The City applied for a grant of $200,000 to offset some of the costs involved with amalgamation but was told by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) that its submission had been rejected.
Mr Reynolds said the DLGC informed the City by letter that it was unable to provide funding because its amalgamation proposal was ‘inconsistent with the State Government model’.
‘The $200,000 of funding is to support the cost of the amalgamation process, which will now have to be borne entirely by the ratepayers,’ he said.
‘I see this as a cost shifting exercise, with the State Government avoiding the cost associated with the boundary changes affecting their bottom line, and it further reinforces our view that changes proposed by the Government are not negotiable.
‘It may seem as though I am attacking the State Government, but I swore an oath to represent the residents of the City of Canning when I became commissioner and that is what I will continue to do.
‘The City of Canning’s submission for funding was based on the understanding that our proposal was consistent with the funding guidelines.’
He said the City’s proposal to keep Willetton, Shelley and Rossmoyne represented communities of interest.
‘Maintaining communities of interest was one of the criteria listed as an acceptable reason to change the State Government’s proposal,’ he said.
‘We believe the social mix created by maintaining Shelley and Rossmoyne are integral to maintaining the identity of Canning as a community of interest.
‘We also believe that Willetton and the critical services we provide from that area is important in creating a community of interest central to the identity of City of Canning residents.’
He said the City’s proposal suggested minor changes to the boundaries, as stipulated under the funding guidelines.
‘Our proposal suggested only small changes to the State Government proposal, maintaining parts of some of the suburbs that were split,’ he said.
‘The proposal included maintaining Welshpool as an industrial rate base to ensure the financial viability of the proposed future local government authority.’