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Oval gets green in step forward

THE City of Swan has responded to opponents of the Midland Oval redevelopment, changing the Masterplan to increase public open space by 5,800 square metres.

However it appears sections of the community are still not happy with the changes.

At the City’s ordinary council meeting on Wednesday night, Councillor Mark Elliott moved a wide-ranging motionsthat would see green open space increase by between 1,000 and 1,300 square metres and activated open space increased by between 4,300 and 4,500 square metres.

The second part of the five-part motion proved the most contentious as it instructed the CEO to proceed with the agreement for the DeMol Group to construct The Avenue extension from Sayer Street to Keane Street in accordance with the City’s specification prior to the completion of a development on Lot 4 The Avenue.

The lot 4 development was approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel last month, and while it is not technically part of the Oval redevelopment, it has been considered a key first step towards the forward progress of the redevelopment.

However the extension of The Avenue has been a bone of contention for many of the groups opposed to the redevelopment, and Councillor Ian Johnson voiced a concern this part of the motion would lead to the extension being built immediately, concerns that were rubbished by Deputy Mayor Kevin Bailey.

A motion to amend the motion by removing this clause was defeated 10-4.

The Mayor then twice called for Councillors to speak against the original motion, a call that Cr Johnson and Councillor Claire Scanlan, deep in conversation, failed to hear, subsequently losing a chance to speak against the motion that was passed 11-3.

Speaking to Echo News, Cr Bailey said he believed the amended MORM was a fair compromise.

“I think it shows we have listened to the community,” he said.

“We’ve managed to achieve an increase in open green space and an increase in public space without sacrificing the integrity of the project.

“This has been going on for 30 years and this is a really positive step forward in a development that I believe is critical to Midland.”

The decision drew a less positive response from the Midland Ward Community Facebook page.

A post just before midnight on Wednesday night criticised the amendment, saying it contained twice as much concrete as green open space and accused city staff of playing dodge-ball with questions regarding the agenda.

By Liam Ducey

About Liam Ducey

Liam Ducey is an experienced journalist, having worked in print media in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Port Hedland, Bunbury and across the metropolitan area, as well as online for several Fairfax Media mastheads. His reporting has seen him awarded the 2013 Clubs WA award for Best Club Media Story in 2013 and the Western Australian Football Commission Umpiring Media Award in 2014, and he's a finalist in three categories of the 2018 WA Media Awards. He's recently had a baby girl, Emilia, with his wife Roselyn and has lost all concept of time and sleep.

One comment

  1. Why are the four Pearce Ward councillors hellbent on this development when Midland Guildford Ward don’t want it.

    To settle the argument once and for all the City should have a referendum of Midland Guildford Ward residents and ratepayers, overseen by the Electoral Commission.

    If it’s good enough for Ellenbrook to have a postal survey done of all residents regarding the security patrols it’s good enough to have one for Midland Guildford to settle this Oval issue.

    Do I think City of Swan will do it, no, not a chance in hell.

    What is the real motivation behind this, one can only speculate.

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