Shire’s bold reform plan fails

In a last-minute effort to prevent itself from being wiped off the map, the shire submitted its own plan to consume parts of Kwinana, Rockingham, Armadale and Wandering into its boundary.

The plan will go to the Local Government Advisory Board after the shire’s council agreed at a special meeting last month on the bold proposal to include parts of neighbouring councils in its area.

The local government reform process has put the shire under threat as the State Government and City of Armadale suggested boundary changes that would essentially erase it.

Shire President Keith Ellis said the submission to the advisory board last year rejected any amalgamation and as such, the board considered it ‘non-compliant’.

‘The advisory board is expected to call for submissions in the near future, with submissions only accepted from cities and shires, who have previously lodged a proposal,’ Mr Ellis said.

‘We hope our proposal and future submissions will be considered by the board as we work to save our community.’

The shire has been working with community members to formulate the proposal and raise awareness of the issue among local residents. Mr Ellis said once the advisory board received submissions residents would be able to have their say.

Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said the City wanted to remain with its present boundaries, in line with the Government’s plan.

‘Our financial and operational modelling indicates that the City of Rockingham is a sustainable municipality and based on these findings our preference is to remain unchanged in size and identity,’ he said.