Ri­versea heads for wa­tery grave

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

THE fu­ture of the City of Ri­versea (G5) ranged from non-ex­is­tent to the un­know­able af­ter Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett sur­ren­dered to res­i­dents’ polls that trounced other merg­ers last week.

“There­fore, the City of Ri­versea is a non-event,” Pep­per­mint Grove chief ex­ec­u­tive John Mer­rick said.

Pep­per­mint Grove’s pop­u­la­tion of about 1600 was was re­garded as most likely to get a 50 per cent voter turnout to scup­per a G5 amal­ga­ma­tion of Mos­man Park, Cottes­loe, Clare­mont and Ned­lands.

Res­i­dents’ polls on Fe­bru­ary 7 re­jected East Fre­man­tle, Cock­burn and South Perth merg­ers, prompt­ing Mr Bar­nett to walk way from the merger process and cre­at­ing un­cer­tain fu­tures for the G5 and a Cam­bridge-Subiaco merger al­ready un­der Gover­nor’s Or­ders.

“The whole thing is un­clear, even re­vers­ing the Gover­nor’s Or­ders, the whole of it. It’s very frus­trat­ing,” Cottes­loe Mayor Jo Dawkins said.

Mrs Dawkins said her coun­cil had not made de­ci­sions since the Gov­ern­ment re­jected the G5 and the on-go­ing lack of in­for­ma­tion meant there had been no dis­cus­sion among G5 may­ors about Mr Bar­nett on ABC Ra­dio moot­ing greater fu­ture Gov­ern­ment con­trol of plan­ning and waste dis­posal and po­ten­tially a new Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

WA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Troy Pickard said while the un­cer­tainty caused by Mr Bar­nett last week was still “too raw”, lo­cal gov­ern­ment could wel­come a re­view of the Act as long as the Gov­ern­ment in­tended “mean­ing­ful dia­logue”.

Giv­ing more power, and not tak­ing away coun­cils’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, could be used as an in­cen­tive to cre­ate larger coun­cils.

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