[Edited] Is it possible that tonight Canning’s first democratically elected Council in years may commit millions to just ONE sports group, Willetton Basketball Assoc (WBA), months ahead of its first budget, simply because many of its members were either so naïve, or so eager to get elected, they pledged support to one group over 118 others, in part because they believed the WBA could yield a lot of votes?
As seen from the image above, several councillors enjoyed the public endorsement of the WBA as a result, or invoked it emphatically in their election material.
Since being elected all councillors have been involved in expediting this issue for [partial] assessment – which is all that has occurred to date – and Mayor Ng, without what I understand was the formal approval of council required in such matters, met with Member for Riverton and State Treasurer, Mike Nahan, whose electorate covers Willetton, to discuss this bid:-
On Tuesday 12 January 2016, I had a meeting with Honourable Dr Nahan regarding the Willetton Basketball project.
Well, the assumption as to how many votes could have come from the WBA, more to the point how many of its registered players actually live in Canning, doesn’t seem to stack up….
In fact, a lot of things should be questioned about Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland’s Motion to Council tonight to commit $2.25 million, at least, to this one group now, and then express post this in-principle agreement to Dr Nahan, who will try to get an in-kind contribution in to the Barnett Govt’s May State budget.
Any Qs the councillors did seek to ask about the WBA bid, during the course of council meetings, were steered by staff to a “briefing” – a process today kept confidential*.
Cr. Holland’s motion tonight just needs to be seconded, put to the vote (only four other councillors needed to secure an “absolute majority”) and millions of dollars will be reserved, for just one sports group’s needs, on the basis of a pre-election pledge by the councillors. If successful, furnishing of further monies from the state will likely perform as an election sweetener for Mike Nahan.
Will the ultimate cost of what Cr. Holland is asking Council to do tonight be worth it? How does delivering rapidly on an election promise, without due diligence, or a thorough consideration of all recreational and sporting needs within Canning first, amount to good governance for all?
*[Agenda Briefing] COMMENT taken from Ordinary Council Minutes of 17 November 2016
CD-011-15 Willetton Basketball Association Proposed Stadium Expansion:
49 The Director Infrastructure and Environment Mr Atwell, provided an overview of the purpose and content of the Report and responded to a number of questions from Councillors. Mr Atwell stated that subject to Council adopting the officers recommendation the proposed detailed briefing to Council would address many of the questions raised.