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Haese wanted Ch 9 site debate, but councillors had other plans

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Lord Mayor Martin Haese couldn’t convince enough of his councillors to return to work early for a special meeting to debate the former Channel Nine site last night.

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Haese attempted to muster elected members for a special meeting on Monday evening to approve a council submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel, concerning the redevelopment proposed for the key North Adelaide site.

North ward councillor Phil Martin and area councillor Anne Moran had expressed concerns about the appropriateness of the development, which would feature serviced apartments, residential apartments, retail and car parking.

The special meeting was to be held two weeks before the first scheduled council meeting for the year (January 30) because the commission’s consultation on developer John Culshaw’s proposal was to close this Friday.

But Haese emailed councillors yesterday saying he would no longer be calling the meeting this week because too few elected members were available.

“I will no longer be calling a Special Council Meeting this evening due to lack of quorum,” reads his email, obtained by InDaily.

“… our Administration will submit a collation of the views expressed by members in lieu of an endorsed council position.”

The due date for the council to make a submission to SCAP has been extended until late next week, allowing time for the council to hold a deferred special meeting next Tuesday.

InDaily understands this is because SCAP only informed the council about the consultation a week after it had informed residents.

Haese said it was “difficult this week to convene a Special Meeting due to a number of councillors being interstate on leave”.

He said he would receive a detailed briefing about the former Channel Nine site on Thursday and consider “what is best for the residents of North Adelaide”.

Council CEO Mark Goldstone said he hoped enough councillors would be back from leave by then to achieve a quorum.

Phil Martin has argued the project contains too few car parks and that the community would be concerned about its five-storey height, while Moran has described the proposed redevelopment as “very pedestrian”.

A council spokesperson pointed out that Haese had not officially called Monday’s special meeting.

In June last year, too few councillors were available to turn up to a regularly-scheduled Tuesday evening committee meeting – believed to be the first cancellation of a regular meeting in more than 20 years.

Failing to achieve a quorum for special meetings, outside of the regular Tuesday night fixture, is much more common.

Goldstone added that next week’s special meeting would also consider a request by the operators of Adelaide Fringe venue the Royal Croquet Club to secure a five year licence for the event at Pinky Flat.

The Social Creative, which operates the Royal Croquet Club, reportedly missed two deadlines to stump up financial security payments to the council for the 2018 event, but met a final council deadline to come up with the money earlier this month.

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