Change to park lease

Melville Times - - Front Page - Aaron Corlett

THE City of Melville has voted to ex­tend the sun­set date for the pro­posed wave park’s ground lease in Al­fred Cove.

After fail­ing to move the Melville Bowl­ing Club by the orig­i­nal date of Oc­to­ber 1, the new date for sat­is­fy­ing the lease con­di­tions has been pushed out more than 12 months to Fe­bru­ary 28, 2020.

At the Oc­to­ber 10 spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil­lors Katy Mair, Nicholas Pa­zolli, Steve Kepert, Karen Wheatland and June Bar­ton left the cham­bers after claims coun­cil­lors could be sued if they voted against ex­tend­ing the lease.

The re­main­ing coun­cil­lors made the de­ci­sion be­hind closed doors after a dep­u­ta­tion from Swan Fore­shore Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The ground lease be­tween the City and wave park pro­po­nents URBNSURF was signed in April 2017.

URBNSURF founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man An­drew Ross said he was pleased with the City’s de­ci­sion.

City act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Marten Tiele­man said both par­ties would need to sat­isfy their obli­ga­tions by the new date.

“We could have taken ac­tion to re­move the bowls club from the site be­cause they are on a month-tomonth lease but we weren’t go­ing to do that,” he said.

“The agree­ment is sub­ject to de­lays in ap­provals be­cause we are not the ap­prov­ing author­ity.

“That is the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.”

“If you don’t ex­tend the lease, then you could po­ten­tially find your­self in a sit­u­a­tion (where) you may be sued per­son­ally.

“If you got out there and ma­li­ciously vote against it be­cause you don’t agree with the wave park, that ar­gu­ment hap­pened a cou­ple of years ago when they signed the lease.

“There wouldn’t have been any lease if the ma­jor­ity said no.

“There is a lease, so you can’t deal with a clean slate if you have a le­gal doc­u­ment, so that’s what we were try­ing to get clar­ity on.”

Swan Fore­shore Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Clive Ross said it was not sur­pris­ing that the five coun­cil­lors de­clared a fi­nan­cial in­ter­est and the re­main­ing coun­cil­lors and Mayor did not.

He said the com­mu­nity was con­sid­er­ing if breaches may have been com­mit­ted and whether there was any ap­pro­pri­ate course of ac­tion avail­able.

Melville Bowl­ing Club pres­i­dent Tim Smith said the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion changed noth­ing and they would con­tinue to dig in their heels.

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