BACK­LASH NOT AN END TO RE­FORM

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

COUN­CIL merg­ers are off the ta­ble but don’t for one minute think they are dead and buried. As the dust set­tles on the State Gov­ern­ment’s at­tempt to ra­tio­nalise coun­cil ser­vices, there are al­ready calls to take an­other look at the process. Many be­lieve there is an ur­gent need to cre­ate more ef­fi­cient lo­cal coun­cils with bet­ter man­age­ment pro­ce­dures, less du­pli­ca­tion of ser­vices and a more pro­duc­tive work en­vi­ron­ment. It wasn’t so much the merger pro­pos­als that caused the back­lash but the way the Gov­ern­ment tried to im­ple­ment them. Any gov­ern­ment will be wary about tak­ing on the pro­gram af­ter the big show of public anger but coun­cil merg­ers have the po­ten­tial to ben­e­fit res­i­dents greatly in the long term. The process should start with ratepay­ers and coun­cils de­cid­ing the best for­mula and then al­low­ing all par­ties to find a process that achieves the goal. Oh, and a cou­ple of hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars to fa­cil­i­tate the process.

Rick Lee - CNG edi­tor

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