A proposal to clean up derelict tennis courts in Dalkeith – potentially costing nearly $20,000 – has sparked a turf war in Nedlands town council.
Council voted at its last meeting by a 7-5 margin to spend $15,000 – plus or minus 30% – on installing irrigation, trees and bollards and leveling a fall between the site tennis courts and fencing that have since been removed from Cruickshank’s David Reserve.
The motion was raised by Dalkeith ward Cr Andrew Mangano and drew strong opposition from coastal ward Cr Hengameh Amiry.
Cr Amiry said she visited the site and found ‘there is nothing wrong with the park’.
“I really enjoyed my walk. There’s no inappropriate parking, there’s no tripping hazard, it’s perfectly nice open terrain,” she said.
“Yes, there isn’t a great English lawn, but there is plenty of English lawn in the area and plenty of space to play sports.
“I don’t see why this is happening to off-budget council, where the money is pouring into relatively minor issues in one part of our city.”
Cr Amiry said there were ‘many significant issues’ in the Coastal and Hollywood neighborhoods that ‘never get addressed’ due to constant ‘out of budget posts’.
Deputy Mayor Leo McManus asked the staff why the matter couldn’t wait for the next budget, to which CEO Bill Parker replied that he would have to ask Cr Mangano.
Cr Fergus Bennett also represents the Dalkeith ward and said he found it “a little tiring at times, hearing that coastal ward versus the Dalkeith ward”.
“It’s actually our job when there’s an issue in your neighborhood that your constituents are concerned about, it’s your job to bring that issue to council,” he said.
Cr Amriy chimed in saying ‘it’s not your job to bring everything to the board’.
Cr Bennett continued and said the problem “has been there for years”.
“Ward councilors have been trying to talk with administration for years to find a cheap solution, but often enough with these ‘rats and mice’ issues, administration needs a resolution to give them direction clear,” he said.
“It’s a tripping hazard. There is a difference of 30 cm, there is no lighting.
Cr Mangano defended his motion and said he “encourages coastal ward councilors to bring things to council”.
“Before there were tennis courts with fences, and now the courts have been removed, you have this downfall,” he said.
The motion passed with Mayor Fiona Argyle, Cr Amiry, Cr Oliver Basson, Cr Olinka Combes and Cr Ben Hodsdon voting against.