Merger puzzle continues

‘But to bring that jigsaw puzzle together in a report, all five board members have to sit down and review the whole package,’ Mr Simpson said.

Board chairman Mel Congerton confirmed the five-member board was on track to deliver its recommendations by the end of July, despite the State Government’s late decision to scrap the board’s conflict of interest rule from regulations.

Under previous rules in force until June 9, no board member could decide on matters about their own or any neighbouring councils. That prevented Mr Congerton, a City of Swan councillor, from having a say about merger plans submitted by the Shire of Mundaring or Shire of Kalamunda.

Similarly, board member and Shire of Mundaring President Helen Dullard could not deliberate on Swan or Kalamunda.

Mr Congerton said the rule was removed so the entire board could investigate the overall effect of new borders across all the Perth metropolitan area.

Mr Simpson told Parliament the board had written to him asking that he look into section 7 of schedule 2.5 of the Local Government Act on the issue of conflict of interest.

‘At the moment, as we get to the end of the report, all board members need to sit down and look at the bigger picture,’ Mr Simpson said.

‘They do not get involved in the detail; it is to bring the final report together to give to me.’

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