Colin Barnett recently said a whole Vincent merge with Perth was a possibility subject to both cities agreeing to the deal and lodging a joint submission, and the Local Government Advisory Board not raising any objections.
‘In terms of the actual fine points of where boundaries go, we are flexible. I’ve got to say I don’t particularly care about that, I think that really is an issue for local government,’ he said. ‘So in this case, if the City of Perth and Vincent agreed, that would be persuasive ” simple as that.’
Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan told Guardian Express she was pleased with the Government’s ‘change of heart’.
‘Their view previously was that this was set in stone; you might get a street here or there but fundamentally that was it,’ she said.
‘I think the strength of the community campaign and the fact they’ve had a number of ‘bushfires’ around the place, and no doubt the presence of the federal election, has caused them to rethink.’
She said Vincent was working with Perth to try to achieve the full merger but the decision ultimately lay with the State Government.
‘Perth ” to be a proper-sized capital city ” needs more people and area and we can bring that and we aren’t bringing liabilities as we’re cash and asset-positive, so we won’t be a burden on Perth,’ Ms MacTiernan said.
At last week’s Vincent council meeting, councillors voted to request Perth to support the merger. They also voted to advise Perth of the City’s strong financial position.
Councillor Dudley Maier said they needed to show Perth they had ‘good looks, good personality and a good dowry’.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi told the Guardian Express that Mr Barnett’s ‘more considerate statement’ presented challenges for Perth and other councils with the ‘shifting of the goalposts’.
‘It is critically important that in working through this process we do not jump prematurely to any particular conclusion,’ she said.
‘The City will carefully consider the options and implications before declaring its position, possibly at a special council meeting in the next week or two.’