Merger ap­peal court date set

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Como Local Government Reform -

COUN­CILS op­posed to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­form process will have their day in court on Novem­ber 25.

Lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the coun­cils, John Ham­mond, said he was pleased at how quickly the case had been listed with the Supreme Court.

Su­bi­aco, South Perth and Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale coun­cils, along with City of Vincent res­i­dent Ian Ker, claim the State Gov­ern­ment breached laws that al­low res­i­dents to vote on pro­posed merg­ers and that the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ad­vi­sory Board, which is re­spon­si­ble for rec­om­mend­ing new bor­ders, had con­flicts of in­ter­est.

Last week, the board sent the first of its rec­om­men­da­tions to Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son. A sec­ond set of re­ports about Melville, Can­ning, Gos­nells, Fre­man­tle, East Fre­man­tle, Kwinana and Cock­burn coun­cils are due to be sent soon.

All will be con­sid­ered by Mr Simp­son and Cab­i­net be­fore an ex­pected an­nounce­ment by the end of this month. The coun­cils an­tic­i­pate a decision on their case could be made by Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary.

Clare­mont Mayor Jock Barker said Mr Simp­son should hold off on any an­nounce­ments while the case was be­fore the court.

“If not, the Gov­ern­ment could look like com­plete fools be­fore the Supreme Court makes a decision,” Mr Barker said.

A spokes­woman for Mr Simp­son said a date for an an­nounce­ment had not yet been set.

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