Cottesloe councillor resigns over depot lease

Cottesloe councillor Sandra Boulter
Cottesloe councillor Sandra Boulter

COTTESLOE councillor Sandra Boulter resigned immediately when her town agreed to lease part of Mosman Park Council’s McCabe Street works depot a special meeting last night..

“It’s the final straw for me, and I effectively resign from this council effective now,” Ms Boulter said after the vote on the depot at the end of the meeting, before walking out of the chamber.

She said she was “appalled” and “ashamed” Cottesloe would enter a depot lease “sight unseen”, comparing it with the controversial Indiana Restaurant lease.

Outside the chamber, she said there had been no written evidence of a State Government refusal to use land along the railway instead for the depot, and the council needed to show “prudent use” of ratepayers’ money before spending on new facilities for a shared depot.

However, Cr Lorraine Young earlier successfully amended the council’s resolution so its lawyers would analyse any draft lease to ensure it conformed with a business plan for a shared depot, about which 90 of 129 public comments supported the proposal in consultation for six weeks until December 10.

Agreeing to share a depot ends Cottesloe’s 10-year search for a new site, after it was decided to sell its old Nailsworth Street depot to developers for $8.65 million in 2013.

“We’ve invested that and we have a number of new homes on that site which have been paying rates,” Mayor Phil Angers said.

Mr Angers said the old depot’s sale and investment had earned the council about $205,000 each subsequent year, while the annual cost of sharing the Mosman Park site would be $87,000.

Residents’ concepts at the meeting to build an underground depot were rejected as too expensive (greater than $10m), previous proposals investigated by the council to put a depot on the Sea View Golf Course had sparked opposition from adjacent residents, and a report said any use of railway land would have to pay market rates.

Asked how Ms Boulter would be replaced and to respond to her claims, a council spokeswoman said the resignation was effective as of today and the council wished her well in any future endeavour.