City to ask for cash back
NO REFUND ON MERGER WORK COSTS - PREMIER
AFTER spending more than $320,000 on local government reform, the City of South Perth says it will be seeking compensation from the State Government, but Premier Colin Barnett says there is no case for “socalled reimbursement.”
Mayor Sue Doherty said the council worked in “good faith” to comply with Government policies.
She said the Government refused to move its July 1 deadline, which forced the City to start implementing the program.
Mr Barnett said councils chose to go out and in some cases spend more money.
“There is no case for reimbursement,” he said.
“There was $65 million put aside by the State Government for this process. That will simply now return to Treasury.”
After raising the ‘white flag’ last week, Mr Barnett said there was still a problem.
“The problem is 140 local governments in WA,” he said.
“A number occupy less than five square kilometres, a number less than 500 people.
That is not functional for this century and most people, most thinking people, in local governments acknowledge that.”
Mrs Doherty said the reform process had been a failure.
“To hear the Premier is now backing away from this process given the amount of time and resources the City has invested in proactively working ... with the Town of Victoria Park is frustrating,” she said.
“Our council was ready and willing to implement reform until the State Government backflipped on funding the process and decided that our ratepayers should foot the bill – this is totally unacceptable.”