Cities dumped from trade body

The committee that formed in 2011 and included government, industry and local government representatives underwent a reshuffle last month and will now report directly to Premier Colin Barnett.

It was created to replace a number of conflicting committees and give guidance on issues affecting the trade coast that stretches from the Australian Maritime Complex to the Kwinana Industrial Area.

Rockingham-based South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman said the local governments had not raised any issues on the committee’s agenda in three years.

‘Two of the local governments have actively undermined the WTCIC by seeking to stop the committee expressing views on matters impacting the WTC,’ Mr Edman said.

The comment refers to an ongoing row between the WTCIC and the City of Rockingham over a proposal by the City to build residential apartments on the boundary of the industrial area.

Mr Edman said while local government would no longer be part of the committee they would still be consulted.

‘Having local governments on the WTCIC has, on occasion, hampered communication and consultation when commercial-in-confidence discussions with possible new WTC industries have not been able to be shared,’ he said.

City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the City had ‘no problem’ with the decision to remove local government from the committee, provided the committee showed good governance and engaged with local government on relevant issues.

However, Cr Sammels said the City wrote to Mr Barnett in late 2012 expressing concerns about the operation of the WTCIC and requested a meeting, but the meeting was refused.

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said following the decision, she was assured local government would maintain a ‘close liaison’ with the committee.

‘The City of Kwinana has always been a mature and respected member of the committee,’ she said.