Mayor recovers after assault
THE City of Swan is reviewing its processes to ensure safety of councillors and staff after Mayor David Lucas was assaulted with a microphone at a special electors meeting on Monday night.
Chief executive Mike Foley said there were security guards at the special meeting, but the incident had prompted a review of the City’s security processes.
“Although there was security present at the meeting, the City is reviewing its processes to ensure maximum safety of councillors, staff and community members for future meetings,” he said.
A 67-year-old man was charged after allegedly assaulting Cr Lucas with the microphone when the meeting had closed.
The incident happened just before 8pm in front of a crowd of 200 residents who had met at the Midland Town Hall to discuss the Midland Oval redevelopment plan.
Cr Lucas received a head injury as well as a knee injury during the incident and was treated at St John of God Midland Public Hospital.
Patrick Irwin from Save the Midland Oval group said the man allegedly responsible for the assault was not affiliated with their group.
“I have emailed David Lucas with my sympathy and certainly have confirmed to him that we have no knowledge of or affiliation with the person who allegedly attacked the Mayor,” he said.
“I also hope that this does not distract from the valid points we made, as it is such a crucial issue for the future of Midland.”
The 67-year-old man will face Midland Magistrates court on July 10.
A PLAN to build apartments, retail and office space on the Midland Oval was likened to the clearing of Beeliar Wetlands for Roe 8 in a heated special electors meeting on Monday night.
More than 200 residents and ratepayers turned out at the Midland Town Hall to argue for the need for more green public open space in the Midland Oval redevelopment masterplan.
Six motions were raised at the meeting and carried, with reference to stopping construction and increasing green open space.
Residents said it was not too late to stop the development.
Resident Tony Mann said the McGowan government had no issues with changing plans for Roe 8 after the 2017 State Election, so there was nothing to stop the City going back to the drawing board and keeping the integrity of Midland Oval and allowing more green public open space.
Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes spoke at the meeting, saying he would do all he could to ensure the City of Swan would be accountable.
“I will do all I can that the Local Government Department examines closely the decision of this council,” he said
Long-time Midland resident Carl Moore said he had grown up playing sport on Midland Oval and hoped his grandchildren would as well.
He said he was concerned the oval development would end up similar to Scheme 12 in the 1980s.
“Planning Scheme 12 in the 1980s for a commercial development ended in the State Government having to bail the City out by moving DOLA (the former Department of Land Administration) to Midland. It was a total fiasco,” he said.
Midland MLA Michelle Roberts said Midland lacked green open space and big trees.
“There are few more important metropolitan centres,” she said.
“Before there was Ellenbrook or Ballajura, there was Midland. I’ve been to towns and cities all over and they have parklands and big trees; we lack that here.
“We are here because we have a vision for Midland and we care about Midland. It’s different to the vision of the City.”
Ms Roberts said the last thing Midland needed was more retail and office space.
“Despite a number of vacant spaces we see the council providing competition; when anyone walks around Midland the last thing they think is we need more retail and commercial space,” she said.
Patrick Irwin questioned why the community would want to pay $100 million to lose its only green public open space.
“A good plan is to keep our central park and develop around it; a good plan wouldn’t be to destroy our oval for apartments and a shopping centre,” he said.
Greens MLC Tim Clifford said the City’s version of progress was different to that of the community.
He said it made no sense to have no park for the community to enjoy.
“I’m appalled,” he said. SWAN Mayor David Lucas was quick to bounce back after Monday night’s altercation at the Midland Town Hall.
The next night he officially opened the Quest Hotel Midland before officiating at a citizenship ceremony in the town hall.
He was also quick to wit when he addressed guests at the apartment’s hotel opening.
“I’m just going to check this microphone. I did ask for one with a big fluffy bit of foam around it,” he said.
He told the Gazette he was thankful for messages of support from people for and against Swan’s plans for Midland.
“I just want to put it behind me and move on,” he said.
“The City of Swan is a great place to live, work and play, so business as usual.”
Paramedics tend to the man alleged to have assaulted Mayor David Lucas.
Mayor David Lucas in the aftermath of the assault.