City of Kwinana opposes proposed council merger

THE City of Kwinana has vowed to fight the State Government's proposed local government merger process that would spell the end of the City in its current form.

As part of the sweeping metropolitan reform process, Kwinana would be merged with a southern section of the neighbouring City of Cockburn to form a new entity, the City of Jervoise Bay.

But Kwinana councillors voted on Tuesday at a special council meeting to launch an education campaign to sway voters before a referendum on the proposal.

Mayor Carol Adams said more than 500 signatures had already been gathered supporting a referendum on the proposal, with only 250 needed to trigger a poll.

Ratepayers are now likely to head to the polls in January.

But a voter turnout of more than 50 per cent and a ‘no vote’ exceeding 50 per cent is needed to block the merger.

‘This will be our final chance to have a say on Kwinana’s fate and it should not be taken lightly,’ Cr Adams said.

She said the absence of wards under the new model, lack of funding from the government and community support for a poll led the City to reassess its position.

‘We had been quite strong supporters of democratic, sensible and long-term reform, which was funded by the State Government,’ she said.

‘But instead we’ve been given a merger which is set to seriously weaken Kwinana’s voice and its ability to have a say on the future council.

‘This is about what is in the best interests of the Kwinana community and this amalgamation, in council’s opinion, is not.’