Ratepayers booted out as City of Melville electors meeting gets heated

Stock image.
Stock image.

THERE were fiery scenes at the City of Melville’s Annual General Meeting of Electors (AGME) last night as several members of the public were escorted out by security.

Mayor Russell Aubrey posted a warning on social media before the meeting at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church that there would be “zero tolerance of negative reflection” and there would be eight security staff.

The meeting started with a promotional video for the City’s Community Annual Report 2017-18 receiving a slow clap and jeers from sections of the crowd.

During public question time, there were queries about the appointment of Marten Tieleman as chief executive last month, the City’s spending, Collaterised Debt Obligations and the “lack of” promotion of the AGME.

A motion from former Federal MP George Gear about the City’s lawn bowls strategy report, which he labelled as a “sham”, was referred to as “negative reflection” by the Mayor.

Mr Gear was the first person to be kicked out, which prompted jeers from the crowd and more members of the public followed him out.

A motion from members of the Alfred Cove Action Group for the City to terminate its lease with URBNSURF for the proposed wave park and for council representatives to meet with them about creating a bird sanctuary on the Tompkins Park site was passed.

Swan Foreshore Protection Association (SFPA) chairman Clive Ross moved a motion for the City to make an annual payment to the newly-formed WA Ratepayers and Residents Association and it was carried.

A motion from SFPA member David Maynier that Local Government Minister David Templeman suspend or dismiss Mayor Aubrey was refused to be tabled by the presiding member due to “negative reflection.”

Several more members of the public left at this stage and Melville Residents Association chairman Gary Crawford was escorted out by security.

The Melville Times noted several members of the Fish Army in the crowd, who are fighting against the Outer Harbour at Cockburn Sound, along with members of the public wearing anti-MRRA t-shirts.

A motion for the City to oppose the Outer Harbour drew questions about its relevance and was lost.

Motions for the City to abandon plans to construct a building at Bert Jeffrey Park, allocate resources at Webber and Winnacott Reserves in Willagee and to find an alternative venue for volunteers at the Community Information Centre at Garden City were carried by the crowd.

All motions passed will be heard by the council in the future.