WRAP media release - 5 March 2020
Did Mark Shelton declare a conflict of interest?
In 2009, when he was the Mayor of the Meander Valley Council, Minister Mark Shelton signed a Deed of Agreement with Glen Avon Farms, the owner of the proposed site for the Northern Regional Prison which is on Westbury's doorstep.
That Deed created a debt owed by Glen Avon Farms to the Meander Valley Council which exceeded $600,000.00.
This debt remains outstanding, as Glen Avon Farms has failed to take the necessary steps to develop and take advantage of the industrial zoning of the site.
It is therefore very stale and politically unsavoury debt.
Minister Shelton has previously indicated to members of WRAP that he is a supporter of the prison at the Glen Avon Farms location.
WRAP now understands that Minister Shelton participated in Cabinet discussions which resulted in the Glen Avon Farms land being selected for the Northern Regional Prison.
Today Minister Shelton was asked in Parliament whether he declared a conflict of interest when participating in those Cabinet discussions. Minister Shelton has failed to respond to this question.
A dark cloud continues to hang over the selection of the Glen Avon Farms site as the preferred site for the prison.
WRAP calls on Minister Shelton to let the community know whether a conflict was declared in Cabinet or not.
"The Minister's previous involvement in the creation of a debt with the landowner is clearly something that could be perceived as a conflict of interest in any decision made by Cabinet about that land, and in our view it should have been declared" says Linda Poulton.
President, WRAP Inc