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Urbnsurf Perth development a step closer after Supreme Court win

Urbnsurf Perth development a step closer after Supreme Court win
July 18, 2018

Backers of the URBNSURF artificial wave park proposed for a site on the banks of Perth's Swan River are moving forward with the plan after the Western Australian Supreme Court threw out a legal challenge by objectors was thrown out.

Urbnsurf want to build the $30 million facility on a four hectare site adjacent to parkland in the affluent riverside suburb of Alfred Cove.

According to the company, waves would range from 0.6-metre rolling, white-water waves to 2.1 metre powerful, barrelling waves designed for high-level performance surfing. It claims the facility would attract up to 300,000 visits per year and benefit tourism in the city.

However, locals concerned about increased traffic in the are have raised a series of concerns about the project and the loss of access to the current bowls club and parklands on the site.

The Swan Foreshore Protection Association, a group representing mainly local residents, launched a challenge in the Supreme Court claiming that Melville City Council failed to correctly advertise the proposed use of the land before signing the deal.

The group argued not enough time was given for respondents to lodge submissions and that the form of advertisement placed in the local newspaper was not adequate.

They argued the notice did not correctly name the group behind the proposal, referring instead to a parent company Wave Park Group, which wholly owns URBNSURF.

The company argued it had dealt with the City of Melville in good faith and on commercial terms and if their agreement was rejected on the grounds of "technical noncompliance", it could potentially cause substantial public inconvenience for future dealings by any business with local government.

Justice Jeremy Allanson noted in his judgement the language of the legislation was directed at ensuring community participation and accountability of local governments to their communities, and not whether a disposition was "legally effective".

His judgment read “accordingly, while the public notices published by the City did not comply with s 3.58, in my opinion the failure does not affect the validity of the decision to enter the lease.

URBNSURF Chief Executive Andrew Ross said it was a resounding win in an application that never should have been brought, telling the ABC “the matter brought before the court involved a very technical, minor error by the City of Melville during the advertising process.”

Ross said in his opinion the legal bid was a waste of everyone's time and had delayed construction until the later half of next year, pending approval by the Western Australian Planning Commission.

However, Swan Foreshore Protection Association spokesman David Maynier, who lives near the development site, said the use of the parent company's name on the advertisement was significant because he did not think the parent company listed would be financially liable if URBNSURF collapsed.

Maynier advised “we are disappointed that the interests of a commercial developer have been placed above the interests of the community, in that … the developer negotiating with the city is guaranteed certainty at the expense of the law not being complied with.”

An earlier decision by the Environmental Protection Agency found the project's impacts on the air, water, land and social surroundings were not significant enough to warrant a full environmental assessment.

City of Melville Chief Executive Dr Shayne Silcox said it had been diligent about ensuring conditional lease measures were in place to ensure appropriate assessments of risk.

Dr Silcox concluded “the lease agreement is transparent and represents no cost or financial risk to the City of Melville and has been available on the City of Melville website for many months.”

The Court ordered the Swan Foreshore Protection Association to pay other parties' costs.

Urbnsurf signed a 30-year lease agreement for the land in April last year.

Image: Artist's impression of the URBNSURF wave park on the Swan River in Alfred Cove. Courtesy of URBNSURF.

22nd June 2018 - ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOG SEES NO ‘SIGNIFICANT’ IMPACTS WITH PERTH SURF PARK PLAN

21st February 2018 - URBNSURF ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT BACKING FOR AUSTRALIA’S FIRST SURF PARK 

31st January 2018 - AUSTRALIA’S FIRST INDOOR SURFING VENUE OPENS IN PERTH

4th January 2018 - SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK SURFING ATTRACTION GAINS DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL

29th November 2017 - 2018 WORLD SURF LEAGUE CALENDAR TO INCLUDE ARTIFICIAL WAVE PARK VENUE 

22nd August 2017 - PLANS MOVE FORWARD FOR NEW WESTERN AUSTRALIAN WHITEWATER CENTRE

19th May 2017 - NEW GENERATION ARTIFICIAL SURF TECHNOLOGY PRODUCING 1000 WAVES AN HOUR 

13th April 2017 - CITY OF MELVILLE APPROVES LEASE FOR URBNSURF PERTH WAVE PARK 

28th April 2016 - SECOND URBNSURF ATTRACTION TO BE DEVELOPED AT SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK

7th April 2016 - MELBOURNE AIRPORT LOCATION FOR FIRST SURF PARK IN AUSTRALIA

22nd January 2014 - WAVEGARDEN TECHNOLOGY TO REVOLUTIONISE ARTIFICIAL SURFING


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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