City of South Perth reports that funding for council amalgamations has been capped

IN response to Peter Howat of Karawara (‘List true costs’, Gazette, November 4), the community of the City of South Perth has been let down again with no increase in the total funding allocated by the State Government for local government reform.

The funding available has been capped at $60m with only $15m over three financial years and a further $45m in loans to be shared across 12 new local governments.

At this stage, what sum the City of South Perth/Town of Victoria Park will receive from this funding pool is unknown.

The costs of local government reform are reported to council each month. Between July 1 and September 30 the City has incurred $67,000 costs, largely attributed to specialist staff in the reform program. Indirect costs since May, 2014, amount to $365,000.

At this stage, it is not possible to determine what the future rates will be as there are too many unknowns. For example, the City does not know the size of the grant referred to above or what loan funds it might attract from the Government.

It is however fair to say that there will be an impact on rates, at least in the short term.

There is no information on costs associated with a new building, as existing premises will have to be used in the immediate future. In the longer term, it is the responsibility of the new council elected in October, 2015, to review future accommodation options.

The present City of South Perth council is making decisions to ensure projects and funding for the Manning Hub and Ernest Johnson Reserve redevelopment will be made prior to July, 2015, when a proposed new entity will be in place.

Finally, I do not share the view that ‘de-amalgamation’ is likely to occur in Perth metropolitan area.

I acknowledge this did occur in Queensland, and it was only in country areas where different town sites where amalgamated.

SUE DOHERTY,

Mayor, City of South Perth