Legal action launched

Legal action launched

The three local governments will work with former City of Vincent resident and former councillor Ian Ker and Cottesloe lawyer John Hammond in an attempt to have the ministerial amalgamation proposals declared invalid.

Unconfirmed minutes from a Shire of Kalamunda special council meeting last week stated the Shire noted Mr Hammond’s legal advice and agreed to proceed with ‘any legal action required’ to maintain Kalamunda’s independence.

Serpentine-Jarrahdale deputy shire president Sam Piipponen said councillors had unanimously decided to join the legal action, but he could not comment further.

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich said the council had been forced into a position where legal action was a last option because the Government’s proposals were unjust and undemocratic, in denying residents a vote on their future.

‘In effect, what they are asking our residents to do is watch their own shire be abolished, without a vote, and pay for the privilege of doing it,’ she said. ‘Our residents are totally against it and have asked us to fight by all means at our disposal.’

Cr Bilich said no progress had been made in discussions with the Government about the merits of local government amalgamation.

The cost of taking the court action is unknown, but it is understood councils would equally share costs.

Subiaco chief executive Stephen Tindale said he anticipated other local governments would either ‘join the action’ or provide financial assistance.

Cr Bilich denied claims the Shire was wasting ratepayers’ money by taking the court action.

‘We represent the families, the ratepayers who make up our shire and rely on us for local-based services and the sense of community they have enjoyed for many years,’ she said.