Residents raise their voice

Local residents at one of the three public forums held to discuss amalgamation.
Local residents at one of the three public forums held to discuss amalgamation.

The Shire of Kalamunda has hosted three meetings in the past two weeks ” attended by more than 700 local ratepayers ” to educate residents on the three proposals made to the LGAB about the shire’s future.

Submission forms were supplied by the shire at each meeting and the council also mailed them en masse.

‘Almost all residents who attended meetings have filled out submissions. The vast majority are believed to be against amalgamation,’ Shire President Sue Bilich said.

‘As well, a steady stream of residents has come in to the shire office to collect or fill in submission forms.’

‘It is unknown how many have been sent to the LGAB but it is expected that it will total into the thousands.’

Ms Bilich said she believed the shire’s message about its loss of identity, should the merger with the City of Belmont go ahead, had now been fully conveyed to ratepayers.

‘Resident feedback suggested they were grateful for the community meetings, with many people saying they now felt more informed,’ she said.

‘The shire will continue to advocate to local members of parliament, in the Upper and Lower houses, to ensure that if reform is undertaken it is done in an equitable manner.

The shire spent about $10,000 on the Call To Action campaign to educate residents, which included advertising in local newspapers, providing submission forms and proposals at all shire locations, sending a letter to residents and some radio advertising.

This was in addition to $80,000 to hold a community poll on council amalgamations last year.