COCKBURN is in line to amalgamate with Kwinana after the State Government announced plans to halve the number of Perth councils under local government reform.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson last week accepted a recommendation put forward by the Local Government Advisory Board to merge Cockburn and Kwinana to become the City of Jervoise Bay.
But the merger will come at a cost to Cockburn’s northern suburbs.
Under the changes, planned to kick in next July, Cockburn could lose North Coogee and Hamilton Hill to the City of Fremantle while also ceding North Lake, Coolbellup, it’s part of Leeming and the ever expanding Jandakot Airport to the City of Melville.
The City of Jervoise Bay’s northern boundary will nudge the south of Jandakot Airport, running west along Roe Highway and the Roe Highway reserve in Bibra Lake, Forrest Road, Phoenix Road and around Hamilton Hill’s Manning Lake out to the coast.
The changes will cost the new City about 18,000 Cockburn ratepayers, the Memorial Hall in Hamilton Hill, Davilak Reserve, the Jean Willis Centre, the Coolbellup hub, plus a number of schools.
The new local government will have a popularly elected mayor but no ward structure and is expected to boast a population of 124,000.
Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett welcomed the long-awaited announcement but said the outcome was bittersweet.
‘The City will endeavour to look at ways to continue to meet the needs of its community and maintain service delivery to all users of these facilities including Jean Willis clients, the Phoenix Theatre Trust, the Cockburn Community and Cultural Council and RSL members,’ he said.
‘The new City of Jervoise Bay will form a strong and robust local government with the capacity to deliver dynamic and sustainable services to its residents through a vibrant and engaging staff supported by an active volunteer base.’
Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said those opposed to the amalgamation could call for an electors’ poll via the Dadour Provisions to halt the changes.
If 250 signatures are garnered from the public within the next month, then a referendum could ensue, which would likely be held in December.
The results of the vote could overturn the amalgamation.
Despite being in favour of a takeover of Cockburn councillor Adams said the two cities had started the transition, but urged the State Government for more funding.
‘We think the transition will cost at least $6m and the State Government are offering only $5m for the 15 local governments thus far,’ she said.
‘It is sad for many local governments, and our community strongly were against amalgamation.’
Mr Simpson was confident the shake-up would produce more financially sustainable councils.
‘Ultimately once the new councils are in place, there will be a reduction of more than 100 elected members and 10 chief executive officers, producing estimated savings of more than $20 million for elected member allowances and at least $30 million in CEO packages over 10 years,’ he said.
CITY OF JERVOISE BAY KEY POINTS:
– Area of 248.15 sq km.
– Population of 124,000 in 2015, up to 222,000 in 2050.
– 12 Councillors, no ward structure. Opportunity for electors’ poll.
WHAT THE CITY OF JERVOISE BAY WILL HAVE TO GIVE UP:
– North Coogee and Hamilton Hill to the City of Fremantle.
– North Lake, Coolbellup, its part of Leeming and the ever-expanding Jandakot Airport to the City of Melville.
– Community assets, including the Memorial Hall, Davilak Reserve, the Jean Willis Centre, the Coolbellup Hub and Wally Hagan Basketball Stadium.