South Perth and Victoria Park bid to have poll over council amalgamation

Andrew Cooper is circulating a petition to have a poll in which residents can have their say on planned local government reform. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d421974
Andrew Cooper is circulating a petition to have a poll in which residents can have their say on planned local government reform. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d421974

A SECOND bid to have a poll so locals can have a say about council reform - this time in the Town of Victoria Park - is under way.

Victoria Park businessman and long-time resident Andrew Cooper now joins the South Perth Residents’ Association (SPRA) which last week announced it would gather the 250 signatures needed on a petition that could trigger a poll.

But the two groups are acting independently despite having the same goal ” neither agrees with the Local Government Advisory Board’s recommendation that the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park amalgamate to form a new expanded entity that will include Burs- wood Peninsula.

Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said it was his council’s understanding that if a poll was triggered in both the City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park, then two separate polls would be run.

That would mean the Town and City would not share the cost he estimated to be between $45,000-$50,000 for the Town.

‘We currently have no funding from the State Government so this would be paid out of the Town’s budget,’ Cr Vaughan said.

Mr Cooper, who with Victoria Park councillor Vince Maxwell organised an 11th hour electors’ meeting about council mergers in June, didn’t comment on whether there would be any benefit to joining forces with the SPRA petition bid.

SPRA chairwoman Cecilia Brooks said the two groups had the same goal but she ‘hadn’t gone down that path and would give it some thought.’

She said it couldn’t be discussed at the group’s committee meeting last week because it was too late to add to the agenda and wasn’t sure when the next meeting would be.

Signatures on official petitions ” 250 from each community ” requesting the polls need to be presented to the Minister for Local Government by December 5.

If such a poll is held, and at least 50 per cent of electors in each district vote in it, and of those who vote, a majority vote against the recommendation for amalgamation, then the minister is required by the Act to reject it.

The Victoria Park petition is at Victoria Park MLA Ben Wyatt’s office at 896 Albany Highway. Mrs Brooks said the committee ‘won’t have a problem getting the signatures’ which it planned to do by canvassing South Perth locals.