Councils to get their day in court

Lawyer John Hammond.
Lawyer John Hammond.

‘We are certainly very pleased how quickly the case has been listed with the Supreme Court and now it will be determined at that date,’ the councils’ lawyer John Hammond said.

Subiaco, South Perth and Serpentine-Jarrahdale councils, with City of Vincent resident Ian Ker, claim the State Government breached laws for residents’ votes on mergers, forced councils to propose their demise and that the Local Government Advisory Board recommending new borders had conflicts of interest.

Last week, the board sent the first of its recommendations to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson and comments on a second group of reports about Melville, Canning, Gosnells, Fremantle, East Fremantle, Kwinana and Cockburn councils closed yesterday.

All the reports will be considered by Mr Simpson and State Cabinet before an expected announcement before the end of this month that could end five years of debate.

The councils anticipate the court action could take until January or February and Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said Mr Simpson should hold off on any announcements while the case was before the court and under judicial review.

‘If not, the Government could look like complete fools before the Supreme Court makes a decision,’ Mr Barker said.