City or Shire? Special meeting in Kalamunda to decide

City or Shire? Special meeting in Kalamunda to decide

A SPECIAL electors meeting of ratepayers in the Shire of Kalamunda will be held on Wednesday January 18 at 7pm at the High Wycombe Community Hall in Cyril Road.

The meeting has been called by the Save Kalamunda Shire Action Group which collected more than 100 signatures on a petition opposing a motion that went before council in December.

Shire councillors voted 8-3 in favour of requesting the State Government consider a change from shire to city in name.

But the petition has urged members of the public to call on the Shire to rescind the motion to become a city.

“We don’t support change for change’s sake,” Save Kalamunda Shire Action Group spokesman Alan Malcolm said.

Mr Malcolm said the group had petitioned the council, gained a Special Meeting of Electors and intended to ask the Shire Council to either withdraw its request to the Local Government Minister or pursue another motion put to the council.

At the meeting on November 28, that motion stated the councillors “delay the decision and seek more consultation with the community and if required conduct a poll, and also produce evidence of benefits and publish a costing”.

He said “the council did not seem to have supplied any tangible evidence of any benefits the community might gain from this”.

Three councillors opposed the move from shire to city.

Crs Michael Fernie, John Giardina and Geoff Stallard want it to stay as a Shire.

Shire President Andrew Waddell said one of the reasons for the status change was because it would open up opportunities for Kalamunda.

“It might seem like this change is merely symbolic, but over the past 12 months, I have discovered the reality is quite different,” Cr Waddell said.

“As a Shire, we are instantly pigeonholed and seen as a small community with less than 10,000 people.

“Our population is predicted to grow to 77,000 by 2036, we are no longer a small local government.

“We are surrounded by cities, we are double the size of some of these cities and we need to make sure we avail ourselves to the best possible resources for our residents.”

Cr Waddell said there were misconceptions about the status anxiety.