City ignores merger deadline

The City held a special council meeting on Wednesday to vote on its submission to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB), due today. In a surprise move councillors voted 5-1 against submitting a proposal because it was not in the best interest of good government.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson asked all councils that were part of proposed mergers to submit their own proposal for amalgamation or boundary adjustment before October 4.

Mr Simpson revealed a model for Kwinana and Cockburn to merge earlier this year, but the City’s decision not to make a submission could leave its fate squarely with the Government.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said she did not want the community to have a false sense of security from the council’s decision not to submit a proposal.

‘I believe that tonight’s decision and the debate that we have had around the council chamber has demonstrated what a difficult time in particular it has been for council and staff in coming to this point,’ she said.

‘I do not believe that this council is about to embark on a ‘game of chicken’ with the Minister to see if we will call his bluff; that serves no good purpose.

‘We will wait to see who flinches first, either the Minister or Cockburn, and when this occurs we will react quickly to either stave off a boundary adjustment being imposed or to put in a proposal of our own, or reconsider a joint submission.’

In an unexpected turn of events last month, the City of Cockburn made a last minute back flip on a joint plan to merge with Kwinana ” voting down a proposal, devised by both cities, to amalgamate in 2015.

The City intends to review its position on a regular basis over the next month.