No in­ter­est in merg­ers talk

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

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