G4 vows to cut WALGA ties

‘As far as we are concerned WALGA does not represent the western suburbs and our interests,’ Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said.

Mr Norris will ask Mr Simpson for the G4 to meet at his ministerial office and not WALGA’s West Perth headquarters at the end of next month.

At a forum of 21 G4 councillors at Peppermint Grove last week, it was agreed to make the State Government declare its changes for all councils’ borders and roles, find out how moving to new councils would be financed and to oppose changing residents’ power to vote on changes in the Dadour Amendment of the Local Government Act.

WALGA president Troy Pickard wants to change the amendment’s poll provisions so the votes of all ratepayers in a group of potentially merging councils are consolidated.

‘We’re not talking about removing the poll provisions but exploring whether the provisions should be changed so the vote on a merger is decided by the vote of all the districts and not just one of the affected districts,’ Mr Pickard said.

The amendment currently requires half of all ratepayers in a council to vote at a poll before at least a 50 per cent approval for a merger can give the nod to change.

Mr Pickard said the provisions were ‘burdensome and not fair’ before citing residents in single country shires who had stopped mergers of theirs’ and neighbouring councils in polls despite residents and councillors of the other participating shires backing the proposals.

Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan said Mr Pickard’s idea was a ‘crude mechanism for forced mergers’, but Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers said the poll provision was ‘pretty ineffectual’ for most councils because a 50 per cent turnout was needed.

Mr Simpson said he would be disappointed if the G4 did not attend his meetings at WALGA.