Locals vow to fight on

Protesters out in force at the Hands off Cockburn rally.
Protesters out in force at the Hands off Cockburn rally.

As promised, the Cockburn Community Steering Committee handed over a copy of its proposal and more than 12,000 proposal-supporting signatures to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson.

Its proposal seeks to merge Cockburn and Kwinana, with the suburb of Leeming given to Melville.

Committee spokesman Darryl Smith said the fight would continue over Christmas and until the Local Government Advisory Board came back with its recommendations.

‘A lot of the committee’s focus has been on putting together the proposal to meet statutory requirements. We had to put the proposal together, the 100-page proposal, in 10 days, so it has been a great effort,’ he said.

‘We will have two more meetings before Christmas, with the intention of keeping the pressure on the Premier and the Local Government Minister so this issue doesn’t drop off the radar.’

Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said the rally sent a clear message that Cockburn was not going to give up the fight.

‘The ratepayers are not going to accept reform as proposed by the State Government and they’re not just going to lie down on this issue,’ he said.

‘They love a campaign and they will take it up to the State Government.’

Mayor Logan Howlett said there was no chance the effort to halt the carve-up would falter.

‘It was a great outpouring from the Cockburn community and the petition from our Cockburn Community steering group to the LGAB is going to put them on notice, it will put the State Government on notice,’ he said. ‘We will ensure that they hear us very clearly, every day forward until this matter of the carve-up is dropped completely.’

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said he was impressed with the turnout, but reiterated his point that reform was about creating bigger councils to provide better services for residents.

That was refuted by Labor’s Mark McGowan.

‘How can the minister say that we need more sustainable local governments when they’re about to chop up one of Australia’s most sustainable local governments,’ Mr McGowan said.