Council remains upbeat over shifting boundaries

As part of the Government’s submission to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB), the City stands to lose the suburbs of Palmyra and Bicton, as well as Point Walter reserve, but its expanded boundaries would take in Rossmoyne, Shelley, Riverton, Willetton, Samson, O’Connor, Coolbellup, North Lake, Bibra Lake and parts of Spearwood.

The council’s request for Jandakot Airport to be included in an expanded landholding has not been included in the Government’s proposal but while concerned, Mayor Russell Aubrey was philosophical.

‘Not having Jandakot Airport included within the boundary, together with the loss of some of our existing suburbs and the addition of some new suburbs, means that we will need some level analysis to fully understand the impact of this proposal,’ Cr Aubrey said.

‘While concerned over the loss of two of our prime suburbs (Bicton and Palmyra), and one of our iconic reserves (Point Walter), we do acknowledge the importance of looking at the bigger picture, in line with the principles of reform, and recognise this is a sustainable option for Melville.

‘The south-west region is vital to the future of the Perth metropolitan area.

‘As such, the City also needs to also consider a holistic approach for the region to ensure that it is sustainable, and that the local government structure is correct and cohesive.’

Apart from missing out on Jandakot Airport, the Government’s proposal for Melville is similar to the City’s third alternative submission to the LGAB in September, designed in the event that an enlarged City of Fremantle was retained, a proposal the Government has supported.

In its submission to the LGAB, the Government proposes to reduce the number of metropolitan councils from 30 to 15 and its preferred council maps were unveiled last Tuesday.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said that over the past four months, he had met mayors, presidents, chief executives, WALGA, LGMA, backbenchers and residents to hear concerns about the proposed boundaries.

‘We’ve listened to their feedback, we’ve taken their suggestions on board,’ he said. ‘Some people still won’t be happy but we still have a long way to go to get to that final process.

‘Today my work is done; I now pass it over to the Local Government Advisory Board for them to do their work.’

The LGAB is due to deliver its recommendations to the minister by mid-2014.