Rolling with the reform punches

The Shire of Mundaring has until October 4 to formally have a say on its future under local government reform.
The Shire of Mundaring has until October 4 to formally have a say on its future under local government reform.

But Shire President Helen Dullard said council would continue to work hard to ensure it was well represented throughout the amalgamation process.

‘Reform has been an issue since 2009, so it was inevitable that Shire of Mundaring would be affected,’ she said.

‘We are a sustainable local government working for a community with unique attributes and needs and our proposed model supported this position. However, it is clear that reform is no longer a voluntary process.’

Cr Dullard said regardless of size or resources, Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan would be equal partners in the new local government.

‘Top priority is to identify new opportunities, to build fair and accessible representation and equitable service provision,’ she said.

Mundaring Shire CEO Jonathan Throssell said a local implementation committee would be created with representatives from both local governments to focus on how merging will work and ‘identify the critical things to do, so that from day one we continue to provide a service to the community as good or better’.

‘There is a lot of work to do with Swan, but we can integrate our differences. Meanwhile it’s business as usual,’ he said.

City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino said the council understood the need for reform and was keen to work with Mundaring.

But he expressed disappointment that its proposed voluntary merger with the Town of Bassendean would not go ahead.

‘The Minister for Local Government should be working with local governments which had been able to reach agreement on mergers,’ he said.

Cr Zannino said there would be changes to the city’s boundaries.

‘We have also lost the industrial areas on Perth airport land, which is worth about $1.6 million in rates,’ he said.

‘We will also lose about $500,000 in rates with the transfer of the section of Noranda south of Reid Highway to the combined Bayswater-Bassendean LGA.’

However, he described the refinement of boundaries, with the division now following the major roads of Roe and Reid Highways, as ‘sensible.’

Cr Zannino said he was pleased to see safeguards for staff were included in the State Government model, with a two-year guarantee of employment when the new LGAs come into effect on July 1, 2015.

Local governments have until October 4 to make submissions on the amalgamation proposals outlined. Elections will be held in October 2015 for new councillors.