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.

City of Perth Act to create a great capital for WA

Premier and Minister’s Media Statement

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

​City of Perth Act to be drafted as part of metropolitan local government reform
Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have their own Acts of Parliament
Consultation with key stakeholders in the new year.

The State Government will draft a City of Perth Act which will establish Perth as the city’s pre-eminent council, with legislation due for introduction into State Parliament early next year.

Premier Colin Barnett said consultation with relevant parties would begin in the new year, resulting in an Act to recognise Perth as the State’s capital city and acknowledge its central role in tourism and economic development.

“Given the Government’s investment in revitalising Perth with investments such as Elizabeth Quay, the Perth City Link and Riverside, it’s timely for the City of Perth to have this special recognition,” Mr Barnett said.

“The city is the centre of business and retail activity and is the pre-eminent entertainment precinct in the State. This Act will recognise the need for it to be treated differently from other residential councils.”

The Act will also outline the City of Perth’s expanded boundaries, which will take in all of the City of Perth and the City of Vincent plus The University of Western Australia, Kings Park, the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre and the new Perth Children’s Hospital.

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

“Cabinet has this week approved the drafting of the Act which will lay the foundations for building a great capital. A bigger and stronger City of Perth will be better equipped to respond to the demands of a growing State – and better represent WA on the world stage.

“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 the Act was a high priority for the State Government.

The Act will be drafted in consultation with both the City of Perth and the current City of Vincent as well as relevant business, tourism and ratepayer associations.

Mr Simpson said the State Government’s plan for metropolitan local government reform was on track with reforms being progressively put in place.

Fact File
The new Act would operate in conjunction with the Local Government Act 1995
For more information, visit http://metroreform.dlg.wa.gov.au
Premier’s office – 6552 5000
Local Government Minister’s office – 6552 6600