Merger displeasure

But this opposition could risk any possible reimbursement from the Government for the cost of merging.

Led by former councillor Merri Harris, the SJ for Peel group urges the shire to merge in the right direction, with the Peel region, not with the City of Armadale.

‘We have little in common with the City of Armadale and they would have no interest in protecting and improving the Serpentine River and estuary,’ she said in a media release.

‘The City of Armadale will be focussed on providing services and infrastructure to its much larger number of residents.’

The shire issued its own media release on August 21 saying it was likely to reiterate previous resolutions opposing amalgamation at its meeting on Monday night.

Shire President Bruce Moore said the council continued to believe amalgamation was not in the best interests of the shire or its community as the fifth largest local government area in the State and the fastest growing locality in the nation.

‘We are however continuing our open minded approach to the process, and we are working with the City of Armadale to co-fund the appointment of a consultant, to investigate the feasibility of the amalgamation recommendation from the State Government,’ Cr Moore said.

Councils must make their submission by October 4.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said the City would have to spend money on this process, whether it was reimbursed or not, in order to protect the interests of all residents.

‘This is the most important decision on local government in this district in decades, if not in the past 50 years,’ Cr Zelones said.

He said $43,000 was immediately available and more may be required from other sections of the budget.

‘We are aware the Government will not reimburse proposals opposed to the Government’s reform agenda,’ he said.

‘We are uncertain as to how much Serpentine Jarrahdale may contribute given their opposition to any boundary adjustment, but Armadale will fund the necessary work to prepare itself properly for a possible transition to merger.’

He said any new council formed would work for the best outcomes of the entire new community.