Ratepayer vote on cards as Town of Victoria Park investigates name change to City of Victoria Park

Victoria Park... Pondering a change in identity.
Victoria Park... Pondering a change in identity.

ALL Victoria Park ratepayers may be asked to vote later this year on whether the Town should become the City of Victoria Park.

The council has voted to mark its 25-year anniversary by actively investigating if the time is right for a name and identity change.

It’s investigating the merits of a relatively affordable option of including a voting slip in the envelope that will be sent to all ratepayers for the next round of councillor elections in October.

Adding the voting slip would up the total cost of the council election by just $3000, the WA Electoral Commission told Town of Victoria Park staff.

However there would be no room in the envelope for any addition paperwork or pamphlets to further explain the pros and cons and potential total costs of making the change.

A community poll, or plebiscite, would not be binding but rather serve as consultation ahead of a council decision that would determine the outcome.

Cr Brian Oliver put the name change and plebiscite suggestion on the agenda at last Tuesday’s council meeting, the first of 2019.

He said he was often asked why the growing municipality was a Town and not a City.

“We will have 40,000 new residents by 2050,” he said.

“As a growing local government in an ever-increasing competing marketplace for public and private investment, we should consider the opportunities and benefits of remaining as Town, or changing to the title to City.

“Engaging with our residential and business community through a plebiscite will ensure that council can make an informed decision about the matter, which considers their feedback.”

This is not the first time in recent years that the Town has looked into making the change to a City.

It was on the cards in 2013 before the State Government’s botched council amalgamation plan, which proposed a merger between Victoria Park and neighbouring South Perth and the creation of the farcical City of South Park.

Cr Karen Vernon said asking ratepayers’ opinion concurrent to councillor election time may even improve voter turnout.

Voting in local government elections is not compulsory. About 32 per cent of ratepayers returned a vote during Victoria Park’s 2017 elections.