‘Cat out of the bag’ on merg­ers

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News -

The WA Na­tion­als say the lat­est “thought bub­ble” from Alan­nah MacTier­nan re­veals a La­bor coun­cil amal­ga­ma­tion agenda.

Na­tion­als lo­cal gov­ern­ment spokesman Shane Love said re­gional vot­ers were “blind­sided” by com­ments from Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Ms MacTier­nan last week say­ing coun­try merg­ers should be con­sid­ered be­cause some re­gional coun­cils lacked the skills to man­age ma­jor projects.

The talk was quickly shut down by Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man, who said La­bor had gone to the elec­tion with a nomerg­ers prom­ise.

“But that doesn’t mean we don’t en­cour­age coun­cils to talk to each other and dis­cuss joint re­source shar­ing and pro­cesses where there can be some co-oper­a­tion be­tween coun­cils, and I would en­cour­age that,” he said.

Mr Love said Ms MacTier­nan’s com­ments showed “the cat was now out of the bag”.

“Once the min­is­ter sets her sight on some­thing she will re­lent­lessly pur­sue it in spite of the ad­vice and feed­back from re­gional con­stituents,” he said.

Party leader Mia Davies said feed­back from around the State was that the re­gional de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter had a tin ear.

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