Willagee MLA Peter Tinley asked a number of questions in State Parliament on March 25 about the development, including whether Mr Simpson had investigated the City of Fremantle�s representation of the financial implications of the $45 million investment.
Mr Simpson responded last Tuesday, saying he had received correspondence from the Fremantle Residents and Ratepayers Association (FRRA) on the issue, but that he had no authority to intervene in the matter and had not investigated it. He said the material that had been sent to him �do not demonstrate that the City has acted unlawfully�.
Fremantle resident Martin Lee first raised the issue with the FRRA amid concerns the city�s calculations of a positive $4 million net present value (NPV) was actually a negative $30 million NPV after he looked at the figures. He said he was interested by the �non-response� from the Minister.
�If the $45 million Kings Square project has a positive NPV, I would have to agree with the Minister, but if it has a negative NPV then he simply does not have a leg to stand on,� he said.
FRRA spokeswoman Claudia Green said they were �astonished, disturbed and dismayed� by the response.
�All the evidence has been given to the Minister, if he had bothered to check, and is publicly available,� she said.
�A quick glance over the Act doesn�t take long to find many options or opportunities for the Minister to use his authority to intervene.�
Fremantle chief executive Graeme Mackenzie said the City acknowledged the Minister�s response and was now looking forward to the announcement of a department move to Fremantle.