‘Deaf ears’ disappointing

Premier Colin Barnett announced on July 30 that the 30 Perth metropolitan councils would be reduced to 14 in 2015.
Premier Colin Barnett announced on July 30 that the 30 Perth metropolitan councils would be reduced to 14 in 2015.

Premier Colin Barnett announced on July 30 that the 30 Perth metropolitan councils would be reduced to 14 in 2015.

As part of the move, Kalamunda Shire would be required to link with Belmont ” a move that angered Shire President Sue Bilich.

‘The Premier has not acted transparently in this process,’ she said.

‘The Government has shown complete contempt for the will of the people.’

Ms Bilich said a community survey done this year showed 88 per cent of voters did not support amalgamation.

‘It is devastating that the voice of our community has fallen on deaf ears,’ she said.

‘This decision puts in jeopardy the low rates per capita in Kalamunda, as well as the 50 per cent discount for waste disposal charges that Shire’s pensioners receive.’

Mr Barnett staunchly defended the decision.

‘I think this issue is, certainly at a local level, not popular,’ he said.

‘But I am convinced it is the right decision.’

Ms Bilich said the State Government’s process was ‘undemocratic’.

‘Councils have been advised that those who do not comply will be replaced with commissioners, who have no knowledge of the local community,’ she said.

Ms Bilich said the Shire would keep its ratepayers up to date.

Belmont Mayor Phil Marks said councillors had received significant feedback about the amalgamation plans from unhappy residents but without power to change the plan the council would endeavour to manage the situation in the best interest of the community.