Shires resist merger

The Local Government Advisory Board is holding a public hearing on the planned council merger next Thursday.
The Local Government Advisory Board is holding a public hearing on the planned council merger next Thursday.

The Local Government Advisory Board will hold a public hearing on the planned merger at the York Town Hall at 6pm on Thursday.

York resident Bill Roy believes there has not been enough public consultation on the plan.

‘We hope the advisory board, having seen the business plan and taken submissions, advises that the current amalgamation plan is not in the community’s best interests,’ Mr Roy said.

‘Five councillors have made the decision to amalgamate with three other shires without any input from the community.

‘This is the biggest thing that could happen to York in a long time.’

Shire of York President Tony Boyle agreed there had not been enough community input and said the Shire would call its own public meeting soon after Thursday’s official hearing.

‘The council believes that this amalgamation is where local government in WA is headed,’ Mr Boyle said.

‘Any concerned citizens should be at the public hearing to hear about it and make submissions.’

Gordon Marwick, from York, encouraged all residents to take an interest in the issue.

‘I would like to think people would be involved and take an interest in their community,’ Mr Marwick said.

‘The proposal that has been put forward is not the right fit for us.’

York farmer Tony Seabrook agreed. He is opposed to the merger because he says local governments should ‘stay local’.

‘We want local governments to stay local and how can they do that over four shires?’ Mr Seabrook said.

‘The distance between all the shires is huge. How can they provide effective services to all these areas and residents?’