‘Fringe’ suburb fears

Residents of Wembley Downs, Woodlands and Churchlands said at the Doubleview Bowling Club recently they would be left out of the G7 comprising their suburbs, seven western suburbs councils and North Fremantle.

‘The majority at the meeting did not feel valued either by the City of Stirling or by the proposed G7 and believed they would remain fringe dwellers of whichever council they are absorbed into,’ Woodlands Action Group convenor John Noakes said.

Protest letters to the State Government ask for Woodlands and Wembley Downs not to be split and laws for residents’ polls on mergers to be retained after the Government proposed 14 new councils for strategic planning across Perth.

‘Dividing existing communities at the behest of some grand planning scheme is not considered practical or wise,’ Mr Noakes said.

A petition currently with 400 signatures against North Fremantle’s split, organised by Fremantle North ward’s Cr Doug Thompson, says the portside suburb would be a ‘far flung’ part of a G7 that would have a merged town planning scheme that did not reflect its historic links and character.

At the bowling club meeting, North Fremantle Cr Robert Fittock said the suburb should join the G7 because it had been ‘ignored’ by Fremantle Council.

Nevertheless, despite North Fremantle’s entreaties, western suburbs mayors had still not made contact with his 2300 ratepayers who lived alongside undeveloped beach and riverside land.

G7 mayors’ spokesman Ron Norris said reform in the western suburbs had been made more difficult by the Government because the mayors would also have to consider the planning schemes, IT platforms and local laws of the additional suburbs’ councils before any submission to the Local Government Advisory Board on October 4.

Government MPs are expected to discuss erasing residents’ polls and enlarging the Local Government Advisory Board at a party room meeting today.