Forced merger talks ‘distressing’ for many

In its submission opposing council mergers to the Local Government Advisory Board, a copy of which was forwarded to the Gazette, the group told the board that residents were concerned about the impact on rates, given Belmont had a strong commercial rates base and Kalamunda did not.

It also highlighted a poll held in Kalamunda in May last year that showed 88 per cent of local residents opposed amalgamation with Belmont.

The group said the City had grown by 6000 residents in the past decade, so the population would soon outstrip targets set by Local Government Minister Tony Simpson, who wants to cut the number of councils in the Perth metro area from about 30 to 15. Each new council would have about 100,000 residents.

The City of Belmont last week reminded its residents to speak out against Kalamunda’s Proposal 25, which would effectively abolish the district of City of Belmont, vary the boundary of the Shire of Kalamunda to include the area of the former district of the City of Belmont, and to change the designation of the larger, combined shire to City of Kalamunda.