Merger opposition spills over

Merger opposition spills over

A `boundary adjustment proposed by Minister for Local Government Tony Simpson between Belmont and Kalamunda has left a large part of the Hills population outraged.

Disgruntled residents gathered at the Kalamunda performing arts centre on Tuesday and had to spill over into the Agricultural Hall due to the size of the crowd.

Shire chief executive Rhonda Hardy said the people in Belmont did not want the amalgamation either.

‘I was down there today and they showed me petitions in the letterbox that people have started in Belmont against this boundary change.’

More than 400 Kalamunda residents filled the arts centre with another 70 in the hall, with most voicing their disapproval of the amalgamation and requesting a community action group be formed to take up the fight.

‘We want the poll provisions to play out, so we are given one vote one value in this procedure,’ Ms Hardy said.

The group resolved to conduct two more public meetings, along with the one already scheduled for Forrestfield on Thursday.

Residents were urged to complete public submission forms and lodge them to the Local Government Advisory Board before March 13.

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich said what was proposed was ‘a takeover, not a merger ” that will leave Kalamunda without a voice’.

‘It is absolutely disgraceful,’ Cr Bilich said. ‘It is treating Shire of Kalamunda residents with total disregard and disdain.

Mr Simpson said he believed Kalamunda would retain its unique identity.

‘The key objective of local government reform is to create stronger local governments that will provide the best possible services to residents across the community,’ he said.

– Two community meetings will be held over the next eight days. The first is at Woodlupine Family and Community Centre, Hale Road, Forrestfield, at 11am on Thursday.

The second will be at High Wycombe Recreation Centre, 200 Newburn Road, High Wycombe, at 5pm March 9. Call 9257 9999.