Councils look to the future

The mayors, councillors and senior management from both councils attended a meeting Wednesday night after the State Government’s announcement on local government reform last Tuesday.

Under the reforms, the two governments will become one but will lose parts of the Burswood Peninsula, including Crown Complex, and gain parts from the City of Canning, including Curtin University and Bentley Plaza.

‘Now that a decision has been made by the State Government, we are keen to pursue the future opportunities presented by reform and want to now work on a joint submission to the advisory board,’ Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said.

Councils have until October 4 to lodge merger proposals. If the proposals do not fit with the preferred model, the Local Government Minister may offer a counter proposal.

‘Whilst we are facing great change, we believe our commonalties will be our strength,’ South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said. ‘In many ways, the announcement by the State Government has reinforced what we have been working towards for the past three months with the Joint Taskforce and we look forward to continuing this work to ensure the best outcome for our communities.’

However, both councils shared their disappointment at the prospect of losing a section of the Burswood Peninsula.

‘In addition to the lost revenue, residents feel a strong connection to the Burswood foreshore, where families picnic and enjoy the open space, and we want to retain this sense of ownership,’ Cr Vaughan said.

Ms Doherty added: ‘Under the proposed arrangement, the City of Perth will enjoy the rates revenue, increased status and promotional benefits from Crown Casino and the new Perth Stadium, while the services required for the increased activity from these venues, including traffic management, noise and people movements, will be the responsibility of the new local government entity.’

Victoria Park chief executive Arthur Kyron said until the outcomes of the review period were known, they would not know if there would be a rate increase.

But Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the merging of South Perth and Victoria Park would be more than compensated by new northern and southern boundaries, adding 7000 more rooftops, a shopping centre and a light industrial area.