WSA Public Forum 26 November 2012 – a presentation by Heather Henderson

A presentation by Mayor Heather Henderson 

The recently release  of the final report from the Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel foreshadows the most significant changes we have seen in the history of Western Australian local government.

One of the recommendations in the report, which poses a real and immediate threat to our communities is the amalgamation of the seven western suburbs local governments.

The western suburbs have undoubtedly been a target for amalgamations since the state government began its reform agenda about four years ago. Continue reading

WSA Public Forum Subiaco 26 November 2012- a presentation by Max Hipkins

Amalgamation and loss of identity – A presentation by Max Hipkins

 The recently released Final Report of the Metropolitan Local Government Review, known as the Robson Report, has recommended the amalgamation of seven western suburbs councils into one consolidated local government, with a combined population of around 80,000 people.  If this was to eventuate, it would result in the loss of identity of all communities involved.  I would like to illustrate this by looking at just two of the affected cities – Subiaco and Nedlands.  It would be possible to compare other local governments within the western suburbs to the same effect. Continue reading

WSA Public Forum 26 November 2012 – by Heather Henderson

Amalgamation

Written by Heather Henderson, Mayor of the City of Subiaco

  The recently release  of the final report from the Metropolitan Local Government Review Panel foreshadows the most significant changes we have seen in the history of Western Australian local government.

One of the recommendations in the report, which poses a real and immediate threat to our communities –  is the amalgamation of the seven western suburbs local governments.

The western suburbs have undoubtedly been a target for amalgamations since the state government began its reform agenda about four years ago.

In 2009, the state government asked local governments to participate in voluntary amalgamations. The cities of Subiaco and Nedlands were the only local governments in the metro area that responded. We formed a three-way partnership with the state government by creating a regional transition group .The group went through the state government’s process of developing a feasibility study, which was designed to look at the costs and benefits of a merger between Subiaco and Nedlands.

When the feasibility study was complete, we took it to our communities for comment. Despite the predicted annual savings of around $3 or $4million, the City of Subiaco community strongly rejected an amalgamation. The primary reasons for this rejection were to retain the city’s independence, the unique sense of identity and local democracy. Continue reading

WSA Public Forum 26 November 2012 – a presentation by Ron Norris

Local Government Reform

Written by Ron Norris, Mayor of the Town of Mosman Park

My contribution on the Local Government reform issue is to show that the process has been flawed from the start and bring to your attention to the waste of money and resources which the State Government has allowed to happen. We started the Reform journey nearly 3 years ago and virtually nothing has been achieved. The only response we have received from the Government have been bullying threats – agree to amalgamate or we’ll do it for you. And yet no evidence has been provided to demonstrate this massive dislocation to Local Government is desired by the Ratepayers or that it will deliver any tangible benefit.

Apart from Peppermint Grove I’m not aware of one council which is opposed to the so called “reform process”. All of us, including Peppermint Grove, willingly participated in the Regional Transition Grouping (RTG) process which Minister Castrilli initiated in February 2009. Similarly, we all made submissions to the Robson panel 12 months ago. Unfortunately, as far as the western suburbs are concerned, Robson wasn’t listening.

The Robson Panel has now given the Government its Final Report. I’ll come back to that Report later but the Government now expects us to make a submission on the Final Report. To add insult to injury, they won’t consider our submissions until after the State Election in March. And we now learn that these public submissions, unlike the ones we made earlier, won’t be published. We’re told that “publishing comments may prevent people from providing their true opinions”. So why should we bother to do anything? Continue reading