Criticism for Vic Park chief executive after push to make it harder for ratepayers to stop amalgamations

Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta is a member of a board that wants to make it harder for residents to fight amalgamations.
Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta is a member of a board that wants to make it harder for residents to fight amalgamations.

A FORMER Victoria Park councillor has questioned whether Town of Victoria Park chief executive Anthony Vuleta is acting in the best interests of the council after he was part of a board that called for more hurdles for ratepayers to stop amalgamations.

Mr Vuleta and governance executive manager Russel Fishwick are two of the five members of the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB), which provides advice to Local Government Minister David Templeman.

The board’s submission for the Local Government Act review recommended an increase in the number of people required to call for a poll against amalgamations from 250 people or 10 per cent of electors to 500 people or 30 per cent of electors.

As part of the submission, the board is also calling for a change so that a majority vote across all districts would be required to prevent an amalgamation, away from the current arrangement when only a majority vote in one of the affected local government districts is needed.

A poll was needed in February 2015 to stop an amalgamation between South Perth and Victoria Park, which would have formed the City of South Park.

The former councillor, Vince Maxwell, campaigned against the amalgamation and said the board’s submission should be concerning for the council and residents.

“They are trying to remove the provisions like the former State Government tried to do in 2013,” he said.

“The provisions of the poll are important and if these measures are introduced then it makes it harder to get a poll up.

“Anthony is the top man at the council and he is employed to make decisions on behalf of the community, he should have these people’s interests in mind.

“The issue with needing a majority vote in all districts is that if the City of Belmont want to take part of the Burswood Peninsula then you’ll need both areas voting against it.”

Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the Town would not comment on the board’s submission.

“The two Town employees who sit on the board were independently chosen to be board members through different local government associations or bodies at different times.

“They represent different council areas in different capacities on the board.

“Views are that of the board, not individual members.

“As with any board, members are entitled to their own opinion, but once a position is formed, members support board decisions.”

Mr Vaughan said the council would be against a forced amalgamation process.

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