Pre-merger tension mounts

At its May meeting, council had endorsed a motion to suspend all participation with the State Government in respect to local government reform.

The name of the new local government entity, City of South Bank, as well as ward numbers and names are all on the agenda for tonight’s council meeting.

The joint South Perth and Town of Victoria Park Local Implementation Committee (LIC) meeting was held one day before the council decision to withdraw from the process and thus the matter has now come to council.

Councillors will decide whether to adopt the LIC recommendation that the new joint entity be called the City of South Bank.

It will also vote on ward boundaries, ward names, number of elected members and method of election of the mayor.

At its council meeting, Victoria Park endorsed a five-ward model while the LIC recommendation was a six-ward model.

At the same time, the City of South Perth is awaiting advice from McLeods Barristers and Solicitors in relation to Supreme Court action against council mergers.

Kalamunda and Serpentine-Jarrahdale shires as well as the City of Subiaco are working with lawyers to launch Supreme Court action against State Government council mergers.

The three councils are working together in an attempt to have the ministerial amalgamation proposals declared invalid.

South Perth chief executive Cliff Frewing said it was too early to speculate on what might be included in the advice and what councils’ reaction would be.

‘The council supports amalgamation with the Town of Victoria Park but not by the method proposed by the minister,’ he said.

‘Finally, all local governments share the view that the allocation of funding recently announced by the State Government is grossly inadequate.

‘If this decision is not changed, ratepayers will end up paying for the costs of the reform program when it should be the state.’

He said the City of South Perth would continue working with the Town of Victoria Park in any event.