Head north, says leading planner

Mr Johnson, a former City of Wanneroo chief executive and State Government planner, co-authored the report Facing Up to a Bigger Central Perth ” What Option of Local Government Reform Works Best, with Malcolm Mackay.

It recommended the City of Perth absorb all of Vincent in its new boundaries, with two western suburbs councils created to govern the northern and southern areas separately.

Mr Johnson said, at last week’s release, that Perth expanding to the north made the most sense out of all options.

‘The City of Perth and Vincent share a responsibility for managing a significant amount of growth,’ he said

‘Most importantly, the expansion of the central area of Perth will be predominately to the north.

‘This will link Perth and Vincent very closely together and there will be important management benefits in having the planning of these areas under one council.’

The report said the key barriers for the City of Perth were the Swan River, Kwinana and Mitchell freeways, Kings Park and the train lines.

‘They also suggest the edges for communities and often the best boundaries of local government,’ the report stated.

Mr Mackay said local government boundaries should reflect population growth to the north of Perth.

‘Perth can’t grow east, the river is in the way,’ he said.

‘It can’t grow particularly well west because Kings Park and the freeway are in the way.

‘And you can’t grow south because the river is in the way.

‘North is the natural way to go and that is the City of Vincent.’

According to the report, there was no need for the City of Perth to directly manage key infrastructure.

‘From an international and national perspective, the Burswood Casino and the new Stadium would most commonly be considered as being in Perth as a whole, rather than being associated with any one local government,’ it said.

Rather, the report said, people should be presented as the most important parts of the local government.

‘If a vision for the future is to be successfully realised then all citizens need to feel included and consulted about their place in that future,’ the report continued.

‘Better forums for interaction and the exchange of ideas and views are needed,’ it concluded.