Canning a better fit with Melville/Fremantle

I WRITE to offer my views on the State Government’s local government reform.

As a member of State Cabinet, I support the move to reduce the number of metropolitan councils from 30 to 14.

There are significant benefits, including a reduction in the duplication of services, inconsistencies in processes, disparity in service levels and the fragmented approach to local planning.

Fewer local governments mean less complexity and variation across Perth and better value for money for their ratepayers.

Over 900 people have contacted my office since the boundary changes were announced in July.

While most understand the need for reform, many want to see Canning retained as a council in its own right.

If the reforms do proceed as I expect, then a strong majority of my constituents prefer being part of Melville/Fremantle.

Many are worried about the possible impact that change will have on them through increased rates, loss of access to Canning council facilities and changes to school boundaries.

There will be no change to school boundaries as a result of local government reform. They are set by the Education Department independent of local government boundaries.

I have been assured by the Mayor of Melville and the Commissioner of Canning that no matter which City people join, they will have the same access as now to amenities such as the HACC services, Herald Avenue Senior Citizens Centre, Riverton Leisureplex, and the refurbished Willetton Sports Club.

I advocate for the inclusion of most of my electorate to be in the proposed Melville/Fremantle council because I think this is the best outcome for my constituents:

– There is a stronger community of interest between the suburbs in my electorate and the neighbouring suburbs in Melville than there is with Gosnells;

– I expect that council rates for the proposed City of Gosnells/Canning will be higher than for Melville/Fremantle.

– The populations of the proposed Gosnells/Canning City and the proposed Melville/Fremantle would be more balanced.

In summary, I understand that people are worried about how the changes to local government may affect them and, while I am bound to take the wider view of what is best for the State as a whole, I am making sure that the best interests of my constituents are strongly represented within the State Government.

I would welcome any comments and they can be sent to me at mike.nahan@ mikenahan.com.au

Mike Nahan, Riverton MLA