Kalamunda residents vote ‘no’ to amalgamation

Kalamunda residents vote ‘no’ to amalgamation

The savekalamunda.com wesbite, authorised by the Shire, provides information about council mergers and makes a case for why Kalamunda should be excluded from the amalgamation process.

The WA Electoral Commission will conduct a postal poll to gauge whether or not Shire ratepayers support Kalamunda joining a larger council.

The ballot paper is expected to arrive by mail this week.

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich said amalgamation would have a tremendous impact on the Shire.

‘If this (restructuring) goes ahead, the Shire of Kalamunda will be combined with the Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan,’ she said.

‘Midland would become the regional hub and all the main facilities and recreation centres would most likely be based in Midland.’

Cr Bilich said any merger would result in Shire job losses, an increase in rates and fees and a loss of the Shire’s unique identity and sense of community.

Low-income earners and pensioners would be affected if rates were increased, as Kalamunda has one of the lowest rates among shires in the Perth Hills.

‘Many residents struggle every year to pay their rates and to have significant increases will have a serious impact on these families,’ Cr Bilich said.

‘Pensioners may also lose their discount on rubbish (collection).’

Cr Bilich said the City of Swan’s population of 112,000 was twice that of Kalamunda.

‘If this merger goes ahead, Kalamunda would likely have one or two councillors to service the region,’ she said.

‘With no specific focus, Kalamunda will be neglected and forgotten.’

Cr Bilich said established plans to upgrade and develop facilities at Kostera Oval, Hartfield Park and Woodlupine Hub Library would be compromised and ‘not be seen as a priority’.

The website poses a series of questions to ratepayers about the future of the Shire, including ‘Do you want Shire of Kalamunda services to be relocated outside the region?’ and ‘An increase in fees and rates? Less local activities and events? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, be sure to vote ‘no’ in the upcoming poll’.

Ballots on the merger poll must be returned by May 17.