A STOUSH between the cities of Subiaco and Perth over $500,000 and a parcel of Crawley land could be resolved by Christmas.
Subiaco chief executive Don Burnett said both parties were going in to a new agreement with good faith, with both councils considering similar motions to co-operate.
Subiaco council passed the motion 8-3 on Tuesday night, authorising the chief executive to execute a confidential deed requiring both parties to do everything reasonably necessary to arrange for a joint trustee relationship over the Bruce Family Trust land.
“Payment will go through as soon as the deed is signed, and I’d hope that’s before Christmas depending on Perth’s meeting schedule,” Mr Burnett said.
The stoush kicked off last year after the City of Perth Act changed the boundaries of Perth and Subiaco, with a number of redundancies resulting in Subiaco.
Notice was given to the City of Perth to pay an outstanding amount of $500,000 for staff redundancy costs by June 20, 2017, but payment was not received.
The Local Government and Communities Minister advised the two councils to meet in good faith to resolve the matter, during which the Bruce Family Trust land was raised; a deposit of land in Crawley adjoining the JH Abrahams Reserve under the trust of the City of Subiaco, but now within City of Perth boundaries.
Both councils raised concerns that if the trust was transferred to one or the other, at some stage the trust could be varied by the Supreme Court and sold.
Neither council was planning on this action, Subiaco’s officer wrote in his recommendation on Tuesday, but a solution “needed to be identified to ensure that public access was to be maintained in to the future”.
There was some pushback against the motion at the Subiaco meeting, with councillor David McMullen proposing an alternative solution.
“The transitional deed is an unnecessary step,” he said.
“It’s an agreement to agree.”
Mr Burnett said he wasn’t keen for the council to deviate from the motion, as the Perth councillors would be undertaking a similar step at their end.
Cr Julie Matheson asked why the City of Perth had to become one of the trustees.
“It’s very unfortunate that the City of Perth have used the payment of $500,000 to take control of the trust,” she said.
“I don’t see what the reason is for taking control of the trust.
“It’s got nothing to with money, and it shouldn’t be.”
Cr Malcolm Mummery, who moved the motion, said it was time to get the issue resolved.
“Let’s just be sensible and get on with taking their money; or, our money,” he said.