‘It was agreed by all that future DAC reports to council would be more comprehensive and where discretionary height is concerned they would include a clear recommendation on whether it met the threshold of exceptional design would be included,’ he said.

‘That is now being implemented and this first test case has enabled us to refine and improve our reporting processes.’

Dr Pettitt said no decisions had yet been made to grant discretionary height based on a DAC recommendation as the Queensgate development was deferred by council last week.