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Unfit for Office

Last week the Fremantle Council Finance Committee, chaired by mayoral candidate Hannah Fizthardinge, went behind closed doors to discuss a confidential item- the controversial sale of 7-15 Quarry Street. One minute later, with no discussion, the committee came out of confidential mode, having voted to get the CEO to sell the land.

The vote on that decision is not recorded in the minutes - a violation of the Local Government Act. The law is very clear: the vote resulting from any council motion must be recorded and published.

Last year in November the Fremantle Society alerted you to this controversial sale stating:

a) the sale was not being properly advertised

b) there was (and still is not) a for sale sign on the property

c) a great deal of time and money has been wasted getting this property sold. The Fremantle Herald reported: "In December 2013 the council offered to sell the site to a developer friend of mayor Brad Pettitt, pushing through a quick deal so he could apply for tax credits of affordable housing - so quick its publicly released business plan contained misleading information."

This rare and glorious site of 4143 sqm adjacent to a park in this current boom should be worth around $2,000 per sqm, but council will sell it for much less.

Not only have they not marketed the property correctly or wisely, they should not be engaging in such a major transaction a few weeks before an election, as a new council may have other ideas about the property.

Mayoral candidates Fitzhardinge and Mofflin and councillors seeking re election have shown themselves unfit to manage the finances of Fremantle, engaging in dumb deal after dumb deal, with no effort to learn from their mistakes and no effort to listen to issues raised.

Fremantle's senior real estate agent John Dethridge told the Fremantle Society yesterday that :

"The current market conditions have given rise to a new brand of developers with little or not experience who generally only have eyes for the money and little understanding of the value of quality development in a region such as Fremantle."


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