IF there was any doubt about how staunchly the City of Cockburn is prepared to defend its borders from the threat of reform, that evaporated on Wednesday night.
A campaign run by Greater Fremantle proponents has suggested moving part of North Coogee and the whole of Hamilton Hill into the City of Fremantle.
But in front of about 45 people at the Hamilton Hill Community Group meeting on Wednesday night, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the City would be having none of it.
He said the position was taken following a meeting of electors in February where the Coogee Beach Progress Association put forward a motion calling on the City to oppose the Greater Freo campaign and a July ReachTEL poll which found just 17.5 per cent of people wanted to move to Fremantle.
“We don’t support the Greater Freo campaign; simple as that,” he said.
Mr Howlett said he had met with City of Fremantle officials to let them know the position his council had taken.
“Certainly (Cockburn chief executive) Stephen Cain and myself met with Fremantle chief executive Philip St John and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt and we laid it right on the table that we are not going to take any rubbish from them,” he said.
“We are not going to give up, we will fight to the end and we will make sure we retain Cockburn as it is.”
During a recent unsuccessful state-led push for local government reform, the City of Fremantle had sought to take over North Coogee and Hamilton Hill.
At the time it was described as a “carve up of Cockburn”, with other portions of the City proposed to be sent to Kwinana and Melville.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has said his City will not push the issue this time around, but added he was impressed by the Greater Freo campaign.
Mr St John said the City of Fremantle would consider their position at a council meeting on Wednesday.
Greater Freo convenor Adin Lang, who chose not to attend last Wednesday’s community gathering having spoken at previous meetings, said he had chatted to Mr Howlett about resolving the issue without it going to a public inquiry.
He said he had proposed an altered plan involving only North Coogee’s South Beach Estate and the western pocket of Hamilton Hill moving to Fremantle.
“If we can’t mediate and they stick to their guns they could lose the whole thing,” he said. “Let’s mediate.”
Mr Lang conceded it would be difficult to make changes now the LGAB had agreed to consider Greater Freo’s previous application.
Mr Howlett said the City was so strong on its stance to remain as is it even rejected informal approaches from the City of Melville about transferring Cockburn’s pocket of Leeming to the City of Melville.
There are about 2800 residents living east of the Kwinana Freeway and north of Roe Highway that are governed by Cockburn.
“We told them (the City of Melville) straight; We’re not in any position to talk about that,” Mr Howlett said.
The Local Government Advisory Board is expected to officially commence its Greater Freo public inquiry period in September.
Public hearing for residents of both councils will be held, with submissions from the public able to be made after that.
No dates have been locked in.