THE City of Melville took until nearly midnight to deal with the motions from December’s fiery Annual General Meeting of Electors during last night’s council meeting.
The council appeared likely to go behind closed doors for the motion requesting the City terminate the wave park site lease with URBNSURF, like they did in October when the sunset date for the lease was extended to February 28, 2020.
It was claimed at that meeting that councillors could be sued if they voted against extending the lease and last night Mayor Russell Aubrey repeatedly asked councillors if they wanted to declare a financial interest, with only councillor June Barton doing so.
The debate was pushed to the end of the council meeting but the councillors elected not to ask members of the public to leave.
A motion from councillor Matthew Woodall to adjourn the meeting at 11.30pm due to occupational health and safety concerns was rejected following the Mayor’s casting vote after councillors were locked at 6-6.
Mr Aubrey again used his casting vote to reject the elector’s lease termination motion after the council was split six votes for and six votes against.
Earlier in the meeting, a motion that the City provides an annual payment in perpetuity to the WA Ratepayers and Residents Association was rejected following concerns from some councillors about the organisation’s structure and whether it represented the community.
Two members of the Friends of Bert Jeffrey used their deputation to raise concerns about the consultation between the City and residents and the impact of a proposed amenities building for the Applecross Cricket Club at the reserve.
Despite some councillors backing the residents, the motion that the council abandon plans at the park was rejected.
The meeting was fiery at times, with City of Melville Resident and Ratepayers Association members Mark McLerie and Steven Wallace both kicked out by Mr Aubrey.
There were also heated exchanges between councillor Stephen Kepert and the Mayor throughout the evening, which at one stage led Cr Patricia Phelan to tell Cr Kepert to “f*** off”.
Mr Aubrey asked Cr Phelan to apologise for her comments, which she did.
The council noted motions about upgrading facilities at Winnacott Reserve and Webber Reserve and a motion to provide alternative accommodation for the volunteers displaced at the Community Information Centre at Garden City.