29/09/2020 - 21:12

Templeman warns Melville on bowls battle

29/09/2020 - 21:12

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The City of Melville will be under close observation by the state government as councillors approved a 50 year peppercorn lease for a bowling club last night.

Local Governmen Minister David Templeman is keeping an eye on the bowling club saga. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The City of Melville will be under close observation by the state government as councillors approved a 50 year peppercorn lease for a bowling club last night.

The council met again on Tuesday night to discuss the lease to the Melville Bowling Club, the third consecutive week of debate on the topic.

Business News understands the lease was approved.

The lease on the Alfred Cove property has attracted media attention, partly because of the 50 year length, and partly because the club was not asked to pay rent, just a $681 annual administration fee.

It is understood comparable community groups have been granted 10 year lease periods.

On Tuesday night, an amendment to cut the lease term for the club to 30 years was knocked back by Mayor George Gear's casting vote, Business News understands.

The club's property was also previously earmarked for a $10 million wave park development, with some club members playing a key role in the city’s council election last year.

Further interest was sparked when it was revealed that plans had been drawn up for a microbrewery on the club’s premises, although Mr Gear ruled out the project.

On Tuesday, Local Government Minister David Templeman emailed councillors cautioning them that there had been a considerable amount of community concern and anxiety.

Mr Templeman said it was his expectation that all community, sport and recreation groups would be treated equitably and fairly.

“Given the use of the land associated with the bowling club has been the subject of ongoing contention for many years, it is all the more important that objectivity and integrity in the council’s decision making is maintained and be seen to do so,” he said.

“Any significant variations between the way the bowling club is treated (particularly in regard to future terms of lease), compared with other such community organisations could provide the impression of bias and a lack of impartiality on the part of the council and/or councillors.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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