Towns want share of park

PERTH City Council’s breakaway towns want an ownership stake in Tamala Park that could earn them about $21.5 million each.

The towns of Cambridge, Victoria Park and Vincent’s claims date back to the 1995 break up of the old Perth City Council.

The Carr-Fardon report, the blueprint for the split, recommended the park and the PCC’s Osborne Park depot be the only assets outside the new boundaries the council kept.

The PCC, together with the cities of Wanneroo and Stirling, bought the 432 hectare park in 1984. It has been their rubbish tip since 1990.

About 212 hectares of the park is earmarked for residential subdivision, estimated to be worth between $68 million and $150 million.

Dumping rights were extended to the towns of Victoria Park, Vincent and Cambridge following the PCC’s breakup.

The towns wrote to Local Government Minister Paul Omodei again late last month demanding their share of the park and claimed their ratepayers were being penalised.

Vincent Mayor John Hyde said because the towns had an equal dumping rights, they should have ownership rights.

The old City of Wanneroo’s stake was recently split between the new cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo, adding weight to the towns’ argument.

However, Mr Omodei rejected their demand.

“The division of the assets and liabilities of the former PCC is over and the power to make an order changing it no longer exists,” Mr Omodei said.

He said the towns formed by the split were given council offices, civic centres, a works depot, equipment and $1 million as a capital reserve.

“All debts on services or facilities in each town were paid out by the PCC so the towns were set up debt-free, with all facilities and a capital reserve,” Mr Omodei said.

Cambridge Mayor Ross Willcock said the Mr Omodei’s comments were an insult to his council’s ratepayers.

“He also conveniently forgets to mention that in Parliament in 1983 he said he expected the towns would get their share of the PCC’s piece of Tamala Park,” Mr Willcock said.

It appears the PCC Restructuring Act, used to enact the 1995 split, still exists, so Parliament can amend it to make the necessary ownership changes.

Victoria Park Mayor Mick Lee said his council’s ratepayers were morally entitled to be joint park owners with the PCC.

Work is not expected to start on the residential subdivisions for another five years but planning decisions are being made.

A structure plan has been put to the Wanneroo City Council, which has planning jurisdiction over the park, and a decision is expected early next year.

The subdivision is due for completion by 2020.

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