City of Belmont Mayor upset at lack of poll over merger with Shire of Kalamunda

Mayor Phil Marks has criticised local government reform anouncements.
Mayor Phil Marks has criticised local government reform anouncements.

BELMONT Mayor Phil Marks came out swinging in the wake of local government reform announcements last week, labelling the process as 'selective democracy'.

Cr Marks criticised the State Government’s decision to incorporate the Shire of Kalamunda into the City of Belmont through a boundary amendment that includes part of Welshpool and a portion of Perth Airport land.

Rivervale’s Balbuk Reserve will go to South Park ” the merger of Victoria Park and South Perth.

His disappointment was expressed despite the State Government favouring the City of Belmont’s own Proposal 8, giving the new 376sq km area the interim name of ‘City of Belmont’.

‘I am disappointed that our community has been disenfranchised and denied the opportunity to have a say about their future,’ Cr Marks said.

‘We have always maintained that we wanted the people of Belmont to have their say in an official poll.’

If councils are merging to form a new entity they are entitled to a poll under the Dadour poll provision, but those facing a boundary adjustment are not.

Cr Marks said local governments had been provided with only a broad overview of the decision and he looked forward to being provided with more detail at a briefing tomorrow.

His disappointment about the lack of a poll was shared with Shire of Kalamunda President Sue Bilich, who said she was ‘extremely disappointed’ with the decision. She said the new local government would have 12 councillors and no wards.

‘It will be open slather and there could possibly be no balance with representation,’ she said.

Save Kalamunda Action Group spokesman John Humphries said the fight for independence was not yet over.

‘There is still the option for legal action; there is a hearing scheduled in the Supreme Court on November 25,’ he said.

Perth Airport welcomed the Local Government Advisory Board’s recommendation that the Airport sit completely within the new City of Belmont boundaries.

‘The City of Belmont has been both effective and consistent in its interaction with Perth Airport in relation to land use planning and development processes,’ chief executive Brad Geatches said.

‘They are committed to understanding the role a large airport can and should play in the city it serves and Perth Airport looks forward to continuing to work constructively with them.’