The boundaries of the City of Melville will expand as part of local government reform

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey outside Willetton Primary School, which will fall within Melville’s boundaries.
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey outside Willetton Primary School, which will fall within Melville’s boundaries.

MELVILLE Mayor Russell Aubrey is far from overjoyed by the City's expanded boundaries, which will take shape next year as part of local government reform.

He said the City had gone from having one of the biggest populations and being one of the best financially, to becoming an ‘average’ city.

‘We’ve lost Palmyra and Bicton; that cost us $10 million in rates return each year,’ Mr Aubrey said.

‘When we add together all of the new suburbs and take out the costs, we are $1 million down each year.

‘Unless you can look to the future and say Jandakot Airport is going to expand and we can improve the financial status of Canning, we have gone backwards significantly.’

Mr Aubrey was also concerned about the new City of Melville’s lack of population growth potential. Melville’s population is expected to reach 129,000 by 2026 compared to 237,000 for the new City of Gosnells.

However, Mr Aubrey said he was prepared to make the best of the situation.

‘I’m embracing the opportunity; I’m not going to lick my wounds, I’m not going to complain politically, I’m just going to get on with the job,’ Mr Aubrey said.

He said he had insisted the new City of Melville have a four or six ward structure.

This will give Willetton, Riverton, Rossmoyne and Shelley residents a proportional representation of up to three people.

Mr Russell also confirmed aged services would not be privatised in the immediate future.

‘We are very cognisant of (residents at Herald Avenue Senior Citizens Centre) concerns and we’re very eager to go in and support the level of service provided there,’ he said.

‘We’ll work with the group to make it better into the future, but we don’t see any reason to change it.’

The new City of Melville will also acquire several schools including Willetton primary and high schools, but catchment areas for students attending the schools will not change.