THE City of Fremantle's population will double in 2015 following Local Government Reform announcements last Wednesday.
Local Government minister Tony Simpson last week announced his response to the reform recommendation, which will see Fremantle take in East Fremantle, Bicton, including Point Walter Reserve, Palmyra, Rottnest Island, North Coogee and Hamilton Hill, while losing Samson and parts of O’Connor to the City of Melville.
The additions will see Fremantle’s population grow from the 30,000 recorded in 2013 to 64,000 once changes come in effect next July.
The expanded city will retain 12 councillors, but will have no ward structure.
There will also be an opportunity for an electors’ poll.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said he was glad ‘common sense’ had prevailed and the Fremantle Forever community campaign argument was heard.
‘Having a larger population and rates base means we can continue to sustainably revitalise Fremantle and its suburbs,’ he said.
‘On a day to day level most people will see no change.
‘An area I am concerned about is that the LGAB have recommended no wards, which will mean that the representative ward structure Fremantle has had for many years and we proposed continue will be lost.’
Dr Pettitt said the city was pleased they would be retaining North Fremantle, which looked set to be lost to a larger western suburbs council, as well as gaining boarder suburbs from Melville and Cockburn.
‘We feel the boundaries are logical and that our future new residents would already have strong ties to Fremantle, our culture and our community,’ he said.
Town of East Fremantle mayor Jim O’Neill said he was ‘disappointed but not surprised’ at the outcome.
‘We will carry on as normal but set about meeting the concerns of our residents and ensuring the issues are addressed,’ he said.
‘However I want to work with Fremantle on key issues to keep the uniqueness of East Fremantle, our clubs and groups, our densities and town planning scheme, look after our work force, the HACC program and our elderly and we do need to ensure that our work force have a positive future both financially and professionally.
‘We have a challenge and need to meet that positively with good outcomes and I think the only way to approach this is to work with Fremantle to ensure that the benefits are for all residents and businesses.
‘I will be looking at some form of agreement with Fremantle to address some of our concerns and also to look at local based planning and management so that East Fremantle is seen as different to Fremantle and keeping those differences.’
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
-Visit www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/lgreform for a local fact sheet on reform
-Visit http://metroreform.dlg.wa.gov.au for more information and maps for all metropolitan changes
WHAT OTHERS SAID
Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk: Fremantle has been properly recognised as a strategic centre, but by any reckoning the amalgamation process has been completely chaotic.
Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey: The residents of Samson have for a long time seen themselves as part of the City of Melville. We have had a lot of support from these residents, particularly in relation to the Roe Highway extension.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson: Once the new councils are in place, there will be a reduction of more than 100 elected members and 10 CEOs, producing estimated savings of more than $50 million over 10 years.