MLC slams reform ‘debacle’

Les and Maureen Davies at the local government reform forum. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Les and Maureen Davies at the local government reform forum. Picture: Martin Kennealey

A notice that Governor’s Orders had been revoked was published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

Local government boundary changes, which would have resulted in the City of Canning being split among four neighbouring councils, would have taken effect on July 1.

Ms Ellery, who held a local government reform forum in Willetton last week alongside Opposition leader Mark McGowan and Opposition local government spokesman David Templeman, said reform was axed due to people power.

‘I’m hoping the government got the message, particularly from the people from the City of Canning, that they wanted this issue resolved quickly and the uncertainty of the past six years to come to an end,’ Ms Ellery said. ‘I’m pleased and I know the many residents in the seat of Riverton who contacted my office would also be pleased.’

Ms Ellery estimated the State Government had spent more than $21 million on its reform package.

Canning Commissioner Steven Cole and chief executive Lyn Russell met Local Government Minister Tony Simpson on Thursday, February 19. They presented Mr Simpson with the City’s resolutions from its February 15 council meeting, which stated the City supported the retention of its present boundaries.

‘The minister accepted the City’s resolutions and advised that once all relevant local government authorities had formally indicated their intentions with respect to the proposed amalgamations and boundary changes, then the process of formally rescinding Governor’s Orders would commence,’ Mr Cole said.

Riverton MLA Mike Nahan said he hoped several quality local representatives stood for ordinary council elections in October.

‘While reform intended to resolve various problems within the local government structure, the onus for achieving an efficient system of local government, and value for money for ratepayers, now rests with the councils themselves,’ Dr Nahan said.

Premier Colin Barnett had previously confirmed that local government mergers would only proceed if councils wanted them.

The Gosnells/Canning amalgamation was ruled out when Canning’s commissioners withdrew support.

The Government backed down on reform after polls in some local government areas officially rejected proposed mergers.