Reform is a done deal, says Minister

The metropolitan area was growing faster than before, he said, and since becoming Minister, he has noticed widespread recognition of the need for local government reform.

‘Since becoming Local Government Minister, I have been asked again and again, ‘Is our council safe’,’ he said.

‘I can understand people asking that but I would like a more positive approach to reform.

‘Reform is a done deal, we’ve been talking about it for years and it is time to be decisive.’

Mr Simpson said he had recently met with the mayors, presidents and chief executives of the 30 metropolitan local governments.

Among other things, they outlined the need to change and discussed the opportunity to share services and remove duplication to provide services at the best cost to the ratepayers.

He would release the preferred model for local government in the coming weeks, taking into account the Robson report, feedback from meetings, discussions with WALGA and LGMA, advice from the Department of Local Government and agreement from other ministerial colleagues.

The October 2013 council elections will proceed under the existing arrangements and the new councillors would help ‘shape local government into the future’, he said.