Swan Foreshore Protection Association says Melville special meeting of electors still relevant despite inquiry

The Swan Foreshore Protection Association has called for a special meeting of electors on April 26 to discuss concerns the City is not listening to ratepayers.
The Swan Foreshore Protection Association has called for a special meeting of electors on April 26 to discuss concerns the City is not listening to ratepayers.

A SPECIAL meeting of electors on April 26 remains relevant despite an ongoing inquiry into the City of Melville, says the group that instigated the gathering at month’s end.

Swan Foreshore Protection Association spokesman Clive Ross said he collected 751 signatures in less than 10 days to trigger the meeting.

There he hopes to raise concerns the City is not listening to ratepayers or complying with legislative requirements.

Despite the State Government announcing it was launching an authorised inquiry into the City’s “operations and affairs” last November, Mr Ross said the third special meeting of electors this year still had purpose.

“The (City is) moving ahead with their decisions in complete disregard for the local government inquiry,” he said.

“They have refused to show any respect for the inquiry by refusing to place matters on hold and have refused requests from the community to hold off as well.

“It also appears that the Government needs more evidence of the community’s continuing concerns in order to take action such as was taken against the City of Perth.”

The City and a number of vocal community groups have been at loggerheads for some time over numerous issues, including transparency, the proposed Tompkins Park wave park and sporting facilities across Melville.

But what role the City plays on April 26 is likely to be minimal.

It says that is because discussions will be similar to issues being investigated in the inquiry.

“It is therefore not appropriate for the City’s elected members or officers to comment or respond … until the outcome and findings of the inquiry are handed down,” the City said in a notice on its webpage.

In its notice, the City pointed to avenues that could be followed to report alleged misconduct and added that it had an obligation to ensure City staff and councillors are not exposed to physical or mental harm.

“In these circumstances, and for the reasons outlined above, the City believes it would be an abuse of process for the specified matters to be discussed at the proposed elector’s meeting,” the City said.

“The City will therefore not participate in any discussion or answer any questions on the specified matters.”

The meeting will be held at the Mt Pleasant Baptist Community College in Booragoon from 6.30pm on April 26.

– Special Meeting of Electors, April 26 –

Discussion to centre on the responsibility of elected members and the CEO to ensure that the City complies with legislative processes and:

1) Whether particular elected members and the CEO have acted with due diligence and good faith and taken due care to inform, be informed and seek information necessary to make informed decisions;
2) Whether these elected members knowingly voted to structure transactions to avoid the application of the Local Government Act 1995;
3) Whether the actions of these elected members have facilitated or resulted in the City entering into transactions even though the process that was followed did not comply with the legislative requirements.

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