Takeover plot a ‘slap in face’

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich is calling on the community to speak up and fight the Belmont move. Picture: Bruce Hunt d409376
Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich is calling on the community to speak up and fight the Belmont move. Picture: Bruce Hunt d409376

Cr Bilich said the Shire council was ‘outraged’ by Belmont’s move to ‘abolish the district of the Shire of Kalamunda’ and extend its eastern boundary to encompass the entire Kalamunda Shire in its submission to the LGAB.

‘Their proposal is a takeover and a serious slap in the face; it is disrespectful to our community,’ she said.

‘We tried to get through this amalgamation process together, we have tried to negotiate, but Belmont has not come to the party.

‘This is damaging to our relationship.’

She said future meetings with Belmont over the next 18 months of the amalgamation process had been jeopardised.

‘There is very little chance of meetings between the two councils now on this topic,’ she said.

Cr Bilich said the Shire’s submission for amalgamation focused on a merger based upon the one vote, one value principle for all electors in the new entity.

She said there was little the Shire could do now to fight amalgamation or Belmont’s submission, but encouraged residents to speak up.

‘We hope it will pan out; we hope the Minister (for Local Government) will look upon Belmont’s ideas as undemocratic and unfair to the Kalamunda community,’ she said.

‘The community need to express their concerns; call councillors and politicians and let them know your views.’

City of Belmont Mayor Phil Marks said it was ‘under attack by the Shire of Kalamunda’.

‘The City believes it had no choice but to seek a boundary change to ensure the outcome of equal representation and to protect its community, assets, reserves and its organisation from the takeover being advocated by Kalamunda through not agreeing to at least transitional equal representation,’ he said.

He refuted Kalamunda’s claim that it tried to negotiate with Belmont.

‘Kalamunda consistently refused to discuss this (boundary) issue and stated that they were not prepared to negotiate on the matter, and it should be ‘put aside’ until a joint submission had been lodged,’ he said.

‘We have no intention of becoming the Greater City of Belmont.

‘The City’s submission clearly states it will work with the communities of the new district to establish a fresh name and identity for the new City.’