AN opponent of the Midland Oval Redevelopment has accused the City of Swan of misrepresenting the success of its public consultation over the Midland Oval Redevelopment Precinct business plan.
Executive Manager of Planning and Development Steven Tan’s report, delivered to council on October 24, advises the number of responses to the MORP Business Plan survey ws 8385, a 12.9 per cent response rate.
Mr Tan then goes on to say that the response rate is significant and exceeds responses to similar surveys undertaken by the City in the last five years.
Ratepayer Sarah Howlett, who has long voiced her opposition to the Midland Oval Redevelopment, queried that statement at the Agenda Forum on October 17.
“It seemed an obvious question to ask considering I have never received a similar survey. or any survey I can remember, in over 20 years as a ratepayer so I was curious to understand that better,” she told Echo News.
The answer from the City was published in the minutes of the Agenda Forum meeting.
“The City has undertaken the Guildford Heritage Submission (town wide), and comparison was made to the biannual local government elections,” read the response.
This response is concerning, as the Guildford Heritage Submission was not a city-wide survey, and the City of Swan has little actual involvement in the local government elections.
More pointedly, both the Guildford survey and the local government elections has response rates of 33 and 32 per cent respectively.
Ms Howlett said she felt the comparison between the MORP business plan results, the Guildford Heritage Submission and the biannual local government elections was unfair.
“The Guildford Heritage Survey wasn’t a city-wide survey,” she said.
“The City identified a need to differentiate between owners and tenants, and between residential and commercial properties, as their interest in the proposed listing may be profoundly different.
“The response rate was 33 per cent.
“The Local Government Elections are conducted by the Western Australian Electoral Commission, and the participation rate in 2017 was 32 per cent.
“I undoubtedly think the City is trying to make the survey results look better than they actually are.”
Echo News queried why these comparisons were made, and the City of Swan response did not address the majority of the questions sent, instead saying the City has full confidence in the quality and accuracy of the survey data for the MORP Business Plan..