Border dispute still unsettled
MOSMAN Park and Fremantle councils still need to resolve a push by about 200 disgruntled North Fremantle ratepayers to leave their port city and join the riverside council after the residents met new Local Government Minister Paul Miles last month.
“Mr Miles is trying to facilitate the change without getting involved,” ratepayer organiser Geoff Totterdell told the Western Suburbs Weekly.
The ratepayers’ year-long battle to change their border and join the western suburbs, citing a lack of services and infrastructure from Fremantle, was initially stalled by an adverse Local Government Advisory Board decision earlier this year.
The ratepayers then lobbied Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett, who sent in former Local Government minister Tony Simpson. Mr Simpson said no decision could be made until the councils agreed on any change.
After a July 18 meeting between the councils, a new idea emerged to shift the councils’ boundary about 400m west to a new, north-south alignment along Thompson Road, North Fremantle, to McCabe Street, Mosman Park.
However, Mr Totterdell said subsequent meetings and progression of discussions on the issue by Fremantle Council failed to materialise in September and October.
Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said his council was also waiting to hear from Fremantle, after the port city indicated it needed to undertake its own internal discussions about losing part of North Fremantle.
“Nothing is firm yet, but it’s good the issue is being pursued,” Mr Norris said.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the potential loss of rates from about 200 residents was the fundamental issue raised inside his council.
A possible solution could be a land swap so Fremantle is not left financially disadvantaged by any change.
Dr Pettitt said “ad-hoc” border changes usually never worked, including the recent breakdown of Hamilton Hill residents’ request to join Fremantle, which was blocked by the City of Cockburn.