City of Kwinana Mayor suggested an electors’ poll could halt merger with City of Cockburn

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ONLY people power can prevent the City of Kwinana's death knell.

Amid sweeping metropolitan local government reform announced by the State Government on Wednesday, the cities of Kwinana and Cockburn will merge and become the City of Jervoise Bay.

Cockburn will cede North Lake, Coolbellup, Leeming and Jandakot Airport to the City of Melville and North Hamilton Hill and North Coogee to the City of Fremantle, with the remaining portion merging with Kwinana.

Kwinana had been opposed to a merger, preferring boundary adjustments.

The new local government will have a popularly-elected mayor but no ward structure and is expected to have a population of 124,000.

The City of Jervoise Bay name will be temporary and can be changed when a new council has been elected.

The final faint chance of an amalgamation not eventuating rests with the public, who have the opportunity for an electors’ poll via the Dadour Provisions.

If 250 signatures are garnered from the public within the next 28 days then a referendum could ensue, which would likely be held in December.

For the amalgamation decision to be overturned, a voter turnout would need to exceed 50 per cent and a no vote would need to be more than 50 per cent.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams told the Courier that if the public felt ‘passionate’ about the issue, then ‘now was the time’.

‘If a poll was successful, then it would stop the process and derail amalgamation,’ she said.

Cr Adams said Kwinana and Cockburn had started the transition but urged the State Government for more funding.

‘We think the transition will cost at least $6 million and the State Government are offering only $5 million for the 15 local governments thus far,’ she said.

‘It is sad for many local governments and our community were strongly against amalgamation.’

Cr Adams said she was keen to ‘see the reform through’ but had not contemplated her future beyond July 1, when the new local government is expected to start.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett welcomed the decision but said it was ‘bittersweet’ to lose suburbs and community assets.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the City of Jervoise Bay would be a ‘very powerful council’.