Paul Blackburne’s leap of faith into Subiaco
A man was escorted from a Town of Cambridge council meeting on Tuesday night after he repeatedly interrupted and heckled a property developer representative and then refused orders to leave.
Mayor Keri Shannon was forced to adjourn the meeting to deal with the agitated ratepayer while Blackburne’s director of developments Matthew Chau was speaking about the sale of two town-owned carparks in City Beach, which the council has now approved.
She asked the man in the gallery to keep quiet before security officers and town CEO Gary Tuffin were forced to intervene and eventually escort him out of the council chambers.
Mr Chau was making his final appeal to the council on why Blackburne should be allowed to buy the carparks around its Ocean Village Shopping Centre site on Kilpa Court for $8.9 million when the aggrieved ratepayer started to shout.
The heckling started after Mr Chau said Blackburne bought the site because it liked the trees.
The man in the gallery accused Blackburne of “lying” and “brainwashing the public” before retorting to Ms Shannon that they “will have to carry me out” before he was eventually escorted from the chamber.
After the drama, the council voted 8-1 — with Cr Xavier Carr against — to allow the sale of the carparks.
Blackburne bought the company which owns the dilapidated Ocean Village Shopping Centre site last year and has since revealed hopes of developing the area as a neighbourhood town centre, including residential apartments and retail.
Mr Chau said Blackburne had held about 20 community consultation sessions and “nearly all the feedback” supported integrating the land for use in a potential development.
“That bitumen carpark … is under a license agreement so the reason it couldn’t go through a public tender, or shouldn’t go through a public tender, is because it can only be sold to one party and that is the owner of the shopping centre because they have got this licence agreement over the carpark in perpetuity,” he said.
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