Council reluctantly signs memorandum

In discussing the item on Tuesday night, chief executive Stuart Wearne said it seemed the Local Implementation Committees would be making decisions about the future of East Fremantle should amalgamation be forced upon it and to not be involved in the process would leave the Town vulnerable.

He said the cities of Melville, Kwinana and Fremantle were already working together to prepare for reforms and, while the Town had attended some meetings as an observer, to participate it needed to sign the MOU.

Cr Cliff Collinson maintained his staunch opposition to the move.

‘I am opposed to amalgamation and I do not see any point in playing the game,’ he said. ‘We should stick to our guns; we are opposing amalgamation so why do we get into bed with the enemy?’

But Cr Sian Martin said the only way to keep the Town’s ‘Plan B’ option of merging with the City of Fremantle, should its hand be forced, was to get involved.

‘I really don’t think the other councils are our enemies in this,’ she said.

‘We are a small council as it is and there are plans being made for us that we are not part of making.

‘I do not disagree that we should fight for this but to not be at the table when there’s this planning done is a disservice to our ratepayers.’

Mr Wearne said that the kinds of decisions the committee would make included the proportion of local representation and ward boundaries, all things the Town needed to be involved in.

He also said to participate in the process would save a significant amount of work needing to be done in a very short timeframe when a final decision was made by the State Government.