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Corruption Beach

29 December 2005

Letter to the Editor, Busselton~Dunsborough Mail

I congratulate The Mail on the initial breaking news investigative report "Councillors declare interest in Smiths Beach" (Front page, 21/12/05).

Another newspaper article "Payments to council candidates probed" (The West Australian, p.2, 24/12/05), further sheds light but deepens the shadows behind the scenes in relation to the Smiths Beach development proposal.

It is an intriguing first few chapters of what will hopefully be a full investigative detective story.

I'm interested in the mention of a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, which lend the news reports some real substance for concern.

We now have to navigate the bubbles of intrigue beginning to ruffle the recent return to calm surrounding the Smiths Beach development proposal after the developer voluntarily asked for time to once again adjust their proposal. Adjustments required due to 'minor' concerns identified by the shire that were major enough to require a few months recess.

As a concerned member of the community, I have concerns about the named councillors, apparently 'under investigation', partaking in any voting on items to do with Smiths Beach. I read with dismay in the December meeting minutes that the councillors in question still participated in the vote on a Smiths Beach item.

Surely they could have followed the example of the third councillor who had declared an interest in the Smiths Beach development proposal, and withdrawn from voting?

I would call upon the councillors and their council colleagues to encourage the councillors in question to abstain from voting on any other items presented in relation to the Smiths Beach proposal.

Frank Gaschk

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