CITY of Swan councillor Andrew Kiely appears to be lying low following a tumultuous week in local government, seemingly ignoring multiple calls and emails from Echo News in the wake of his complaint against the City to Local Government Minister David Templeman.
The Guildford councillor was grilled at council last Wednesday night after The West Australian revealed Cr Kiely had sent a letter to the Minister voicing concerns the City had acted illegally in relation to the sale of Lot 4 The Avenue to DeMol Investments Pty Ltd, a key component of the Midland Oval Redevelopment.
Councillors David McDonnell, Cate McCullough and Kevin Bailey all took the opportunity to question Cr Kiely, who denied he had leaked his letter to The West Australian.
He admitted he had sent an email – presumably an electronic copy of the letter – to “a small amount of people”, but that he was unwilling to show the letter to councillors, and despite being asked to provide a copy to Mayor David Lucas, had refused to do so.
Echo News understands Save Midland Oval president Patrick Irwin emailed the journalist responsible for The West Australian story on Thursday May 3 and mentioned Cr Kiely specifically in relation to the councillor removing himself from chambers on April 11 just before the Midland Oval Redevelopment Plan was discussed.
At the time, Cr Kiely said he was removing himself from the chamber because, after campaigning against the MORM, he felt he could not maintain impartiality on the subject.
However, Mr Irwin’s letter seems to point to another reason.
“What is so unpleasant about these terms [of the Sale and Development contract between the City of Swan and Demol Investments Pty Ltd] that Cr Kiely wanted to remove himself from any association with those terms or even discussion of the related subject?” the email said.
The City has consistently maintained they have fully complied with legal requirements in relation to the sale and development contract between the City of Swan and DeMol Investments, has acted on the basis of legal advice and has provided all councillors with an opportunity to ask questions in relation to that legal advice.
City of Swan CEO Mike Foley said if the letter leaked to the West Australian contained confidential information or its distribution was intended to damage the City, then the City may be obliged to report that to the appropriate oversight bodies.
With Cr Kiely refusing to comment on the content of the letter and denying he had sent the letter to the journalist, the question of who sent the letter remains.
A spokesperson for Local Government Minister David Templeman said the letter was categorically not provided to the media by the Minister’s office, adding that while they had received the letter, they would not discuss the contents of the letter.
However the spokesperson also confirmed the Minister was not taking any action in relation to the letter.