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City of Swan councillor Andrew Kiely.

Swan Mayor puts Kiely on blast over rates

CITY of Swan Mayor David Lucas  has launched a broadside at Councillor Andrew Kiely’s call for a 20 per cent rate increase, describing it as sad, pathetic and desperate.

As first reported by Echo News in Kiely wants 20 per cent rate rise, (Echo News, September 29), Cr Kiely plans to argue for a 20 per cent increase to rates to expedite stage one of the Midland Oval development at the next City of Swan council meeting on October 24.

Reader’s comments on the propsal on the Echo News Facebook page and website, echonews
paper.com.au
, have understandably been overwhelmingly negative, with some have suggesting the proposal was a stunt to draw attention to the Midland Oval Redevelopment business case.

Now Mayor David Lucas has let his feelings known, and he is not pleased with Cr Kiely’s conduct.

Cr Lucas’s comments, contained in an email sent to all councillors, CEO Mike Foley and the entire executive manager’s branch of the City, came in response to two emails.

The first was an email from a Ballajura ratepayer, who accused Cr Kiely of causing distress to ratepayers.

The second was a email from Cr Kiely, requesting the CEO determine how ratepayers currently in arrears with their rates, voted in regards to the Midland Oval Redevelopment Masterplan.

In his reply, which was forwarded to Echo News by Cr Kiely, Cr Lucas fired a broadside at Cr Kiely.

“I have just read the below email from Mr Daniel Pellicciotti calling you out as a mischief maker at the expense of Councils reputation and damaging the important trust in the Council – Ratepayer relationship,” the email reads.

“He quite correctly mentions you have caused unnecessary distress and panic to many ratepayers, particularly the elderly, low income earners and small business owners.

“The reason I forward this email is in response to your request of the CEO to determine how ratepayers in arrears with rates voted in regards to the MORM.

“I’m not even sure if this request is possible or even if it is the time and expense would certainly not be justified in my view.

“In my firm opinion it once again shows a sad, pathetic and desperate attempt by you to damage the City’s reputation because you can not and will not accept the decision of your peers on the redevelopment of the Midland Oval Precinct.”

Speaking to Echo News, Cr Kiely denied his motion was a stunt and said it was disturbing the Mayor appeared to have made up his mind that he is proceeding with the MORM regardless.

The MORM was adopted by the City of Swan council in 2015, with revision subsequently being passed on  January 30, 2017 – before Mr Kiely was elected to council – and on April 11, 2018.

“I’m not going to apologise,” Cr Kiely said.

“The motion is there for councillors to consider.

“I’m not the one who voted on the 30th of January 2017 to proceed with the MORM.

“The motion is there for councillors to consider and I’d like them to consider it.”

In a statement to Echo News, Cr Lucas said all councillors were entitled to submit motion to council.

“Despite this, it is unfortunate to see the confusion and concern that this notice of motion appears to have caused in our community,” he said.

“I’ve personally received a number of emails from residents expressing their concern and distress at this proposal.

“I want to reiterate this proposal has not been agreed by Council and a decision will be made at the Ordinary Council Meeting on October 24.”

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.

4 comments

  1. Jennifer Catalanoi

    Thanks Councilor Kiely for raising how much extra in rates this shockingly bad Midland Oval Plan will cost us ratepayers for years to come.

  2. Is this not hypocrisy? If we criticise the Mayor, Councillors, or City staff, we are under threat of defamation action funded from taxpayer money.

    The logical step for the Mayor is to discredit Kiely by answering all the questions ratepayers have been asking in recent times.

    How will the MORM debt be serviced?
    If from sale of lots, what is the timetable and expected returns on these lots?
    Will City of Swan be increasing rates to pay for any portion of MORM.

    I challenge the Council to resign en masse so an election can be held ASAP.

    It’s time to stand up and be counted.

  3. Cr Lucas said all Councillors were entitled to submit motions to Council .
    Then when a Councilor does, he says “in his firm opinion, it once again shows a sad, pathetic and desperate attempt by the Councillor to damage the Cities reputation”. – This is a clear case of bullying.

  4. I’ve no intention of paying 20% extra for something in Midland which I will not use and don’t live near. This should be privately funded and not at the expense of the ratepayers.

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