‘Wasteful’ referendum ruled out

Cr Marks criticised the Belmont Community Group for not approaching the City with its concerns about the State Government’s plans to amalgamate Belmont with Kalamunda and said the City was not aware of the group until the Southern Gazette contacted it two weeks ago for a response to the group’s complaints.

‘To date, the City has not been contacted by anyone purporting to represent the group,’ Cr Marks said last Friday.

On the front page of last week’s Southern Gazette, group president Cassie Rowe said the City had not acted in the best interests of the people because it did not hold a referendum on amalgamation in the upcoming election, and urged ratepayers to vote for candidates who pledged to fight the State Government on the issue.

Ms Rowe did not disclose that her husband Patrick Gardner was running as a candidate in the Belmont election.

Cr Marks said the only poll that had legal standing and allowed the community to directly influence the State Government’s reform agenda was the poll that could be called during the Local Government Advisory Board’s consideration of a submission for an amalgamation or boundary change.

‘If a valid poll is conducted, and the majority of electors vote against the proposed change, then the Minister is required to reject the proposal,’ he said.

‘This poll provision (the Dadour Amendments) is the legislation that we have been advised is proposed to be removed by the State Government to prevent communities rejecting their imposed changes.

‘The City is still of the view that the proposed amalgamation with Kalamunda holds many financial, economic and community interest risks and disadvantages for the Belmont community and will continue actively engage the State Government and other key stakeholders in any manner which can improve the outcome for the City and its community.’