MELVILLE councillors have voted 8-5 to authorise chief executive Shayne Silcox to draw up a provisional ground lease for the Alfred Cove wave park.
However, once prepared the provisional lease will be voted on by councillors, effectively deferring a final decision until later this year.
City officers had recommended authorising the CEO to proceed with both drafting and executing the lease, which would allow proponent Wave Park Group to submit a formal development application to the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Hundreds of people attended the Melville Civic Centre to listen to councillors debate the controversial project on Tuesday night, with electors yesterday urging councillors to knock it back.
Councillor Nicholas Pazolli began proceedings by proposing councillors adopt a special electors’ motion, voted on by postal ballot, withdrawing support for the wave park entirely.
He said the 385 – 130 result of the postal ballot was clear evidence that regardless of what future environmental or traffic reports might show, ratepayers were simply not in favour of the project.
He also brought up advice prepared by Lavan Legal on behalf of residents that disputed whether the City of Melville had complied with the Local Government Act during its advertising and decision-making process on the wave park.
Councillor Duncan Macphail said he was satisfied with the City’s own legal advice, received immediately prior to Tuesday’s meeting, that the wave park application process had complied with both the letter and the spirit of the Local Government Act.
His sentiment was echoed when Cr Pazolli’s motion was defeated 8-5.
Councillor June Barton attempted to defer any decision until the City could fully investigate the potential legal issues identified by Lavan Legal but her motion was defeated 9-4.
Councillor Matt Woodall then proposed the City be authorised to negotiate a lease agreement with Wave Park Group but for councillors to make the ultimate decision on whether to proceed, which was supported unanimously.
Once negotiated, the final lease agreement will be presented to councillors but voted on behind closed doors because of the commercially sensitive information it will contain.
There is no immediate indication of when the final lease agreement will be ready for consideration by council.