Subiaco, the spiritual land of Dadour

Julie Matheson

The Honourable Ken Travers reminds the Western Australian Legislative Council of the origins of the Dadour Amendment and the right to vote on proposed council mergers and #amalgamations.

By excising a small piece of Subiaco Council from the proposed amalgamation with Cambridge, Mr Barnett has denied Subiaco residents the right to access the Dadour Amendment.

TRICKY AND MEAN, MR BARNETT.

The transcript can be read here: http://ianrker-vincent.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/right-on-money-ken.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+VincentObserved+(Vincent+Observed)

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Anti-merger Councils Confident of Supreme Court Hearing

Shire of Kalamunda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 September 2014

 ANTI-MERGER COUNCILS CONFIDENT OF SUPREME COURT HEARING

Councils opposing forced amalgamations in the WA Supreme Court have been told by Chief Justice Martin the case will be heard on 25th November 2014.

The Council merger plans by the Minister for Local Government are being challenged by the Cities of Subiaco, South Perth and the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, along with former Vincent Councillor Ian Ker.

Their Supreme Court action is being supported by the 12-member Councils for Democracy, including the Shire of Kalamunda.

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich said “Chief Justice Martin signed consent orders last week enabling the case to proceed to hearing”.

The signing of consent orders means both sides have agreed to produce documents in support of their arguments ready for  the hearing on 25th November 2014.

“The Councils and their legal team are confident that there is a case for the Minister and the Local Government Advisory Board to answer and that this could be a turning point for local government reform, Mrs Bilich said.

The Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson received the report on local government reform from the Local Government Advisory Board last week and told media on Friday he was yet to read the 652 page report in its entirety or brief his colleagues.

He said he was waiting for the second part of the report which is still with the Advisory Board. Under the Local Government Act, the Minister can accept or reject the recommendations but not change them

The Supreme Court challenge against him alleges the Minister’s conduct was unlawful and misleading when he induced Councils to submit merger proposals, circumventing the Dadour Provisions which would give residents a vote by poll, and it challenges the impartiality of LGAB members, some of whom are government employees or who represent affected Councils.

It is understood that if the Minister seeks to act on the report before completion of the legal action, that the Councils and Mr I Ker will apply for an injunction from the Supreme Court.”

Mrs Bilich said; “A large majority of Shire of Kalamunda residents have been vocal in their objection to the proposed merger with Belmont and in February this year Electors attended the Annual General Meeting of the Shire and moved motions to fight this battle in the courts if need be. It appears that request is now coming to fruition and I am very pleased and proud to know we have a fiercely  independent thinking community in the Shire. This has been a fight for democracy through and through and it seems that people power may prevail in the end and we will either get to vote on our  future or we will stop the process. Both of which are acceptable outcomes for the community.”

WSA Circular to members

Hello to all our members and supporters.

Although it is a while since we last contacted you, it is now time to consider the future activities of Western Suburbs Alliance (WSA). WSA was originally formed to “Represent the interests of, and provide information on planning and local government amalgamation issues to residents and ratepayers” of the Western Suburbs and to support various independent candidates, and what they stood for, at the 2013 State elections.

We now find ourselves with a different problem and WSA is in a strong position to promote our opposition to the Premier’s new political stance. As you are aware the Barnett government has gone back on its election promise of “no forced local government amalgamations” and is now proceeding to force council amalgamations on the Western Australian communities within the greater metropolitan area.

To justify this stance the Premier and the Minister for Local Government have decreed that what they are now planning is simply a matter of boundary changes and therefore cannot be seen as local government amalgamations. We see this as arrogant duplicity and a direct about face from what was, we believe, a very firm election commitment a little over 12 months ago not to force such amalgamations.

Whilst we do not believe we are able to oppose this high handed approach by Premier Barnett and Minister Simpson in the greater metropolitan area, we do believe that WSA is the ideal group to specifically oppose such a push by the Premier for amalgamation of Western Suburbs councils. This is because even the Premier cannot argue that an amalgamation of seven western suburbs councils cannot simply be seen as boundary changes but must be recognised as amalgamation of such into a Group of 7 (G7) or a Group of 5 (G5).

It is our intention to utilise WSA to embark on a fundraising drive to enable us to raise sufficient funds to enter into an advertising drive to educate the public about this dishonesty. We will endeavour to force the Premier to resolve the future local government status of the Western Suburbs by ensuring that the public are able to vote on the matter of local government amalgamations through a general poll of all western suburbs ratepayers.

Such a poll would be required to be conducted in accordance with the “Dadour provisions” of the Local Government Act. Those provisions require, in any Local Government area, that 50% of all electors must turnout at a Poll to vote on the future of their Local Government and that if 50% +1 of those required to vote oppose the suggested new regime for any particular Local Government within the Western Suburbs then the proposed amalgamation of the Western Suburbs Councils cannot proceed.

We believe that such a poll would easily defeat the forced amalgamation issue in the Western Suburbs and that our Local Government Councils will then be able to continue, as they are at present, to serve their ratepayers with the same level of service and efficiency as has been the case in the past. In this manner massive additional costs will be avoided and relevant building by-laws will continue to serve the public interest (not just property developers) as has been the case in the past.

As mentioned previously, such opposition by us will require both manpower and financial support. May we, therefore, sincerely request your help. If you are able to help with letterbox deliveries in your area please contact us by using our email address as shown below. More importantly, your monetary assistance by joining or renewing your membership of Western Suburbs Alliance would be of great assistance to us.

Finally we would also ask that you do not hesitate to contact us with suggestions.

With best wishes,

Ken Eastwood

Western Suburbs Alliance Inc.

Thursday 28th August 2014