WA reform funding falls short
WA Local Government Association (WALGA) president Troy Pickard says a $1 billion commitment by the New South Wales government for council mergers highlights the lack of funding provided by the WA government.
The NSW government’s $1 billion funding provides $153 million for Sydney metropolitan councils.
In contrast, the WA government is providing $60 million for met- ropolitan council reform, $15 million in grants and $45 million as low interest loans.
“The NSW government’s announcement demonstrates a clearer understanding on the true cost of reform and the need for strong and properly resourced local governments,” Mr Pickard said.
But Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the WA package equated to about $2 million for each of the 30 councils and was comparable to the roughly $3.73 million provided for each of Sydney’s 41 councils.
He said when including the number of residents per council, the WA funding was about $31.97 per person, while NSW funding provided about $34.55 per person.
Mr Pickard said research suggested the average cost of mergers would be between $4.1 million and $7.2 million per amalgamation.