Council out of Anzac battles

VINCENT council says it has “no legal basis” to intervene in an internal battle at Mt Hawthorn’s Anzac Cottage, but will still offer to broker an armistice.

The council owns the 38 Kalgoorlie Street building and the Vietnam Veterans Association (WA) has a long term lease on it through to 2041.

The Friends of Anzac Cottage ran educational events there until bubbling tensions with the VVA saw them pull out in February this year. 

FOAC recently put a petition to Vincent council asking to take over the lease. 

This week the council voted to advise the FOAC they have “no legal basis” to intervene as the VVA is meeting the terms of its lease. 

But the council is still willing to sit down with both groups and review the “memorandum of understanding” that came into place two years ago which was meant to help the two groups get along. 

Mayor Emma Cole said she appreciates the work FOAC has done engaging the community with the cottage, but “what the petition seeks from the city is not legally possible for us to do.

“The offer to continue to work with the groups stands, we’ve never walked away from that… we can’t fix everything unless others are willing to come to the table, but our offer remains.

“Now that we’ve given a very clear answer on what we can or cannot do, perhaps we can get the parties back together and get the cottage focused on what it’s supposed to do.”

FOAC has been running online engagements since pulling out. VVA ran one event in March before in-person events were suspended due to coronavirus.  

By DAVID BELL

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