Mayor cites lack of merger evidence

In an official response to Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s boundary changes announcement in July, councillors last week also agreed that mergers should not be forced.

The response also says there was no ‘credible evidence that amalgamation of all seven western suburbs councils plus portions of two others into one large local government will deliver better local government which will improve connection to, and service for, the communities they serve’.

Mayor Jock Barker delivered a passionate argument against the amalgamations, accusing the Government of being ‘reckless’.

‘We were confronted on the 31st of July with a series of lines on a map; it was an act in the extreme,’ Mr Barker said.

‘They (the Government) need to understand very clearly that we will operate within our code of conduct and we need to be informed before we can make a decision. Amalgamations will be decided by the ratepayers, hopefully.’