Push for poll on re­form

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

A SEC­OND bid to have a poll so lo­cals can have their say on re­form – this time in the Town of Vic­to­ria Park – is un­der way.

Vic­to­ria Park busi­ness­man and long-time res­i­dent An­drew Cooper now joins the South Perth Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion (SPRA), which last week an­nounced it would gather the 250 sig­na­tures needed on a pe­ti­tion that could trig­ger a poll.

But the two groups are act­ing in­de­pen­dently de­spite hav­ing the same goal. Nei­ther agrees with the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ad­vi­sory Board’s rec­om­men­da­tion that the City of South Perth and Town of Vic­to­ria Park merge to form a new ex­panded en­tity that in­cludes Bur­swood Penin­sula.

Vic­to­ria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said it was his coun­cil’s un­der­stand­ing that if a poll was trig­gered in both the City of South Perth and Town of Victo- ria Park, then two sep­a­rate polls would be run. That would mean the Town and City would not share the cost that he es­ti­mated would be be­tween $45,000$50,000 for the Town.

“We cur­rently have no fund­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment so this would be paid out of the Town’s bud­get,” Mr Vaughan said.

Mr Cooper, who with Vic­to­ria Park coun­cil­lor Vince Maxwell pulled to­gether an 11th hour elec­tors’ meet­ing about coun­cil merg­ers in June, didn’t com­ment on whether there would be any ben­e­fit to join­ing forces with the SPRA pe­ti­tion bid.

SPRA chair­woman Ce­cilia Brooks said the two groups had the same goal but she “hadn’t gone down that path and would give it some thought.”

She said it couldn’t be dis- cussed at the group’s com­mit­tee meet­ing last week be­cause it was too late to add to the agenda and wasn’t sure when the next meet­ing would be.

Sig­na­tures on of­fi­cial pe­ti­tions – 250 from each com­mu­nity – re­quest­ing the polls need to be pre­sented to the Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment by 4pm on De­cem­ber 5.

If a poll is held, and at least 50 per cent of the elec­tors in each dis­trict vote, and of those who do, a majority vote against the rec­om­men­da­tion for amal­ga­ma­tion, then the min­is­ter is re­quired by the Act to re­ject it.

The Vic­to­ria Park pe­ti­tion is avail­able at Vic­to­ria Park MLA Ben Wy­att’s of­fice at 896 Al­bany High­way. Mrs Brooks said the com­mit­tee “won’t have any prob­lems get­ting the sig­na­tures” which it planned to do by can­vass­ing South Perth lo­cals.

SPRA chair­woman Ce­cilia Brooks handed a pe­ti­tion to South Perth MLA John McGrath in Au­gust re­quest­ing ratepay­ers have the right to vote on amal­ga­ma­tion.

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