City-YBJV talks could resume

Debbi Greenwood with a photograph of her late friend Jacqui Gribben.
Debbi Greenwood with a photograph of her late friend Jacqui Gribben.

At the April 2 meeting last Tuesday, Mayor Tracey Roberts called for a special meeting in light of a letter not previously provided to councillors.

‘The motion to revoke follows the discovery of a letter that should have been made available to elected members before they voted to end the negotiations,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘It is important in the interests of transparency that this letter be considered to see if it offers any material information that might influence council’s decision.’

The motion and two others related to the Yanchep playing fields have been listed as confidential, but one will review the confidentiality of the negotiations.

Butler MLA John Quigley has been going through documents related to the playing fields negotiations which he received through a Freedom of Information request last month.

‘Three years ago the City approached YBJV to see whether YBJV could deliver land and ovals years ahead of its statutory requirement to contribute 10 per cent public open space,’ he said.

‘YBJV said yes, but then the City said we want two ovals and even a bigger development which exceeds what your statutory obligations will require.

‘The City said no problem, because this is going to become district open space and six other developers over the coming five years will have to make monetary contributions to the district development fund.’

Mr Quigley said this meant YBJV’s expenses would eventually be refunded through the Yanchep Two Rocks developers’ contributions plan.

‘When the scheme amendment 122 was first advertised, the developers being conservative in nature initially opposed the scheme,’ he said.

The MP said the six developers wrote to the City again on December 4, 2012 saying they supported early delivery of the ovals but asked the City to explain why it would use funds from their contributions to pay for land acquisition when that land would ordinarily be ceded for free .

‘The council met (on December 11) but the officers never put that letter before the council, nor did they give any justification to the developers,’ Mr Quigley said.

He said lawyers for YBJV then wrote to the City on February 5 asking that the December 4 letter be presented to the council members before the meeting that evening, when the council decided to stop negotiations. Mr Quigley told the Times he received those letters from the developers and they were not included in the documents he received from the City through FOI.

He said if the council revoked its December and February decisions at the special meeting tomorrow, YBJV could agree to meet with the City again.

Mr Quigley said if the council discussed those motions in a confidential session, he would submit another FOI application on Thursday morning.

‘The community deserves better than the treatment they are being dished out,’ he said.

‘The ovals are desperately wanted by the community.’

Tomorrow’s meeting will start at 6pm, with the three items listed as a revocation motion for decisions made on December 1 and February 5, as well as reconsideration and a confidentiality review of the Yanchep open space.