The proposed airport lease will progress to the negotiations stage.
The proposed airport lease will progress to the negotiations stage.

Councillors lose bid to reverse airport lease decision

A BID to rescind the decision to progress the long-term lease of the airport and Enterprise Park has been lost.

Despite the confidentiality surrounding the issue, the concerns of the three councillors who had called for this rescission were made clear: the council was not getting a "good deal."

"We are potentially getting ourselves into a situation where we are doing our community out of a lot of future revenue and opportunity," Cr Tegan Swan said.

Councillors Tegan Swan, John Arkan and Paul Amos had put the rescission motion on the table at this evening's meeting in hope that further information could be sought before the decision to progress was made.

 

Cr Tegan Swan was one of three councillors calling for the rescission.
Cr Tegan Swan was one of three councillors calling for the rescission.

 

They intended to move instead that the council undertake further investigations into the implications of having a 50-year lease option, as well as assess the advantages of keeping the airport in council's hands versus leasing it out.

They also wanted to receive information on just how much control the council would have over operating hours, flight paths, and arrival and departure times.

"We believe there is more information to be sought and if we are successful in rescinding the motion, I think that the information we are seeking will impact on our decision," Cr John Arkan said prior to the vote.

"It's part of our responsibility to have the most information available in order to make good decisions."

Cr John Arkan said it was the council’s “responsibility” to have the further information made available.
Cr John Arkan said it was the council’s “responsibility” to have the further information made available.

Cr Amos also echoed concerns the council would be jumping the gun if this information wasn't sought.

"I think if you divide the dollar by the years involved, this is not a very good deal," he said.

"The Enterprise Park is the goose that will lay the golden egg. It'll either lay it for us, or it will lay it for someone else."

Earlier this week, Cr Amos had told the Advocate he was concerned over how much control the leasee would have in deciding who will become the tenants of the Enterprise Park development, and that the council may be sacrificing a good opportunity.

 

Cr Paul Amos believes the council is not getting a good deal.
Cr Paul Amos believes the council is not getting a good deal.

 

It was a tied vote at tonight's meeting, however the rescission motion was defeated following the Mayor's casting vote.

Negotiations will now begin with the binding bidders for the lease, and a report on the outcomes will be brought back to council in 4-6 weeks.



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