‘He agreed to it with some boundary changes, such as adding Swanbourne and part of Nedlands,’ Mr Barker said.
At an hour-long meeting last Tuesday, Mr Barnett initially backed just two councils replacing seven now in the area, before Mr Barker pitched the G4 of Claremont, Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove.
‘We then left the meeting with the understanding there would be three councils,’ Mr Barker said.
The meeting, also attended by Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers, was organised after Mr Barker quit a group of 19 councils across Perth developing an alternative map that merged all western suburbs councils (G7) earlier this month.
Mr Barker said he feared the G19 legitimised forced mergers that would result in Claremont’s assets, including about $10 million in reserves, subsidising non-viable neighbouring councils, and residents being unable to lobby councillors on a smaller council such as a 28,000-ratepayer G4.
Cottesloe is open to a G4 but its submission to the Robson Report has caveats including ratepayers voting on the concept, the State Government paying for the change and the new council keeping assets such as the Civic Centre.
However, Mayor Kevin Morgan said his residents were unlikely to accept a G4 because they were satisfied with his council’s services.
‘What we really need is a G7 regional council that comes together over several years to avoid disruption’