OPPONENTS of the Alfred Cove wave park are furious they were barred from presenting deputations on a “fraudulent” summary of the nearly 3700 submissions received during the eight-week advertising period for the controversial project.
Alfred Cove Action Group spokesman David Maynier said the findings of a City officer’s report detailing the submissions, presented at last week’s agenda briefing forum, were “farcical”.
He also accused Wave Park Group supporters of flooding the City with “donkey votes.”
Mr Maynier said Wave Park Group had emailed its supporters a prepared statement that could be used as a submission.
“By means of this, thousands of submissions, each with an identical one-line message, were sent by wave park supporters, mostly from outside the City of Melville.”
“Hundreds of other submissions, mostly sent by opponents of the wave park – some of these from well-recognised authorities in their field such as the Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group and Bird Life Australia – provided careful and considered argument as to why Alfred Cove is not a suitable place for a venture of this nature.
“All of these submissions were given equal weight, which is a completely fraudulent form of reporting.
“I am aware of at least three separate requests to present deputations focused purely on the findings of the City’s report, so in my opinion there has been a serious breach of good faith on the part of the City which has sought to ensure only its own point of view gets heard by council.”
The City of Melville confirmed five requests to present a deputation were knocked back.
Dr Silcox said the content of any deputation at the ABF would have been outside the control of the City and would “inevitably address the issue of the wave park proposal and the subject of the submissions, either during a deputation or during the questions following a deputation.”
“As the time for submissions on the Wave Park proposal closed on January 27, the agenda briefing forum was not an opportunity to discuss the proposal or present additional submissions,” he added.
Wave Park Group chairman Andrew Ross hit back at Mr Maynier’s “donkey vote” allegations, stating both Wave Park Group and ACAG had emailed their supporters advising them of the opportunity to make a submission.
“Our email contained a pre-prepared statement but also encouraged people to express their own feelings and lots of them took the time to do that,” he said.
Of the nearly 3700 total submissions, just over 700 were from City of Melville residents expressing support for the wave park compared to close to 600 against.
More than 2300 non-residents also made submissions supporting the wave park.
Mr Ross said he was pleased that the majority of submissions from within the City of Melville were in favour of the wave park.
“I think that carries over all the way through this process; we have consistently seen that most people are in favour of this proposal,” he said.
“All we are asking for is an opportunity to go through due process; we haven’t even begun the formal application yet and people are trying to knock us over at the starting gate.”
City officers are urging councillors to authorise a provisional ground lease for the 4.4ha, $25 million facility at its February 21 ordinary meeting of council.