Does Patrick Hall actually live within Bannister Ward’s boundaries, as he claimed he would arrange to do after being voted on to Council in 2015? I have emailed him to confirm this has now occurred, following several queries from the public. No response as yet.
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Speaking as long-term observer of Canning Council:
I perceive Patrick Hall’s stock within Canning Council to be falling. Quite some time ago Hall told me that he and Cllr Ben Kunze’s in-tandem motions to council were beginning to rankle fellow councillors. It doesn’t surprise.
In my experience Hall is an argumentative, loud, one might say attention-seeking man who tends to think he knows best and up-describes either council activities or his role in them (most notably on his Facebook and in adding comments to motions in play without materially adding to the motions).
During July’s ordinary council meeting Hall was soundly beaten in a vote to be the City’s representative on the Jandakot Airport Community Aviation Consultation Group. The vote went overwhelmingly to Cllr Tim Porter, Nicholson Ward, who appears to contribute little value for the money councillors now earn. Hall’s face was thunderous at the result and he chose not to nominate as proxy for any meetings Porter couldn’t attend. Canning is now without an alternative rep for what is an important issue.
Outcomes like this should be a wake-up call to Hall to review how he is perceived, or temper behaviour that can be overbearing. This extends to what members of the community can experience in their interactions with him:-
Hall shows increasing annoyance at other councillors’ willingness to listen more to the community – such as the successful bid to save a small bird habitat, HillTop Park, from development, instead of what he describes as “[agreeing to act] like Board Members” and whacking three houses behind it.
This description of council as board members, interestingly enough, came originally from Barnett Govt Minister for Local Govt, Tony Simpson, who felt Councils should be more corporate in nature.
Is Hall a member of the Liberal Party? No, but a member of his family works for its fundraising arm and Hall is regularly included in photos with Mike Nahan, along with Cllr Kunze, who remains Nahan’s research officer and may well bid for Parliament.
Possibly the worst behaviour I’ve seen from Hall was in how the issue of whether to cafe or not to cafe one of our last remaining, more naturalised areas, Shelley Beach Park, was handled.
I perceived Hall to be doing everything he could to promote a cafe, but try to say something and you were lectured or exclamation marked to death. The situation became unbelievable at the point where Hall objected to the democratic right to object to a cafe – regardless of the point the consultation was at.
Further, it was obvious a large bitumen carpark and considerable road modifications would be needed to accommodate a cafe that began morphing in concept to that of a restaurant, then a bar (I believe even small bars can be licensed up to 100 or more patrons, requiring bouncers and yes, a large carpark).
It may well have wide-ranging effects on nearby areas, flora and fauna.
Personally I think Hall was acting beyond his station, and, disturbingly, the project seems to have been resourced considerably beyond that which Council authorised. As for the City it seems to have quietly walked away from proceeding further with the Shelley Beach Park and/or cafe issue as the issue divided the community.
But at what cost?
The City of Canning shows discrepancies in resourcing it puts in to various consultations – this extends to Hall and what he perceives is worth putting more money in to.
As an example, when the City addressed Aged Care Reform, a traditional area of service to its community, Hall complained the only people to respond were those who would be directly affected… yet he did not champion the consultation be beefed up on an issue so critical the Mayor publicly castigated councillors who did not turn up for the aged care facilities tour.
Additionally, despite Hall’s tendency to make statements such as “there is a separation of powers between the role of Council and that of the City”, or the like, it seems Hall and Kunze had more input behind the scenes in how the park and cafe survey was conducted, such as meetings with the independent pollster, than was publicly known about. This too, was communicated to me by Patrick Hall.
When I queried how much this flurry of additional activity was costing on his councillor Facebook I was hit with the ol’ “separation of powers” intonation.
Hall now refuses to send me his “Bannister Bulletin”, claiming it was a “business decision” of his and Kunze’s to restrict it to just Bannister ward (its an email-out).
Overall, I don’t believe Patrick Hall has achieved that much in his time as Councillor. It should be remembered that Hall is part of the first Council allowed at Canning since it was put under administration by the state govt. Despite promising good governance, this Council has not required the administration act on critical Inquiry recommendations such as ensuring strategic briefings (held behind closed doors) are comprehensively minuted and audio or videotaped for future reference – which could include any further investigations in to Canning (which has been investigated, its councils of the day suspended and dismissed twice now).
I would have thought Hall, a risk advisor to two different state govt depts over the last three years, would be the first person to put a motion to Council to address this issue. He has not. Only a beefing up of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct occurred.
I doubt it is enforceable.
Nor did Hall put up the motion to ensure audio recordings of Agenda Briefing and Ordinary Council Meetings were made available to the public – which took two years to happen. What Hall did do was add a comment to the motion to the effect meeting proceedings would now be accessible by those with disabilities and the aged – a pity this was not an urgent consideration, strongly championed by Council, before now.
SPECIAL NOTE: Rumours abound that a Bannister ward council nominee does not actually live in the ward. I have asked Cllr Hall to confirm he now does, after the community discovered he did not at the time of his election in 2015.