Boundary row still raging

A key difference in Mr Simpson’s second proposal is the use of the words ‘abolishing’ and ‘disestablish’ in referring to the future of Canning post-reform.

The new proposal went public on January 29 and called for boundary adjustments instead of council mergers.

Mr Simpson said the new proposal was not a way to stop residents calling a referendum on the merger.

He said the terms abolish and disestablish were the words aligned with the Local Government Act 1995.

Mr Simpson said Canning residents and staff should not be concerned about amalgamation.

‘They will get better services from a stronger more efficient council,’ he said.

During his speech at the launch of an online tool kit, Mr Simpson said adjustments allowed for a smoother transition and at least one of the councils would continue.

He warned councils not to delay plans while the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) made its decision.

‘The main thing is that you get on with it. Don’t be foolhardy,’ he said.

‘There is no reason to wait for the LGAB findings ” that’s just putting your head in the sand.

‘Reform is happening and the best results will be achieved by working together.’

City of Canning Commissioner Linton Reynolds said the proposal was nothing new.

‘I have received a lot of negative reactions from staff and residents,’ he said.

‘The proposal is less than helpful and uses a set of words that are unkind.

‘It implies that there are winners and losers in this situation.

‘The government doesn’t care about helping the community.’

Mr Reynolds said he planned to step down from his role of commissioner when local government reform was finished.

He said he and chief executive Lynn Russell had no vested interest in the area.

‘We are doing this because we care about the community and want what is best for our residents,’ he said.

‘The board has called for public comment, and everyone is entitled,’ he said.

‘I strongly encourage residents to have their say, as I know a lot of people are not happy.’

Public submissions are open until March 13.

Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson launched a new online tool kit last Wednesday to help council staff and residents negotiate council amalgamations.
He said the tool kit would answer all questions regarding the reform.
‘I have clicked on the tool kit and I am amazed by the amount of information to help you prepare for change,’ he said.
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