Towns to present joint merger bid

Suzanne Marsella (second from right) with fellow nursing students Rhiannon Villiers, Marissa Scott, Diana Simmons, Ann-Marie Della-Spina and Lidia Palumbo. Picture: Elle Borgward d402157
Suzanne Marsella (second from right) with fellow nursing students Rhiannon Villiers, Marissa Scott, Diana Simmons, Ann-Marie Della-Spina and Lidia Palumbo. Picture: Elle Borgward d402157

The City of Swan has voted on working with the Town of Bassendean on a submission for the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) proposing that the two authorities join in voluntary amalgamation in lieu of the State Government’s proposal.

The Barnett government has previously suggested that the Town of Bassendean amalgamate with Bayswater and Belmont.

Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino said he had spoken with neighbouring councils about opportunities to merge and was pleased that discussions with Bassendean were positive.

‘This is an exciting development in what has been a long process,’ Cr Zannino said.

‘When the State Government announced a review of local government numbers in the metropolitan area, we considered what model would be best for the long-term.

‘Swan proposed nine local government authorities (LGAs) across Perth, with amalgamations based on the three key principles of governance, services and resources.

Bassendean Mayor John Gangell said, ‘if we are not able to stay as we are we want some control over our own destiny’.

‘Our historical links are much stronger with Swan than Bayswater,’ Cr Gangell said.

‘Geographically we were all co-located as part of the West Guildford Road Board and we share a long border with City of Swan.

‘There is an argument that Guildford should come back into Bassendean.’

‘Kiara, Lockridge and Caversham also link onto Bassendean and that would still need to be used as a civic precinct,’ Cr Gangell said.

The Town of Bassendean is due to vote on the issue on June 25.

Like the Shire of Kalamunda, Bassendean sought the views of its residents to see what they preferred.

Overwhelmingly, residents wanted a merger with the City of Swan as a preferred partnership, Bassendean’s chief executive Bob Jarvis said.

The Swan proposal included a resolution to write to the Shire of Mundaring to seek their position.

Swan councillors voted to unanimously support the resolution.

‘We are respectful of our neighbours’ aspirations and are keen to know what their position is,’ Cr Zannino said.