Gearing up for boundary battle

Cockburn councillors, CEO Stephen Cain (third from left) and Mayor Logan Howlett (fourth from left) were shocked to see the leaked map last Tuesday.
Cockburn councillors, CEO Stephen Cain (third from left) and Mayor Logan Howlett (fourth from left) were shocked to see the leaked map last Tuesday.

The map, which was taken down from the Government’s website, showed Fremantle and Melville expanding their boundaries south and Kwinana expanding north to absorb the rest of Cockburn.

Mr Howlett said the map was entirely left of field, ignored the costly Robson Report and was contrary to the Government’s announcement for reform on July 30.

‘Cockburn residents are outraged at the proposal and their voices will be heard loud and clear in support of their communities,’ he said.

‘It is untenable to the Cockburn community that one of the most sustainable local governments in Western Australia could be carved up for the benefit of adjoining local governments.’

Mr Howlett said the State Government should come clean on its ‘flawed revision of the reform map’.

‘It would appear to be politically motivated. It is clear that considerable lobbying has been done within the Liberal Government to carve up Cockburn for their own end games,’ he said.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he would submit the rest of the proposals to the Local Government Advisory Board this week.

‘The map is all speculation,’ he said. ‘I will be submitting the State Government’s proposals on local government reform to the independent Local Government Advisory Board this week, so more will be known then.’

‘The LGAB will then launch its inquiry into the proposals.’

Responses from across Cockburn quickly gathered pace, with Mr Howlett saying the result would be ‘an avalanche of protests’ with community groups preparing their own submissions to the LGAB.

Connecting South Lake secretary Sandra Pflugmacher said the group was frustrated with plans to abolish Cockburn.

‘I can’t understand why the Government would want to split Cockburn up,’ she said.

‘Cockburn is a progressive council that looks after its groups and its residents and standards will drop if we become part of another council.’