Coun­cils to get their day in court

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

COUN­CILS against the merg­ers process have a Supreme Court trial on Novem­ber 25.

“We are cer­tainly very pleased how quickly the case has been listed with the Supreme Court and now it will be de­ter­mined at that date,” the coun­cils’ lawyer John Ham­mond said.

Su­bi­aco, South Perth and Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale coun­cils, with City of Vin­cent res­i­dent Ian Ker, claim the State Gov­ern­ment breached laws for res­i­dents’ votes on merg­ers, forced coun­cils to pro­pose their demise and that the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ad­vi­sory Board rec­om­mend­ing new bor­ders had con­flicts of in­ter­est.

Last week, the board sent the first of its rec­om­men­da­tions to Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son and com­ments on a sec­ond group of re­ports about Melville, Can­ning, Gos­nells, Fre­man­tle, East Fre­man­tle, Kwinana and Cock­burn coun­cils closed yes­ter­day.

All the re­ports will be con­sid­ered by Mr Simp­son and State Cabi­net be­fore an ex­pected an­nounce­ment be­fore the end of this month that could end five years of de­bate.

The coun­cils an­tic­i­pate the court action could take un­til Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary and Clare­mont Mayor Jock Barker said Mr Simp­son should hold off on any an­nounce­ments while the case was be­fore the court and under ju­di­cial re­view.

“If not, the Gov­ern­ment could look like com­plete fools be­fore the Supreme Court makes a de­ci­sion,” Mr Barker said.

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