Act now: ask for a poll, says City

It emerged last week that, under the Dadour provisions, councils could not request polls on behalf of their ratepayers if they were facing a boundary change.

Only western suburbs’ local governments are facing amalgamation, a spokeswoman for Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said.

The City of Belmont is hoping residents will influence Mr Simpson to prompt him to call for a public poll.

Belmont Mayor Phil Marks urged residents and business to include a request for a poll in their submissions before the March 13 deadline.

‘Now is the time for the community to make a request to the Minister for Local Government to call for a poll that counts,’ Cr Marks said.

Belmont Community Group (BCG) president Cassie Rowe said the group would be making a submission to the LGAB.

‘We think there should be a poll and people should have their say. It is not in the best interests of residents to have forced amalgamations,’ she said.

‘Whether there is a forced amalgamation or a ‘boundary change’ is beside the point ” it has the same effect ” robbing locals of their democratic right to have a say on the biggest issue our council is ever likely to face.

‘If the result of a poll is, as we expect it to be, a resounding vote against an amalgamation, then this sends a really clear and powerful message to the State Government and would be difficult and arrogant to ignore.’

In a BCG newsletter, Mrs Rowe continued to promote the group’s Keep Belmont in Belmont campaign and said people wanted the chance to exercise their democratic rights.

In a message to residents in last week’s Gazette, Cr Marks said there was little to connect Belmont’s near-cosmopolitan lifestyle and that of semi-rural Kalamunda. He encouraged residents to contact the city with their views.