City in defence of residents

�The notice for applications was aimed at residents of the Swanbourne community and it is considered that DHA does not satisfy the intent of council�s resolution,� Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said.

Mr Hipkins said while it would be inappropriate for a DHA representative to be in the working group, DHA could be invited to attend �from time to time�.

In June, Nedlands councillors concerned about DHA bypassing planning laws for the village�s proposed $165 million redevelopment decided the group should comprise Mr Hipkins, a council planning officer, two Swanbourne councillors and two residents.

After recent advertising, DHA applied for its Melbourne-based regional development manager James Wallace to join, prompting community concern about DHA�s role. A female DHA staffer was also seen at a Department of Defence briefing for villagers and residents about the separate proposed $230 million refurbishment of neighbouring Campbell Barracks on June 10.

Morton MHR Graham Perrett questioned residents about the staffer at a Parliamentary Public Works Committee hearing in Scarborough on August 6 but residents said they were uncertain about her role.

Outside the hearing, Mr Wallace said his nomination was not intended to replace a resident and DHA had wanted an extra seat.

DHA managing director Peter Howman said DHA would continue to work with the State Government about a development application for the village, including that residents� access to the village runs through an A-Class reserve that could be closed to stop the development.

Mr Howman said the village�s protective covenant from 1991, which development critics called a �mockery� at the hearing, existed so any sale of the village�s land could only occur with the agreement of DHA and the Department of Defence.