THE City of Kwinana has opposed an amalgamation with Cockburn, voting to push for a community poll on the proposed merger.
Cockburn’s southern neighbour made the decision during a special council meeting last Tuesday.
The call was made off the back of a notice of motion presented by Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams a week earlier where she highlighted concerns over merger funding, a lack of ward structure for the proposed City of Jervoise Bay, a reduction in services and a loss of identity.
The council had been considering the Local Government Advisory Board’s recommendation, backed by Local Government Minister Tony Simpson, since it was announced in October.
‘We’ve been given a merger which is set to seriously weaken Kwinana’s voice and its ability to have a say on the future council,’ she said.
‘What’s more is the government is forcing ratepayers to foot most of the $7 million bill to make it happen.
‘This is about what is in the best interests of the Kwinana community, and this amalgamation, in council’s opinion, is not.’
She said a poll of electors was almost certain to take place, with the council having already collected double the 250 signatures needed to trigger the vote.
A new community steering group featuring Ms Adams, a councillor, one City of Kwinana staff member and nine community members will be used to encourage people to have their say come vote time.
‘This will be our final chance to have a say on Kwinana’s fate and it should not be taken lightly,’ she said.
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said every community should have the right to have a say in their future.
‘The decision of the Kwinana Council to form a community steering committee is a matter for them,’ he said.
‘It will be up to the City of Kwinana to consider how it now resolves the dilemma it faces of opposing an amalgamation, but continuing to sit on the Local Implementation Committee, whose purpose it is to facilitate the amalgamation.’
‘For that reason, the City has not initiated collecting 250 signatures to request a poll,’ he said.