SUBIACO council has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State Government.
The motion was passed on January 30 at a special council meeting, allowing for a revocation of the management order over Subiaco Oval and Kitchener Park.
“The State Government will now take on management responsibility for the Subiaco oval precinct, which will include school construction, future master planning, West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) arrangements and the demolition of the grandstands,” Planning and Lands minister Rita Saffioti said.
Mayor Penny Taylor said the City was pleased to have secured public access to the oval, with the surface set to be retained.
“In working with the State Government to develop the master plan for the precinct, we will continue to seek positive outcomes for our community,” she said.
Several residents made public statements, mostly against the signing and the matter going behind closed doors.
Former councillor Paul Clements said the council had previously adopted a position that the City required the oval and Kitchener Park as active open space, and council was granted a management order over this land initially more than 100 years.
“There should be no thought of giving up the management order unless it is condition on the City being assured of provision for our current and future requirements,” he said.
This was supported by former mayor and City freeman Richard Diggins.
“The Subiaco Oval precinct represents a significant part of Subiaco’s social, cultural and sporting history and council should not in my opinion be required to hand over its management order without resort to recompense in a form that is acceptable to the Subiaco community,” Mr Diggins said.
The special council meeting was closed to the public once the confidential MOU came up for discussion.
The passed motion confirmed acceptance of the MOU, with the City emphasising they will work in good faith with the Government but the MOU does not represent endorsement to the yet-to-be-developed precinct master plan.
At the meeting Cr Julie Matheson unsuccessfully presented an alternative recommendation that the council follow due process to address any leases with the WAFC for Kitchener Park, councillors receive copies of all management agreements mentioned in the MOU and a number of changes to the MOU.
In response, a City officer said the proposed MOU would protect Subiaco from any risks or liabilities in relation to the WAFC lease, and the City had not received any management order copies.
The officer also commented that the changes to the MOU suggested in the alternative motion were already addressed or were to be resolved with City participation under a MOU once master planning started.
“It should be noted should the City delay agreement to the MOU the State is likely to proceed with the finalisation of the planning and construction of the Inner City College and the master planning of the precinct may well proceed without the City of Subiaco’s input into the process,” the officer wrote.
“The MOU allows for the matters raised in the proposed alternative to be negotiated between the City of Subiaco and the State.”