THERE is increasing anger in our community as more residents realise that the planned forced amalgamation of the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park will be of little or no benefit to the community.
The estimated cost of amalgamation in excess of $10 million for South Perth alone will be borne by the ratepayers and renters through high annual rate increases.
The Government still has not prepared any business plan for the amalgamations, and still cannot quantify what definite benefits there will be.
Surely, we can learn and avoid the experience of four communities in Queensland who elected to de-amalgamate after the forced amalgamations of 2008.
At substantial cost, they found large and unresponsive councils more than outweighed any so-called ‘economies of scale’.
The only beneficiaries will be the property developers who will have even more freedom to impose their high-rise developments within our residential areas.
We call on the mayor to list what the cost of the amalgamation exercise has been to date for the City of South Perth.
In addition, what are the likely final costs to the City and what estimated rate increases.
Finally, what is the cost of a new administration building for the amalgamated councils and what guarantee is there that the millions of dollars of reserve funds ear-marked for the Manning Hub and the Ernest Johnson Reserve developments won’t be used to fund the forced amalgamation.
The Premier and Minister should agree that the so-called ‘reform process’, which has been an abject failure, should be halted now before more millions of ratepayers’ funds are squandered.
PETER HOWAT, Karawara