Councils united by reform process
RATEPAYERS from South Perth and Victoria Park councils will be affected by sweeping changes to local government borders announced by the State Government last week after years of speculation.
Premier Colin Barnett said despite all the consultation and discussion, the local government sector was not capable of handling its own reform.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said 30 metropolitan councils would be reduced to 16 with a reduction of more than 100 councillors and 10 chief executive officers.
“(The changes will produce) estimated savings of more than $20 million for elected member allowances and at least $30 million in CEO packages over 10 years,” he said.
The Town of Victoria Park and City of South Perth is one of three mergers achieved through amalgamations.
This means the com- munity can petition to vote on the proposal.
“If both councils have the poll and one comes back saying the community doesn’t want to be amalgamated then it falls through,” Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said. “We haven’t as a council made a decision; it is up to the community, not the council.”
South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said she believed the South Perth commu- nity would trigger a poll.
“There is quite an active group out there that don’t want to join Victoria Park and I believe that has come about because of the process and the continued uncertainty,” she said.
Mr Vaughan said the two councils had been successful in giving the community what it wanted during reform the process.
The councils will continue to meet separately until June next year. A Local Implementation Committee will again meet if South Perth gives the go-ahead after it withdrew from the committee as a political statement against the lack of State Government funding for the changes.
Mayors will meet with the State Government in Fremantle tomorrow to discuss reform details.
South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty and Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan.