City of Perth legislation ‘a priority’ when Parliament resumes, says Premier Colin Barnett

By Jessica Strutt
Posted 33 minutes agoTue 16 Dec 2014, 5:19pm

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says legislation to expand the City of Perth will be a priority when Parliament resumes in the new year.

While the other parties have indicated they would block the move, the Premier remains confident he will get his way.

The State Government has already announced plans to legislate to create a bigger and more powerful capital city, expanding its boundaries to include Kings Park, the University of Western Australia and the QE11 medical centre.

In October, it released details of its plans to effectively halve the number of metropolitan councils, accepting all but two recommendations made by the Local Government Advisory Board, which had been examining the issue.

Instead of the board’s proposals for the City of Perth, Mr Barnett wants to legislate to create the expanded and more powerful capital city.

The Nationals, Labor and the Greens have all publicly stated they would not back the Act.

Their lack of support is significant because together the three parties have the numbers to block legislation in the Upper House.

Mr Barnett said while the parties had not given any recent indication of support, he was confident the legislation would pass Parliament.

“I expect a majority of members of Parliament, probably a strong majority, to support this legislation. There may be some suggestions of minor changes and we’re amenable to that,” he said.

“This legislation is being drafted as a matter of priority. We intend to introduce it into Parliament in the new year, and we would hope it would pass through Parliament.”

The Premier would not be drawn on what he would do if the legislation failed to pass, saying there was “no Plan B”.

“I don’t think it will be blocked, I think it will get through,” he said.

While Mr Barnett acknowledged he was yet to secure the support to pass the legislation in the Upper House, he is ploughing on.

“This legislation is being drafted as a matter of priority [and] we intend to introduce it into Parliament in the new year, and we would hope it would pass through Parliament,” he said.

Labor, the Greens and the Nationals have all indicated they would block the legislation in the Upper House but the Premier appeared unfazed.

“I don’t think it will be blocked, I think it will get through,” he said.

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