The Petition To Stop Perth’s First Wave Pool: 3,000 And Counting
For an “unhealthy determination to put a wave park in a highly unsuitable area.”
All is not well with the development of Perth’s first wave pool. The proposed URBNSURF surf park is eliciting a prickly response in the City of Melville, the designated site of the park.
An organised group of citizenry calling themselves the Alfred Cove Action Group (ACAG), have been circulating a pair of petitions to halt the construction of the park. So far they’ve collected over 3,000 signatures, and in a Trumpian twist, they’re calling for an inquiry into Melville city officials for their role in the advancement of the proposal.
“The City has acted to suppress public criticism of their reports and actions and repeatedly provided incorrect or confusing responses to ratepayer questions,” said ACAG head, David Maynier. “Quite apart from its unhealthy determination to place the wave park in a highly unsuitable location, there was also the matter of a senior City officer owning shares in the proponent’s company from the outset.”
The hitch in the giddy-up is that the new surf park is planned to be built on land currently occupied by the Melville Bowling Club. And thus are forced to ask the age old question: barrels or lawn bowling? These are complicated times in which we live.
One of the petitions deals with Melville’s manager of health and leisure services, Todd Cahoon. Up until last September, he owned shares of the Wave Park Group. Perhaps not coincidentally, he’s also the one responsible for drafting the URBNSURF lease and suggesting the Melville Bowling Club vacate their turf. For his part in it, Cahoon says he declared his involvement with the company back in 2013 and the City of Melville is backing his claim that there have been no conflicts of interest. The Public Sector Commission is also investigating for any incidents of wrongdoing. It should also be mentioned that the original URBNSURF proposal was presented as an unsolicited bid in June 2016.
“I’m not sure the council and its chief executive appreciate the extent to which they have lost the trust and confidence of ratepayers and residents in the course of this unfortunate saga,” continued Maynier, who says ACAG intends to present the petitions at an upcoming Legislative Council. “It’s time for a higher authority to review the Council’s conduct and to take some necessary action.”
So, does this mean surfing we don’t get to go URBNsurfing?
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