The Cost of Unity

Ken Eastwood

Western Suburbs Alliance -13 November 2014

Many of our Local Government electors are ill informed as to the extent of required changes attributable to council amalgamations and the variety of areas where additional costs will be incurred. Such was the comment in a letter to the West Australian early in November 2014 when the writer commented “Surely it won’t cost millions to alter the stationery”.

Changes to stationery stocks are the very least of the costs which amalgamated councils will be forced to fund.  Here are a few more of the initial costs of this exercise:

– Aligning of all the IT, financial and administrative systems. There are currently four different IT platforms operating throughout Local Government in WA.

– The cost of election of new councilors, which will forever be tainted by the demands of the political parties of our state.

– Aligning all operational procedures

– Retraining of staff

– Designing and applying new logos, stationery, street and other signs, websites, etc.

– Refurbishing of council offices or even building and establishing new and bigger offices.

– Redundancies and/or redeployment

– The growing number of costs being passed on to councils by the State and Federal governments

– Other costs – who knows???

And then there are additional ongoing costs such as the cost of replacing all current elected low paid councillors (about $35,000 per year at present) with up to 12 new councillors per huge Council to be paid up to $120,000 each per year as in the Eastern States. Council CEO’s will have to be paid much more to equate with higher responsibilities. In addition, Mayors of these new super Councils will need to be paid 3 times more than their current $80,000 or so per year. Certainly there are no savings to be had in this area.

So not only will we be faced with huge initial and ongoing additional costs, we have no idea just how much these costs will amount to.

Perhaps the Premier or the Minister for Local Government have estimates of these additional costs. If not – why not? If Yes – why haven’t we been told just what these costs will amount to?






13 November 2014

WA Government to legislate to expand City of Perth

WA Government to legislate to expand City of Perth, confer special powers
Updated Sat at 6:30amSat 18 Oct 2014, 6:30am
The City of Perth boundaries may be expanded to include Burswood and UWA under government plans. (By Florence Roca)
RELATED STORY: Perth will not get Burswood in proposed council boundaries

RELATED STORY: Liberal infighting over Perth taking Burswood

RELATED STORY: Simpson, Barnett clash over boundaries reform advice

The City of Perth will grow to include the University of WA (UWA) and the City of Vincent under legislation being planned by the State Government.

The move would also see Perth get special powers to recognise it as a capital city.

Premier Colin Barnett had previously called for the City of Perth to be expanded to include some of the key assets it had been lobbying for, including UWA and QEII Medical Centre.

But it is understood the Local Government Advisory Board had not recommended these areas in its review of council boundaries.

Mr Barnett said today legislative change would be needed to properly recognise the city as the state’s capital, similar to what had been done in other states.

“So there’s a number of aspects, there is City of Melbourne legislation and other states also have specialist legislation for their capital cities,” he said.

“But yes, we are looking to legislate.”

WAPC Under-resourced

Published in The West Australian 9 September 2014.  Author: Kate Emery.

WA’s property industry has warned that delays are adding millions to the cost of land development as figures show councils are waiting years for the State to sign off on planning changes.

Property Council WA executive Joe Lenzo said research to be released next month in a bigger report on infrastructure showed a 12-month wait for approvals added $2.1 million to the cost of the average 20ha greenfield development.

“That’s just purely the delays,” he said. “It’s passed on to the consumer. It just increases the price of the subdivision or the property or the house they want to sell.”

At the same time, State Government figures show WA councils are waiting years for changes to building heights, zoning and land use to be approved. Continue reading