Watch next time

COCKBURN Deputy Mayor Carol Reeves-Fowkes’ claim in the Gazette’s November 10 issue that the threat of amalgamation hung like a black cloud over the City of Cockburn warrants comment.

The position the council found itself in was of its own making.

When the State Government moved to reduce the number of councils across the metropolitan area, all councils were given a deadline in which to submit their position on the proposed mergers.

Cockburn council voted five votes to four not to participate in the process, leaving the State Government the opportunity to divide Cockburn between Melville, Fremantle and Kwinana.

Cockburn was then left with no other option but to go cap in hand to Kwinana in an attempt to get back into the field of play.

When a referendum was held, I recall an article in the Gazette from a council spokesman urging ratepayers not to vote “No” in the referendum.

With a return of 50 per cent plus of ratepayers required to vote for the result to count, only roughly 32 per cent of Cockburn could be bothered to make the effort.

Of those, roughly 83 per cent voted against the merger.

Fortunately for Cockburn ratepayers and indeed the council, the ratepayers of Kwinana felt strongly enough about their future to generate the percentages required to veto the amalgamation.

The “No to Amalgamation” campaign received both strong financial and verbal support from Kwinana council; while here in Cockburn very little was said or done on the subject.

One would think that next time “amalgamation” is raised, and I believe it is only a matter of time before it is, we will see a different response from Cockburn council.

JIM HOLBORN, Yangebup.