Barker confident Claremont will not be forced to merge

‘There’s a lot of pressure on the (State) Government and (local government) minister,’ Mr Barker said.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor Bruce Haynes and councillors Paul Kelly, Anita Lorenz and Karen Wood presented the council’s final submission to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) in Peppermint Grove last Friday after the council last Tuesday agreed its preference was to remain independent and if that was not accepted, support a G4 with parts of Mt Claremont and Swanbourne.

It would oppose a State Government-proposed G7.

Chief executive Stephen Goode had recommended the council take plans of a G4 with suburbs from the City of Nedlands and Town of Cambridge, oppose a G7 and agree to a two-council model in the western suburbs as an alternative to the LGAB. Despite support from Crs Peter Browne, Jill Goetze, Kelly and Wood, the new motion that included remaining independent got up.

Mr Barker, who supported the new motion, took the proposal which is similar to a September resolution to the four-member board.

He said board members questioned them about a G7 but ‘I have no concerns about that because it will never happen.’

‘The panel was very professional and indicated quite clearly to us that it was not interested in the political viewpoint of the Government, it was simply evaluating if the local government would benefit from amalgamation,’ Mr Barker said.

At the council meeting, Cr Browne said the Town had to progress as the Government’s reform proposal progressed.

‘We can’t go to the LGAB with an outdated position,’ he said.

However, Cr Alastair Tulloch said ‘the facts have not changed, so our opinion about retaining a G1 remains’.

Cr Wood said the council had to focus on rejecting the G7 proposal rather than remaining independent.

Cr Haynes said Claremont council could not submit a proposal on behalf of four councils but ‘it’s something we could discuss’.

Opinion page 8