CITY of Swan councillors could vote tomorrow tonight on whether the City should invest in a building or land and give it to a drug rehabilitation facility.
Councillor Andrew Kiely has a motion set for Wednesday’s agenda which asks that a report be prepared to explore the availability of City of Swan-owned land and/or building for the purpose of providing it to a drug rehabilitation provider.
The City has been in an ongoing legal battle with drug rehabilitation facility Shalom House – whose chief executive is Cr Peter Lyndon-James – for the past three years over zoning issues.
Cr Lyndon-James recently criticised the council over its handling of the issue after being told by the owners he may no longer be able to privately rent the property used for the West Swan facility.
Cr Kiely said the motion was not directly linked to Shalom House despite the program possibly requiring a new residential facility to house recovering addicts.
He said people could make up their own mind if the motion and Cr Lyndon-James’ program were linked.
“You can connect the dots. Shalom House is undeniably highlighted because of its place in the City of Swan and the need for something of that nature in the City,” he said.
Cr Kiely said councils helped build swimming pools and roads and he believed they should be involved in drug rehabilitation.
“The issue of a dedicated drug rehabilitation facility is something council have to consider seriously going forward given the epidemic of drugs in the community,” he said.
However, Cr Lyndon-James said he would not support the motion. He said if the motion was supported and the City did provide land, Shalom House would not accept it.
“The community does need it, but it’s not something Shalom House would access,” he said.
“We don’t want to come under any form of government.
“I have no interest in this motion and will be declaring a conflict of interest in this motion.”
City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said drug rehabilitation was the responsibility of the State Government.
“The City’s position to date has been that the State Government is responsible for drug rehabilitation facilities and services,” he said.
“The City has previously discussed the availability of Government owned/reserved land being made available for this purpose.
“The provision of drug rehabilitation facilities and services has not been considered in the City’s strategic planning to date.”