Battlelines drawn on mergers

At a special council meeting, Cr Lynley Hewett presented a motion that the City stand firm and ‘strongly object’ to Premier Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s decision to amalgamate ” ‘under duress’ ” the seven western suburbs councils.

The motion called for Subiaco to write to all State Parliamentarians outlining its position.

During her closing statement, Cr Hewett became emotional when she described amalgamation as a ‘perjury on the people’.

‘This edict and loss of democratic rights by Colin Barnett cannot be allowed to go without public comment at least,’ she said.

Following additions by Cr Garry Tinder, including that if the City was forced to amalgamate it would enter into discussions to develop an alternative model to the G7, Cr Hewitt’s motion was carried.

Cr Stroud presented a late motion that Subiaco ‘welcome a conversation with the Town of Cambridge on the possibility of merging the two councils as an alternative to a forced merger of the G7’.

She said Mr Barnett had recently indicated there was a very small window of opportunity for negotiation and compromise.

‘If we waver, Colin Barnett is just waiting to pounce,’ Cr Stroud said.

‘We are very limited in our time and we need to move forward and find a solution rather than repeating ourselves.’

Despite support from Crs Lee Hemsley and Tinder, Cr Stroud’s motion was rejected after Cr Scott Arbuckle said it sent mixed signals.

‘We should explore our options, but first we need to make very clear that we’re only doing it because we’re being forced,’ Cr Arbuckle said.

‘I respect Cr Stroud’s reasons, but I do not think it is necessary at this time.’