Back to the future at first City of Subiaco council meeting for 2018

Stock image.
Stock image.

SUBIACO’S first council meeting of the year was dominated by last year’s annual electors meeting.

The minutes of the AEM were not officially received after concerns from residents and some councillors about an attendance list, apologies and which statements should have been included.

Chief executive Don Burnett said the local government act was silent on receiving matters from annual electors meetings.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it; we go with the normal process,” he said.

Mayor Penny Taylor said the minutes could have been received, but council wanted to improve them.

“The City does listen to residents’ concerns, and we need to better demonstrate that,” she said.

She reminded residents they could get in contact with council over issues at any time during the year.

Councillors reviewed motions moved by AEM attendees, including one for the City to adopt a model litigant policy.

Residents involved in a legal stoush with the City over Fresh Start’s move to York Street had moved the motion.

Jim Davies said he had been a ratepayer since 1995, and had not previously had cause to reflect on the City’s legal processes.

“I’m currently involved in the legal action against the City in respect of a planning decision regarding the former Ronald McDonald House,” he said at this week’smeeting.

“Adoption by the City of a model litigant policy would I believe ensure the City acts in an ethical manner and uses appropriate means to consider options outside of litigation.”

Mr Davies said the Town of Cambridge and Work Cover WA have such policies in place.

The officer recommendation was for councillors to note the resolution from the electors meeting, but also note that the city will assess the merits of a civil litigation policy as part of its policy review process.

Councillor Malcolm Mummery moved the motion.

“I think the adoption of this policy by Cambridge has been a beacon of common sense,” he said.

Councillor Julie Matheson said she was against the motion as it had no clear timeline.

“It seems to avoid the fact the City of Subiaco is currently in the Supreme Court for a matter,” she said.

“I think this is an urgent matter and not to be put in run of the mill development policy.”

Mr Burnett said the policy will come up soon as part of the City’s different directorates looking at policy.

“The policies should be coming through around the middle of the year, with the first batch coming before council in February,” he said.

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