Sta­tus quo in un­cer­tain times

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - FIRST RE­PORTED AT Mon­tana Ar­don

AF­TER a year of spec­u­la­tion, City of Su­bi­aco coun­cil­lors voted on Tues­day night to not re­duce its num­ber of coun­cil­lors or to ad­just ward bound­aries.

Cr Stephanie Stroud’s mo­tion to re­duce the num­ber of coun­cil­lors from 11 to eight was re­jected, as was fel­low North Ward coun­cil­lor Peter Mcal­lis­ter’s mo­tion to re­duce the num­ber to 10.

The coun­cil voted 6-5 on both mo­tions, but an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of seven was needed.

The pro­posal to re­duce the num­ber of coun­cil­lors to eight and fol­low a four-ward struc­ture went out for public con­sul­ta­tion last year, with 83 per cent of the 111 sub­mis­sions re­ceived from res­i­dents in sup­port of the move.

Cr Stroud said in Novem­ber it would be “a slap in the face” if the coun­cil did not lis­ten to the com­mu­nity, and echoed those sen­ti­ments again last night.

“It’s what the res­i­dents want,” she said. Su­bi­aco res­i­dent Paul Netscher said it was un­nec­es­sary to have 11 coun­cil­lors for Su­bi­aco’s pop­u­la­tion.

“There are 870 res­i­dents per coun­cil­lor in Su­bi­aco,” he said. “In com­par­i­son to Cam­bridge, where there are 2300 res­i­dents per coun­cil­lor, and Ned­lands there’s 1700.

“It de­fies logic and it’s in­sult­ing, as well as ir­re­spon­si­ble in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate.”

How­ever, Daglish res­i­dent Jude Rowohlt ar­gued that coun­cil­lor work­loads would in­crease, re­sult­ing in res­i­dents and ratepay­ers hav­ing fewer coun­cil­lors to lobby for them on im­por­tant is­sues.

“Who will stand up for the dis­ad­van­taged res­i­dents of Su­bi­aco?” she said.

“We have the is­sues loom­ing of the State Gov­ern­ment Town Plan­ning Act, as well as Su­bi­aco Oval. “Keep­ing strong now is vi­tal.”

Cr Mark Burns said he did not want to re­duce the num­ber of coun­cil­lors for a num­ber of rea­sons.

“No-one knows what the new Gov­ern­ment, or any­one, is go­ing to do,” he said.

“I am not will­ing to place Su­bi­aco in the hands of oth­ers who don’t know what they want.

“It’s not about the fact I want more coun­cil­lors; I just do not be­lieve in deal­ing with the un­known in times of po­lit­i­cal flux.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Don Bur­nett said an­other re­view could go ahead af­ter the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion in Oc­to­ber.

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