Chance to choose

Belmont Community Group president Cassie Rowe. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d407776
Belmont Community Group president Cassie Rowe. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d407776

Ms Rowe, a Belmont resident, said the City of Belmont should have applied to the WA Electoral Commission to run a poll on amalgamation in conjunction with its elections.

The Town of Mosman Park and the City of Vincent are the only councils to conduct polls on amalgamation during their upcoming elections.

‘My advice would be for people to vote for those candidates who are providing a viable alternative to amalgamation,’ Ms Rowe said.

‘Plenty of councils are putting up a big fight including Vincent and Victoria Park; I don’t know why Belmont isn’t doing the same thing.’

Belmont acting chief executive Ric Lutey said the City had consistently and strongly objected to amalgamations and expressed the view that it did not wish to or see the need for amalgamation since the issue was first raised by the State Government.

‘Ultimately (the City) has no power to stop the State proceeding with forced amalgamations and the State Government has made it quite clear that there is little or no provision to influence or amend the outcome,’ he said.

‘In fact, the minister has put local governments on notice that councils will be removed and commissioners appointed if no progress on the proposed amalgamations is being made.’

Ms Rowe said a referendum would have applied pressure to the State Government not to go ahead with the changes.

‘The Belmont council held a referendum in 1999, in conjunction with local council elections, over whether a water playground in Ascot should be kept open,’ she said.

‘Surely the biggest issue to ever face Belmont to date, the amalgamations, warrants a poll of its residents.’

Mr Lutey said the City had not included a referendum on the ballot paper because the State had made it very clear it would not be taken into consideration.