FORMER councillor Frank Lindsey has nominated to stand against City of Kalamunda Mayor Andrew Waddell in the North West Ward, saying the councillor’s conduct has demonstrated he is unfit for public office.
Cr Waddell is one of four councillors the Department of Local Government is investigating over allegations they failed to disclose financial interests when voting on Amendment 82, which allows higher- density housing on blocks in parts of Forrestfield, Kalamunda, High Wycombe and Maida Vale.
On his Kalamunda News Facebook page Mr Lindsey questioned claims by Cr Waddell that he didn’t stand to benefit financially from the council decision, which he said permits Cr Waddell to build up to six units on his High Wycombe property.
“The conduct of Mayor Andrew Waddell has demonstrated he is unfit for public office,” he said.
“The change in zoning may not put money directly into Cr Waddell’s pocket but it confers a financial benefit nonetheless by increasing the underlying value of his land.”
Cr Waddell said he had not, nor intended, to profit from Amendment 82, which was adopted by the council last year.
He said Mr Lindsey was spreading ‘fake news’.
“There is not an investigation under the Local Government Act, there is no referral to the Standards Panel and there are no legal proceedings,” he said.
“There has only been a request for information several months ago which we have responded to.
“I also note that Amendment 82 has not been affected, and I have not profited in any way as a result, nor do I intend to utilise the amendment if it comes into affect, as that would require me to demolish my place of residence.”
A City of Kalamunda spokeswoman said no properties in the City were currently eligible for dual density zoning and the conditions a property must meet had yet to be determined by the WAPC.
“Amendment 82 has not yet been approved by the Western Australian Planning Commission,” she said.
“Amendment 82 is being tabled at the WAPC Statutory Planning Committee this month. The recommendation is to approve the amendment.
“Following this a report would be sent to the Minister’s office in relation to the amendment for her consideration.”
The spokeswoman would not comment on whether Cr Waddell could construct six units on his block if the amendment was approved by the minister.
“Cr Waddell’s property would be subject to the same tests and restrictions of any other similar block,” she said.
“Any potential development would be determined by many factors such as the size of the block, existing buildings, services and access to the site.
“No units could be constructed unless an application was lodged with the City and all requirements met.”
More questions on the investigation were asked in State Parliament on September 5 including whether the City’s manager of governance had sought advice from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, over whether the councillors should have been present when voting on Amendment 82.
WA Education Minister Sue Ellery, representing the Local Government Minister David Templeman, said it would not be appropriate to comment until the review was concluded.
Mr Lindsey said the new council may need to revisit the dual density codes if it was found the decisions of the ordinary meeting on June 27, 2017 were invalid.