Stirling facing loss of $20m in rates

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s announcement on Tuesday means Stirling is set to lose Wembley Downs and Churchlands to a newly-created western suburbs council when the changes come into effect in mid-2015.

Inglewood and the City’s heritage area of Mount Lawley would transfer to the City of Bayswater, while Stirling would gain Mt Hawthorn and most of Leederville, barring the exclusive caf� strip, which would be absorbed by the City of Perth.

The City of Stirling is still working on financial modelling, but early estimates indicate the city would lose 16,500 rateable properties while gaining 8500 rateable properties from Vincent, at an estimated rates loss of $20 million.

Of equal concern to the city’s hierarchy would be the loss of Terry Tyzack Aquatic Centre, which is on the wrong side of the Alexander Drive divide with the City of Bayswater.

The centre, named after the current Stirling Councillor, is debt free and its revenue has increased in recent years.

Added to the loss in rates from traditionally high-rate areas like Inglewood and the heritage precinct of Mt Lawley, the amalgamation puts Stirling at a conservative loss of more than $30 million dollars, including loss of city-owned community facilities.

Stirling Mayor David Boothman said the City had not anticipated changes of this magnitude.

‘If you look at the perspective this way, 80 per cent of the City of Stirling is largely unaffected, but it’s a big impact on our eastern and southern boundaries, and it’s going to have to be debated within council to see if we can challenge it or if we suck it up and try and get the best outcome,’ he said.

‘Apart from the fact that we know the Government’s position, because this has been dragging on for four or five years, it’s difficult to see any other positives at this time.

‘We’re definitely losing more than we’re gaining out of this.

‘If people think it’s just minor’