No interest in mergers talk
LOCAL Government Minister Tony Simpson still wants to meet with the five mayors of the proposed City of Riversea despite them indicating few or no reasons to talk after the State Government surrendered on mergers two weeks ago.
“A meeting with all mayors – that’s the plan,” a spokeswoman for Mr Simpson said last Friday.
But statements last week by the leaders of Claremont, Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove, Nedlands and Mosman Park councils indicated Riversea was virtually dead.
“He may still want to meet with us but there isn’t the slightest bit of interest in continuing this discussion on mergers at my council, and any new attempt to initiate forced amalgamations will be met by the total opposition of the 16-council Councils for Democracy.” Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said.
He welcomed the Government abandoning the six- year reform process, saying it had been “flawed” by allowing only some council residents to have votes on change.
Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said she would now get on with governing her Town.
Peppermint Grove president Rachel Thomas said her residents had shown they would remain independent.
Before Cabinet last week, Mr Simpson tackled the confusion caused by Premier Colin Barnett’s surrender on mergers.
He said he would meet with the mayors of Riversea, while a new City of Perth Act minus the City of Vincent is developed, after seeing if nine other councils under Governor’s Orders would voluntarily continue with new boundaries on July 1.
“Personally, I don’t think there’s any future in the City of Riversea – there’s nothing to be said,” Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said.
Mosman Park’s border with Fremantle could still change.
But Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said it would now be difficult to argue for Riversea so the community had some control over its destiny.