Residents question Stirling mayor’s support for Scarborough ‘twin towers’

Artist impression of the revised Iconic Scarborough development. Image: Hillam Architects
Artist impression of the revised Iconic Scarborough development. Image: Hillam Architects

STIRLING Mayor Mark Irwin’s public support for the 3 Oceans development has angered some Scarborough residents.

Eighteen people used public question time at last week’s council meeting to raise concerns about Cr Irwin’s supportive statements, submission and deputation despite the council not forming a position on the project.

Planning director Ross Povey said the City’s role was to provide a technical submission as the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority was the determining authority.

Cr Irwin was on leave and absent from the meeting.

Resident Mark McGowan suggested that as 66 per cent of locals objected to the proposal during public consultation, Cr Irwin “misrepresented” the council and ratepayers and asked if he would resign.

However, acting Mayor David Lagan ruled the question out of order.

A City spokeswoman told the Times Cr Irwin’s submission and deputation were made as the Mayor and a Scarborough resident.

Mayor Mark Irwin.

“The Mayor has always spoken openly about his support for considered development in Scarborough, including the redevelopment of the Contacio site,” she said.

“He believes it will encourage and support the continued transformation of Scarborough..

“The Mayor did not undertake a formal public comment process.

“However, he has discussed the issue at length with a broad cross-section of the community.”

According to the MRA, the City raised concerns but did not arrive at a position either for or against.

The Scarborough Land Redevelopment Committee report “noted the Mayor’s deputation signalling the City’s support to work collaboratively to resolve traffic issues in the area”.

The City spokeswoman cited the Local Government Act when addressing whether it was appropriate for the Mayor to take a public position on the development.

The Act states the Mayor’s role includes speaking on behalf of the local government.

“The City believes the development will strongly support the Scarborough Beach Road Activity Corridor framework and set a benchmark for future private development,” the spokeswoman said.

It is part of a multi-agency steering group to consider future transport and access options in the redevelopment area.

Several residents also queried whether Cr David Boothman represented the City and ratepayers as part of the redevelopment committee.

An MRA spokeswoman said legislation required committee representation from the relevant local authority to “better characterise and understand localised community and stakeholder issues”.