Lobby groups declares war on Barnett


Beatrice Thomas
June 25, 2012, 2:15 am

High-profile western suburbs professionals and community leaders have united to rally against the Barnett Government on multiple policy fronts as disquiet grows in the Liberal Party’s heartland.

The Western Suburbs Alliance, a union of interest groups, says the Government has presided over “an erosion of our democratic rights”.

It says its actions have caused a “growing wave of fear, anger and alienation across the western suburbs”. Key issues include high-rise rows in Cottesloe, Dalkeith and Subiaco, the Elizabeth Quay project on the Perth foreshore, local council mergers and “draconian” planning reforms such as development assessment panels.

Critically, the alliance vows to back candidates sympathetic to its causes at next year’s State election.

A letter for the group’s planned launch this week said approaches to local Liberal MPs had been “to no avail”. In contrast, wealthy businessmen and international firms had private access to Colin Barnett and his ministers for $25,000 at a so-called Leaders’ Forum.

“We elect people to represent us in Government; we then expect open consultation and constructive dialogue,” the letter says.

The more than 30 signatories include lawyer John Hammond, architect and City Gatekeepers’ spokesman Linley Lutton, Emeritus Professor Martyn Webb, Nedlands mayor Max Hipkins and Cottesloe mayor Kevin Morgan.

“It’s not a few spot fires because there’s a whole lot of people who are upset,” Mr Hammond, who heads Keep Cott Low, said yesterday.

The area includes the seats of the Premier (Cottesloe), Environment Minister Bill Marmion (Nedlands) and Education Minister and independent MP Liz Constable (Churchlands) which the Liberals hope to retake when she retires at the March election.

Political analyst Harry Phillips said upsets would be a tough task but a high-profile independent getting Labor and Greens preferences had “a good chance”.

“If I was the Government, I’d be just nervous at this stage,” he said.

Mr Barnett said the Government was making the right decisions in the interests of all in the State. He said the Cottesloe and Perth waterfront debates had gone on for decades and it was “generally accepted” WA had too many councils.

The West Australian

Barnett to retire from WA politics after Burswood stadium opens



· JANUARY 03, 2015 6:00PM
WA Premier Colin Barnett is tipped to step down in 2018 if he wins 2017 election.
PREMIER Colin Barnett will retire from politics after he tosses the coin at Perth’s new football stadium, according to informed sources.

If he wins a third term at the 2017 election, it is understood Mr Barnett will remain as Premier to see the Burswood stadium open the 2018 AFL season and retire later that year.

Insiders were also adamant that Mr Barnett would not spend any time on the backbench if he steps down as Premier – leaving his prized Cottesloe seat open for a newcomer.

The 64-year-old announced in October that he would vie for a third term as Premier.

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian this week, shows he is in good stead with the electorate.

The primary vote for the Liberal-National coalition is currently at 42 per cent compared with the Opposition’s 33 per cent.

In September, Mr Barnett will clock up seven years as Premier.

Mr Barnett this week refused to answer questions put to him by The Sunday Times about whether he would serve out a full term of government if he won the 2017 poll.

Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said he had an “obligation to come clean and tell West Australians whether or not he will commit to a full term”.

Political analyst Harry Phillips said he expected Mr Barnett would not serve out a full third term of government if he won the 2017 poll.

“In the modern era, serving even five years as Premier is a big job and he would have served nine years as Premier by 2017,” Dr Phillips said.

“The problem that Colin Barnett has got is that if he goes to the 2017 poll saying he will stand down after the election that will weaken him.

“So I’d expect him to say he will do a full term if he wins.

“But I think there would be a fair expectation from the public that Mr Barnett will at least do two years of a third term as leader and do a good job while he is there.”

Sir David Brand was WA’s longest service Premier, leading the state for 11 years and 11 months.

Mr Barnett would need to remain Premier until September 2020 to beat that record.

City to expand under ‘power of persuasion’

THE power of persuasion will convince other parties to pass a bill to expand Perth’s boundaries, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says.
It will be introduced in the first sitting week of parliament next year and will outline the city’s new boundaries under the state government’s contentious forced council amalgamations.
While the western edge of the City of Perth is yet to be finalised, the area will absorb the entire City of Vincent, the University of Western Australia, Kings Park and the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre.
The Nationals, Labor and the Greens have voiced opposition to the mergers, which will slash the number of metropolitan councils from 30 to 16.
But the premier remains confident the plan will be supported by the time the bill is put to the upper house.
“I don’t think it will be blocked — I think it will get through,” Mr Barnett told reporters on Tuesday.
“On merit, it should pass. There may be some suggestions of minor changes and we’re amenable to that.
“Power of persuasion — just watch us.”
Originally published as City to expand under ‘power of persuasion’

New legislation would see super-size City of Perth: Colin Barnett

December 16, 2014 – 4:47PM

The City of Perth is set to more than double in size in a bid to achieve “capital city status” under proposed legislation.

Premier Colin Barnett announced on Tuesday his government had begun drafting the controversial City of Perth Act that will redraw local boundaries to include the neighbouring City of Vincent and University of WA.

The proposed act is part of a wider plan to amalgamate local councils to reduce their number from 33 to less than 20.

The WA Government plans to introduce the City of Perth Act to parliament next year, despite the Nationals pledging to oppose the amalgamation plan, and doubts over whether the Liberals have the numbers to pass it.

City of Vincent Lord Mayor John Carey has also opposed the move, saying it will strip local residents of any power to vote on the proposed Perth merger.

Mr Barnett said he was hopeful of getting the Act passed with the support of the opposition, adding the City of Vincent supported the proposal.

“The National Party has said they’re going to basically exempt themselves from any discussions about metropolitan councils – that’s probably the reality – but I would expect the Labor Party to support this,” he said.

However, Mr Barnett admitted he hadn’t spoken to Opposition Leader Mark McGowan about the proposal, and that there was no “Plan B” should it fail.

“The City of Perth supports it, the Town of Vincent supports it, the University of WA supports it, the state government – all the major institutions in the state – support it, the business community and tourism industry support it,” he told reporters.

“It will bring several features that are Perth’s great selling points under one council which makes good sense from a planning and tourism point of view.

“I think the vast majority of people in Western Australia believe we should have a proper pact to define the capital city of this state.

“It will give the city the status it should hold as Australia’s west coast capital and an increasingly important city in the Asia region.”

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said it would be his “number one priority” to get the legislation passed next year.

The expanded boundaries will include the current City of Perth, City of Vincent, UWA Kings Park QEII Medical Centre and the new Perth Children’s Hospital.