Warrandyte anger spills over at City of Joondalup electors meeting

Warrandyte Park. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Warrandyte Park. Picture: Martin Kennealey

CONTROVERSY surrounding the future use of Warrandyte Park in Craigie spilled into the City of Joondalup’s annual general meeting of electors last night.

Craigie resident Mike Stringfellow attempted to move a motion of no confidence in mayor Troy Pickard “because of the manner in which the originally proposed move of Joondalup United Football Club (JUFC) to Warrandyte Park was handled”.

In September, the council passed an alternative motion that allocated Warrandyte Park to the National Premier Leagues-bound JUFC, relocating Whitford City Football Club (WCFC), which had used the park for 41 years.

But following strong community objection, the decision was revoked in October for further investigation.

Mr Pickard said Mr Stringfellow’s motion was not allowed following the mayor’s opening statement that motions of dissent or no confidence would not be permissible and would be ruled out of order.

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“If you’re not happy, then in October there’s an election and that’s your opportunity to express through the ballot process who you wish to support,” Mr Pickard said.

Another Craigie resident, Shane Holmes, also moved a motion that the AGM was “becoming undemocratic in suppression of the electors’ right to free speech” and requested an independent review of the standing orders and rules.

“The use of the standing orders to exclude debate is undemocratic,” he said.

Mr Pickard said it was not a permissible motion.

“The intent of an AGM is to consider the annual report… and at the end is an opportunity for residents to raise motions. It is not to be passing those types of statements,” he said.

“If you have those views, I encourage you to send an email to the elected members.”

Mr Stringfellow went on to move a motion for the council to release alternative motions and amendments to the public for 24 hours before they can be voted on.

“The original proposal to allocate Warradyte Park to JUFC did not appear in the agenda for that meeting,” he said.

“It was not publicly advertised before the vote and only the beneficiaries of that move were selectively made aware of it.

“This does not meet the standards of the City and my motion is to ensure this never happens again.”

The motion was passed unanimously.

His next motion was to change the City’s policy to endorse councillors and staff to speak to the media “provided they make it clear their opinion is their own and it does not cast an adverse reflection on the council or its employees”.

He said it was the basics of good governance and would allow freedom of speech.

It was passed unanimously as was his last motion to implement a committee to answer electors’ questions.

He said this was recommended to the City in a report when the council was suspended in 2005 and had been requested through motions at previous AGMs but not yet implemented.

Michael Lee, of WCFC, also moved a motion requesting an independent review of the “decision-making process leading up to the amended motion” in September that allocated Warrandyte Park to JUFC and relocated WCFC.

He said the review should include consultation with Joondalup councillors and administration staff, WCFC, JUFC, Warrandyte Park users and surrounding residents and stakeholders involved with the objection of Forrest Park in Padbury being upgraded for JUFC.

“I think it’s a wise thing when decisions are made that haven’t exactly gone as planned… just to make sure it doesn’t happen again and lessons are learned,” he said.

“An independent review can open up a few doors, maybe close up a few little loop holes and ensure these things don’t happen again where communities get divided, football clubs get pitted against one another and things can be done better in the future.”

It was passed unanimously.

Mr Lee’s second motion was to form a working group between the Joondalup administration, football clubs in the City and Football West “to develop a strategy for the future of football in the City of Joondalup”.

He said it was to “foster collaboration”, develop a strategy to “enable the growth of clubs and football within the City” and to “identify funding needs and avenues for future clubs”.

It was also passed unanimously.

The Ocean Reef Marina was also a hot topic with Mullaloo resident Marie MacDonald moving two motions.

The first was that the City of Joondalup not proceed with the project until reports state there will be no damage to the coastline.

She said she was “extremely concerned about the impact” of the marina on Mullaloo Beach from the “huge groynes” that would be constructed.

“To date, nothing I’ve read indicates to me the City is willing to say there will be no impact,” she said.

“I’d like some guarantees.”

The motion was passed, with only one elector voting against.

Ms MacDonald then moved a motion that the City “obtains an exemption from the State Government for all liability arising from property and infrastructure damage caused by the Ocean Reef Marina redevelopment”.

She said it was to financially protect the City.

It was passed unanimously.

Finally, Hillarys resident Jamie Chester moved a motion to reinstate bulk rubbish collections.

He said the City needed to examine its spending on “non-core responsibilities such as Kaleidoscope Festival and art collections in preference to core responsibilities like the recently scrapped bulk or hard rubbish collection… because it’s become too expensive”.
“I consider bulk rubbish to be a core amenity,” he said.

“Festivals and concerts should be icing on the cake.”

It was passed unanimously.

It was one of the better attended AGMs in recent history, with about 60 electors filling the council chambers before the briefing session