Reform process ‘deranged’

Ms MacTiernan said after the meeting with Mr Simpson last week that she understood a map with preferred local government boundaries would be presented in the next two months, but ratepayers would also be given a chance to vote on changes.

‘It does not make any sense to do all of the work and then at the end of the amalgamation process, to have a poll,’ she said.

‘There will also be an election in the middle of the process. Why would you ask people to stand for a council when they can only expect a one-year term?

‘It is absurd.’

Ms MacTiernan said she expected the changes would result in Vincent being split between Perth and Stirling councils.

‘We don’t know what it will look like, but it appears that we are not going to be absorbed into Perth, which would have been the most logical thing to do,’ she said.

‘It is a deranged process. They have had the Robson Report for almost a year, now they are talking about messing people around for another two months.

‘Just get the maps out and let us know. I am not anti-reform but I want sensible, well organised reform.’

Mr Simpson said the future of councils would be known before elections in October, but it could take two years to work through changed borders and roles after the Government issues its reply to the Robson Report, which mayors now expect in about six to eight weeks.

He said a review of council assets and debts would be part of the process. He also confirmed residents may have their say on changes after the Local Government Act was altered so their votes were consolidated to prevent ratepayers from one council stopping a merger.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said she was pleased the process outlined in the meeting would allow communication between councils and the State Government.

She said the main topics of discussion were funding for the process, how amendments could be made to the preferred boundary map, changing the Local Government Act to require council polls, the State Government role in managing waste and councillor remuneration.

City of Stirling Mayor David Boothman said until the State Government response comes out, there would still be an air of uncertainty in local government that would affect hiring new staff.

Premier Colin Barnett said local government changes would probably start with expanding the City of Perth.