Hills projects to go ahead

Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson announcing council mergers. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d404960
Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson announcing council mergers. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d404960

Kalamunda Shire publicly opposed WA Premier Colin Barnett’s announcement that it will merge with the City of Belmont in 2015, with councillors saying they were ‘bitterly disappointed’ that the Government had shown ‘complete contempt for the will of the people’.

Shire President Sue Bilich assured residents the council would fight to keep future plans for the community on track.

‘It will be a difficult road ahead to ensure that key projects under way are not forgotten by the new entity,’ she said.

‘We must ensure the State Government amalgamation agenda does not negatively impact on the capacity for the local government sector to deliver what the community needs.’

Ms Bilich said the shire had been working on the Ray Owen master planning process, Hills Orchard Study, Hartfield Park redevelopment and the beautification of the Kalamunda town centre, and hoped that those projects would not be jeopardised during the amalgamation process.

‘A number of other key projects include the Kostera Oval redevelopment, which is scheduled to take place in 2015,’ she said.

‘Concept plans have been developed in collaboration with the user groups and the State Government has allocated a $1 million contribution to Stage 1 of the project.

‘The Woodlupine Digital Hub, the Pioneer Park redevelopment and the development of further aged care facilities in the region are projects the shire has invested significant time and resources into.

‘We are in discussions with the State and Federal governments about all key projects, seeking to identify opportunities to partner together to fulfil the identified community needs.’

Mr Day said he would continue to support the shire’s aim to include much-needed aged care facilities. ‘I know the shire has been advocating for more aged care and the amalgamation would not change my support,’ he said.

Mr Day said he believed the amalgamation would only benefit Kalamunda. ‘It would put Kalamunda in a better financial position than it is in because it would take in the airport and other industrial land, so rates revenue would increase,’ he said.

Mr Day said he also believed the Hills lifestyle would not be affected.

‘The Swan council is able to maintain rural and urban areas,’ he said.

Ms Bilich said the Shire would meet with stakeholders and politicians at the end of the month to discuss the progress of key projects and future planning.