Mayors unhappy about delay on reform recommendations

City of Bayswater Mayor Sylvan Albert.
City of Bayswater Mayor Sylvan Albert.

The State Government last week announced metropolitan reform recommendations to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson would be delayed by about six weeks.

Mr Simpson said the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) needed until late August to have its recommendations available but it would not affect the July 1, 2015 deadline for new local government entities.

City of Bayswater Mayor Sylvan Albert said the City supported reform but with the initial process starting in 2008, it had been a protracted process.

‘If reform is going ahead we want a clear direction sooner rather than later,’ he said.

‘The City is committed to the reform process and like most, would like a decision as soon as possible to ensure that all the necessary procedures are initiated and finalised to allow operation of the new local government areas from July, 2015.’

Bassendean Mayor John Gangell said the delay was ‘extremely frustrating’.

‘We’re endeavouring to do our best for the people we represent ” our residents and ratepayers ” but having a government that doesn’t know what they’re doing doesn’t help the situation,’ he said.

‘They’ve been playing it by ear the entire process, constantly changing the process and now when we’re getting down to the business end of needing to know what’s happening, the government is lacking in the information coming forward.’

Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano said the delay would not affect the City’s operations.

WA Local Government Association president Mayor Troy Pickard said while it was appreciated that the LGAB needed to ensure it met its obligations, the delay would add to the stress in the sector.

‘Structural reform has been approaching for some time and as with any prospect of change there is anxiety from those who are likely to be affected,’ he said.