23/02/2021 - 12:00

Mayor, CEO of Nedlands to leave this week

23/02/2021 - 12:00


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Cilla de Lacy has said she will resign as mayor of the City of Nedlands this week, citing frustrations with WA’s local government sector.

Mayor, CEO of Nedlands to leave this week
City of Nedlands' council has now had three vacancies within the past 12 months. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Cilla de Lacy has said she will resign as mayor of the City of Nedlands this week, citing frustrations with Western Australia’s local government sector.

Ms de Lacy, who was first elected to council as a member for Hollywood ward, had served as mayor since 2019 after defeating incumbent, Max Hipkins, in a three-way race with 45 per cent of the vote.

Her tenure had drawn the ire of the state government for her opposition to building a children’s hospice in Swanbourne; while she commended the concept, she accused the state government of overstepping the mark by not consulting with the council to a fuller extent

Perth Children's Hospital was the proponent for that project.

Premier Mark McGowan later criticised Ms de Lacy for that stance, which was supported by several of the city’s councilors.

In a lengthy statement released this morning, Ms de Lacy said she had experienced a bumpy ride in local politics while hailing her own attempts to remove overhead power lines in her ward in 2017.

Still, she said the job of mayor had been challenging and that she was not in a position to drive the change she believes is needed across the sector.

“We are starting to see systemic failure across core parts of our society that can only be addressed through taking a step back and observing what is happening, pausing and reflecting on what could drive lasting change and then acting together to make the change,” Ms de Lacy said.

“We have come so far and can go so much further by diagnosing problems together and then seeing opportunities for change that do not shut down debate too early, due to an unwillingness to engage, listen and learn.

“No-one is right, and no-one is wrong.

“We just need to take the time to find the messy, middle ground."

Ms de Lacy’s resignation follows that of the city’s chief executive, Mark Goodlet, in November, following allegations he had privately used epithets to refer to residents opposed to developments.

Mr Goodlet’s resignation is effective as of tomorrow, while Ms de Lacy's is effective as of Thursday.

These resignations follow that of planning director Peter Mickleson, deputy mayor Bill Hassell and councillor Gordon Hay, who have all left the city within the past 12 months.

They come amid furore in the city over several high-rise developments, including an apartment complex to be built on the Chellingworth Motor site.

Informed of Ms de Lacy’s resignation this morning, Mr McGowan said he was intent on seeing the $100 million, six-bed facility built in Swanbourne.

He said broader community sentiment was behind him in wanting to see the hospice built.

“I was very disappointed when the council raised all sorts of objections to a children’s hospice in Nedlands, [but] we’ll proceed with that children’s hospital,” Mr McGowan said.


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