In Politics

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Western Australia Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson

New Era For Local Government In Perth

Victor P Taffa

  • State Government unveils plan to create stronger councils
  • Number of metropolitan councils reduced from 30 to 14 by July 2015
  • Nine new local government areas created
  • Wanneroo, Joondalup and Rockingham unchanged

The State Government has unveiled its blueprint for stronger, more efficient Perth metropolitan councils under historic local government reforms.

Premier Colin Barnett said the Government’s preferred local government model established 14 councils across the metropolitan area, a reduction on the existing 30.

 

Premier Barnett said the reform plan redefined outdated local government boundaries to create councils with improved economies of scale and provided better co-ordination across the metropolitan area.

It would create nine new local government areas through a series of mergers.

The Wanneroo, Joondalup and Rockingham local government areas would remain unchanged. Perth and Stirling would undergo boundary adjustments. Vincent residents would become ratepayers of either Stirling or Perth.

The Premier said the reforms were the Government’s response to the Robson panel report established to review local government across the metropolitan area.

“The key objective is to create stronger councils to provide the best possible services to residents with maximum efficiency and modern councils to meet the needs of a rapidly growing city.” Premier Barnett said.

“Perth is the fastest growing city in Australia but our local government structure dates back to the late 1800s when residents, communities and the city faced vastly different issues.”

“We need local governments with the scale and capacity to deal with these challenges. Council reform will deliver a more strategic, co-ordinated approach across the metropolitan area for issues like planning, road networks, waste management, the Swan River, recreation, housing and health.”

“It is difficult to deliver that co-ordinated approach to these issues when, for example, there are seven local government areas between Crawley and Fremantle, 17 along the Swan River foreshore and 11 along the coast.”

“We are committed to leading the way through reform but we’re happy to fine-tune the details with councils to ensure we get the best results on behalf of the entire metropolitan area.” Premier Barnett said.

The reform plan proposes mergers between:

  • The City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park
  • The City of Cockburn and the City of Kwinana
  • The City of Melville strengthening the port city of Fremantle and East Fremantle
  • The City of Armadale with the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale
  • The City of Bayswater with the Town of Bassendean
  • The City of Swan with the Shire of Mundaring
  • The City of Canning with the City of Gosnells
  • The City of Belmont and the Shire of Kalamunda
  • The cities of Nedlands and Subiaco, with the towns of Cambridge, Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove plus North Fremantle, Wembley Downs and Churchlands

 

WA Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson

WA Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the reforms aimed to deliver strategic benefits for Perth, and financially stable councils, with a population of around 100,000 people each.

“All levels of government face pressures to provide affordable services. The mergers bring councils together to create economies of scale that offer the best opportunity to keep rates down and deliver services.” Mr. Simpson said.

“It’s not about changing suburbs or about changing what people love about their street it’s about creating stronger councils to serve them.”

Mr. Simpson said the announcement came four years after WA’s local governments were asked to voluntarily merge, and followed widespread consultation and consideration of more than 600 submissions.

Local government elections are planned for mid-October with the newly elected councillors to shape the new larger councils.

Fact File

  • The Local Government Advisory Board will consider all proposals together in 2014
  • New local governments will come into effect on July 2015, with commissioners at the helm from that date
  • Elections will be held again in October 2015 to elect the new councillors
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