SU­BI­ACO LODGES LE­GAL AP­PEAL

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

THE City of Su­bi­aco yes­ter­day lodged an ap­peal against its failed Supreme Court ac­tion over the State Gov­ern­ment merger process.

At a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing last Wed­nes­day, Su­bi­aco coun­cil­lors voted to ap­peal Chief Jus­tice Wayne Martin’s Novem­ber 25 decision to re­ject ar­gu­ments by Su­bi­aco, South Perth, Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale and Pep­per­mint Grove coun­cils that the Gov­ern­ment acted il­le­gally be­fore an­nounc­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­forms in Oc­to­ber.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Tin­dale said Su­bi­aco was the only lo­cal gov­ern­ment con­test­ing the Supreme Court decision.

Mr Tin­dale said the City had set an $80,000 bud­get for the ap­peal, but could not con­firm the to­tal cost of its orig­i­nal ac­tion.

“The City be­lieves there is a favourable case for ap­peal on three grounds: the mean­ing of an af­fected elec­tor, the con­struc­tive abo­li­tion of lo­cal gov­ern­ments and con­flicts of in­ter­est amongst the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ad­vi­sory Board mem­bers,” he said.

Cottes­loe lawyer John Ham­mond and coun­cil’s lawyer Chris Shana­han will be re­tained as the City’s le­gal coun­sel for the ap­peal.

Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale Shire Pres­i­dent Keith El­lis said they would not join Su­bi­aco be­cause the coun­cil was “un­able to as­sist the ap­peal process fi­nan­cially”.

Pep­per­mint Grove Pres­i­dent Rachel Thomas said it would not be part of Su­bi­aco’s ap­peal.

“We read the decision from the Chief Jus­tice and in our sec­tion of the decision we don’t think we have a strong case for ap­peal­ing it,” Mrs Thomas said.

She said Su­bi­aco’s ap­peal would be an­a­lysed and po­ten­tially dis­cussed at her coun­cil.

South Perth Mayor Sue Do­herty said the City had not yet made a decision re­gard­ing an ap­peal.

Cr Mark Burns said the other par­ties to the lit­i­ga­tion would have been “a dis­trac­tion” to Su­bi­aco’s ap­peal.

“The Chief Jus­tice, ar­guably, has made an er­ror of the law,” Cr Burns said.

Cr Leanne Pot­ter was the only coun­cil­lor to re­ject the staff re­port rec­om­mend­ing an ap­peal.

Mayor Heather Hen­der­son said the City had an “obli­ga­tion to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment sec­tor” to ques­tion the “fun­da­men­tally flawed” process.

Coun­cil­lors will de­cide whether to set up a Lo­cal Im­ple­men­ta­tion Com­mit­tee with the Town of Cam­bridge re­gard­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s plans to merge the two dis­tricts at its meet­ing tonight.

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