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Councillors should step down:
Smiths Beach Action Group

28 December 2005

Jayne Rickard, The Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

THE Smiths Beach Action Group has responded angrily to declarations of impartial interest in the Smiths Beach development.

At a council meeting on December 14 crs Anne Ryan and John Triplett, for the first time, declared an impartial interest in the development proposed for Smiths Beach.

Both said they were supported during the local government election by a mystery group named The Independent Action Group.

Group chairman Bob McKay said the declarations made by crs Ryan and Triplett raised serious questions.

"Why has it taken so long for crs Triplett and Ryan to disclose their interest in the Smith Beach development?," Mr McKay said.

"Are we seriously expected to believe that a candidate would accept money for their campaign from an organisation without knowing that it is associated with equity holders in the controversial Smiths Beach development?

"Who did they physically accept money from? Who, or what, is the Independent Action Group?

"What is also of serious concern is that crs Triplett and Ryan proceeded to participate in, and vote on, matters pertaining to Smiths Beach notwithstanding that they have, albeit belatedly, disclosed an interest.

"Their conduct threatens to undermine the community's confidence in the council.

"The links between crs Triplett and Ryan and the Smiths Beach developers warrant a full investigation.

"Accepted standards of probity and public conduct dictate that crs Ryan and Triplett should immediately stand down from their positions on council until this matter has been fully investigated and determined.

"Their failure to stand down and instead openly participating in deliberations on Smiths Beach related matters is an affront to every fair minded, honest person in the community.

"It is also time for Canal Rocks Pty Ltd to make a full and frank disclosure of any association between Canal Rocks Pty Ltd and the Independent Action Group as full disclosure as to the nature and extent of any role played by Canal Rocks Pty Ltd or any of its directors, shareholders or associates in arranging or facilitating funding for Crs Ryan and Triplett."

Canal Rocks Pty Ltd were contacted for comment but did not respond.

Crs Ryan and Triplett cannot comment further on the matter.

Copyright 2005 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only in order to inform readers about the this Rural Press Ltd report. No charge for such use is made and the material is not being used for commercial purposes. The text has not been modified from the original report.

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