Concerns mounting on council mergers

Last week, Colin Barnett told morning radio that state infrastructure such as Kings Park, major hospitals and the University of WA should be part of the capital city.

He added that the Burs- wood sports stadium should also be included.

‘The City of Perth is probably a starting point, but we’ll progressively work our way through and get a more rational structure of local government,’ he said.

Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt said the Premier must tell the Victoria Park community whether he has already decided to remove the Burs-wood Peninsula from the Town of Victoria Park.

‘The Premier’s endorsement of the City of Perth proposal to steal the Town of Victoria Park’s largest ratepayer, Crown, by taking over the Burswood Peninsula is a serious threat to the quality and provision of services in my local community,’ he said.

Labor candidate for Swan John Bissett said if the Burs- wood Peninsula was taken from the Town of Victoria Park, rates would rise sharply.

‘This is completely unacceptable and would result in local businesses going under and people losing jobs,’ he said.

Mr Bissett, who is also the Town’s Deputy Mayor, said the peninsula provided 16 per cent of the Town’s rate revenue and if it went, so would the Town of Victoria Park.

‘This would force the council to cancel all current community projects and capital works,’ he said.

South Perth MLA John McGrath said he did not support South Perth being ‘gobbled up’ by the City of Perth.

‘To do so would rob us of our identity,’ he said.

‘Fundamentally, I am not opposed to a merger with the Town of Victoria Park, but would like to be provided with more information regarding the benefits of such a move.

‘However, any merger of South Perth and Victoria Park can only happen if Burswood, with Crown as a major ratepayer, remains as part of the new council.

‘In my view, if Burswood goes into the City of Perth all bets are off as far as any merger on this side of the river is concerned.’