Residents must have a say

I write in response to the letter from Kevin Bettridge, (Poll Wording, Southern Gazette, January 7) in relation to my motion to conduct a poll of Belmont residents on the issue of the forced amalgamation of Belmont and Kalamunda.

Mr Bettridge is correct in stating that no cost-benefit analysis of the forced amalgamation has been conducted by the State Government.

The idea of council amalgamations across metropolitan Perth is the brainchild of Premier Colin Barnett, who has failed to put forward the economic arguments in favour of this.

The original Robson report, commissioned by Mr Barnett, proposed the forced council amalgamations across the State; however, it lacked cogent economic or financial analysis.

To date, there is still yet to be any sign of a cost-benefit analysis by the State Government to highlight the economic and social impacts on Belmont.

There are undoubtedly going to be significant costs associated with the current forced amalgamation of Belmont and Kalamunda and it is likely the lion’s share of this cost will be borne by ratepayers.

I campaigned at the recent council election on the right of voters to have a say on this issue through a poll of Belmont residents. I believe it is vital that residents have their say on the most important issue to become before the city in a century.

The motion at the December council meeting, carried unanimously, supports the principle that local residents should be able to have their say.

Patrick Gardner,

City of Belmont councillor