Addressing the gallery at June’s ordinary council meeting, Mr Howlett said it was doubtful Cockburn would continue to stand alone.
‘It appears there is no chance Cockburn will stand alone,’ he said. ‘The City is calling on residents and our friends outside of Cockburn, of which there are many, to continue lobbying the State Government that a Cockburn and Kwinana merger is the best option.’
Mr Howlett said the City was keen to know what the future holds.
‘All communities across the metropolitan region, including local government staff, are eagerly awaiting clear direction from the Government,’ he said.
‘The City hopes to retain Cockburn and unite with Kwinana, in support of the community’s proposal.’
Despite playing his cards close to the chest, Mr Howlett said the reform process up until this point could have run smoother. ‘It has been a very poor process with a lack of consultation and confusion with conflicting statements from the Government,’ he said.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said it was sobering to realise reform was so near, describing the process as ‘challenging, interesting, frustrating, rewarding.’
‘All of us will witness the biggest changes to local government in the Perth metropolitan area in more than 100 years,’ he said.
‘While there are still some sceptics amongst us, I commend the hours of work by council staff, management, elected members and consultants to work through the online tool box, liaise with their neighbouring councils, and work with MetRIC and the Department of Local Government and Communities.’