Advertising backlash

In July the State Government announced the Town of Bassendean and parts of the cities of Swan and Stirling would merge with the City of Bayswater under new local government reform, set to come into effect by 2015.

The proposed new local government of Morley would include the Town of Bassendean, Noranda, Inglewood and parts of Dianella, Menora and Mt Lawley.

The announcement caused a backlash from the Town of Bassendean and cities of Swan and Stirling, which initiated advertising campaigns urging local residents to sign petitions opposing the decision.

The City of Stirling budgeted $59,000 for its Stay in Stirling campaign against the merger, with Mayor David Boothman depicted as characters from Brave Heart and Star Wars in an effort to retain its boundaries.

One advertisement released by the Mt Lawley Society stated ‘Don’t make Bayswater your future! It could ruin your heritage!’

Councillor Chris Cornish said the advertisement was ‘highly offensive’ especially when the city had several heritage buildings such as the WA Ballet on Whatley Crescent, which won the 2013 Western Australia Heritage Award.

Deputy Mayor Barry McKenna said the City of Stirling’s advertisements were ridiculous and that the City should not let it derogate the work of City of Bayswater councillors.

‘We’ve got to get the message out about all the achievements we have made over the past 30 years,’ he said.

‘We need to remind residents about our great successes.’

Councillor Marlene Robinson disagreed with the City of Bayswater’s advertising campaign and said it would be a ‘knee jerk reaction’ to the adverts that would cost a substantial amount of money.

The City of Bayswater will send mail-out advertisements worth $30,000 to existing residents and $45,000 to new residents under the proposed area.