Melville: residents’ petition against Alfred Cove wave park making ripples

Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.
Like some of US President Donald Trump's speeches, many claims about the wave park beggar belief.

THE Alfred Cove Action Group (ACAG) has collected more than 3000 signatures on a pair of petitions calling on the State Government to reject plans for a wave park and launch an inquiry into both the City of Melville administration and councillors over their handling of the proposal.

ACAG convenor David Maynier believes the Wave Park Group project should not have been granted a ground lease and that Melville Council “routinely ignored substantial opposition” in progressing the development.

Mr Maynier claims the City of Melville has produced a “flawed and misleading” business case in relation to the wave park.

“The City has acted to suppress public criticism of their reports and actions and repeatedly provided incorrect or confusing responses to ratepayer questions,” Mr Maynier said.

“Quite apart from its unhealthy determination to place the wave park in a highly unsuitable location, there was also the matter of a senior City officer owning shares in the proponent’s company from the outset.”

City of Melville manager of health and leisure services Todd Cahoon was the officer responsible for the lawn bowls strategy that originally suggested moving the Melville Bowling Club off the land now under lease to Wave Park Group.

Mr Cahoon owned shares in Wave Park Group until September last year, although he has stated he declared his shareholding in mid-2013 and the City of Melville maintains Mr Cahoon played no part in its consideration of the wave park proposal, which arrived as an unsolicited bid in June 2016.

The City of Melville declined to comment on the petitions.

Earlier this year, the Public Sector Commission assessed information provided to it by the City of Melville relating to the allegations of misconduct and determined that the conflict of interest appeared to have been appropriately managed.

In a statement clarifying its assessment the PSC said it would consider investigating further if additional information was presented.

Mr Maynier confirmed ACAG had since contacted the PSC to make its own submission.

ACAG plans to have the petitions presented to the Legislative Council in the next couple of weeks.

“I’m not sure the council and its chief executive appreciate the extent to which they have lost the trust and confidence of ratepayers and residents in the course of this unfortunate saga,” Mr Maynier said.

“It’s time for a higher authority to review the Council’s conduct and to take some necessary action.”

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