Govt faces merger war as councils revolt

City of Cockburn voted to abandon a voluntary merger with the City of Kwinana at Thurday’s meeting in the face of overwhelming community opposition.

The City of Fremantle held a special council meeting last Monday to nail down their boundary submission to the Local Government Advisory Board next month, which resists the State Government’s proposed merger of Fremantle, East Fremantle and Melville.

The City’s submission could include minor changes to the North Fremantle boundary, a push east to Stock Road running from the river to the freight line, then following the line west to a point just south of the South Fremantle Power Station to the coast.

Fremantle chief executive Graeme Mackenzie said the city had supported local government reform for a number of years, but not to the extent proposed by the current State Government.

‘The key issue the City of Fremantle has with the current government proposal is that Meville’s key activity centre is Murdoch and of course, Fremantle’s is Fremantle.

‘Of the 14 local governments being proposed by the government, the Fremantle/East Fremantle/Melville merger is the only one that will have two major activity centres,’ he said.

‘While the subtleties of the exact location of boundaries are the subject of much discussion, the principle has not changed and accordingly, the council maintains its position of supporting sensible reform based on strengthening the major activity centres around the greater Perth metropolitan area.’

He said a council survey earlier this year showed there was support for Fremantle’s boundaries to be expanded but ‘overwhelmingly rejected’ a complete merger with the City of Melville.

Another meeting will be held on October 1 to formalise and accept the report.

The Town of East Fremantle has rescinded its decision to work with Fremantle and Melville on a proposal supporting the State Government’s plan.