Anti-merger stance shared

Both local governments are within the Darling Range electorate from where MLA Tony Simpson has recently been appointed Local Government Minister.

When asked by Comment News how he viewed his role as minister, as it could affect his ability to retain his seat, Mr Simpson said he was proud to be appointed local government minister and there were many issues ahead.

‘I will go into the next election having worked hard for this electorate and the Government,’ Mr Simpson said.

He also said it was too early to comment on amalgamation as submissions to the Robson Report only close on April 5.

Serpentine Jarrahdale president Bruce Moore said the Shire had given serious consideration to the Government’s Metropolitan Local Government Review report but could see no evidence for amalgamating with the City of Armadale.

‘We have consulted with our community, and like us, they agree Serpentine Jarrahdale is unique, it cannot be mixed in with an urbanised area, and amalgamating with Armadale is the not the answer for our residents, now or in the future,’ Cr Moore said.

At Armadale’s council meeting last Monday, Cr Jeff Munn successfully moved an amendment to the staff recommendation that originally gave reluctant support for a merger with the north of Serpentine Jarrahdale.

Cr Munn’s amendment, however, said the City did not support any merger with Serpentine Jarrahdale.

He also wanted the Department of Local Government to financially protect the City if a merger was forced, so that it suffered no financial loss.

The city’s Mayor, Henry Zelones, is chairman of the G19 breakaway group of 19 mayors who have enlisted a consultant to draw up their preferred boundaries.

The G19 strongly supported that the northern part of Serpentine Jarrahdale be linked to Armadale and the south with the Shire of Murray in the event of the two being required to merge.