REFERENDUM OPTION

THE June 18 edition report headlined ‘Towns to present joint merger bid’ said that the City of Swan and the Town of Bassendean were closer to amalgamation. They councils were now working on a submission to the Local Government Advisory Board.

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.

However, we should view this with a great deal of cynicism.

In the February briefing four options were posed for public submissions on the issue of merging/amalgamation. March 8 was not a great deal of time to respond, considering part of February was school holidays. Only 235 submissions were received and nine of those did not support any of the options: not a great result.

We are deciding the future of Bassendean: it may well be a merger with Swan is the preferred choice, but let us have a referendum on the issue with an independent arbitrator putting the case for and against.

Historical links alone are not sufficient reason for a merger; there has to be economical advantages. The Town, because of its small size and real growth opportunity, is lacking the ability to remain sustainable. The railway line viewed as dividing Bassendean north from south (them and us) has plagued council. We would be adding another divider, the Swan River, to Bassendean from the east.

There are links with Bayswater. We share borders – Wicks Street, Eden Hill; Rugby Street, Bassendean and parts of Ashfield and Tonkin Park.

Council cannot ignore the fact that there has to be a greater majority than 235 to decide our future. A referendum for a greater participation is the only option that would suffice.

TINA KLEIN, Eden Hill.