Canning commissioner speak out

Therefore we note with regret the outcome of the much awaited reform of local government in the metropolitan area that results in the removal of substantial sections of our district to enhance surrounding councils, and a joining of the remainder with the City of Gosnells. We return to boundaries quite similar to those in 1904 before the split up of Gosnells and Canning.

The Premier was very clear that while it would be possible to suggest minor alterations to the map provided, substantial change to it was out of the question.

Although this was the least preferred option of those that we circulated to the community in February, it is the one the government has chosen.

Any alteration to our existing boundary will result in an increase in rates. The level of increase for each of the four cells will not be apparent until budgets can be constructed for the new councils.

It is apparent that our district is paying the price for the previous poor relationship between the State Government and the suspended councillors ” together with the need for the South Perth/Victoria Park boundary to move southwards to offset the loss of rate revenue caused by the Burswood casino complex being taken into the Perth CBD council.

Reluctantly accepting that there is little opportunity to further influence the government’s thinking, the staff and I will focus our efforts on ensuring that the Canning community continues to receive a very high level of service while current boundaries are in place, and after the change on July 1, 2015.

Chief exective officer Lyn Russell and I will support our hard working and talented staff during this time of uncertainty.

We will work with them to ensure that their careers continue beyond these changes, and the valuable service that they currently provide to our community continues in a seamless manner.

Along with the staff, I will be working co-operatively with the State Government and surrounding councils to ensure that local government services are enhanced while we work our way through this reform process.

We do have some concerns with our designated post-2015 boundary in terms of both financial viability and community of interest. Especially given the transfer of the Welshpool industrial area to the already very well provided for expanded council to our north.

A number of major projects involving the current council are in neighbourhoods that have been allocated to surrounding councils. Naturally we will need to consider each of them individually over coming months as we come to terms with dividing up our current assets and involving our neighbours in the decision making.