Executives eye an unknown future

Three panels, featuring the chief executives of Victoria Park, South Perth, Bassendean, Mundaring, Swan, Claremont, Subiaco and Cambridge, discussed their varied experiences of the push to merge, or divide local governments.

Despite embarking on a harmonious meeting of minds between Victoria Park and South Perth, chief executives Arthur Kyron and Cliff Frewing acknowledged the ‘elephant in the room’, which was the City of Perth and its bid for the lucrative Burswood Peninsula.

‘It’s such a critical issue that we will be fighting this until the governor’s orders are printed,’ Mr Frewing said.

‘It would be $30 million in rates gone, that will have to be made up by the residents of South Perth and Victoria Park.’

The less harmonious, and far more awkward, council relationships in Perth’s east has seen three different proposals being submitted for four local governments.

Bassendean chief executive Bob Jarvis, Mundaring chief executive Jonathon Throssel and City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said uncertainty had led to a situation where no council could predict an outcome.

Two western suburbs chief executives Stephen Tindale from Subiaco and Stephen Goode from Claremont agreed there was very little rationale for reform.

Town of Cambridge chief executive Jason Buckley said he could see the potential for advantages while the western suburbs chief executives said the State Government would not have an easier ride in promoting development with an amalgamated group of the former seven councils.