Mayors weighing up options

Peppermint Grove President Rachel Thomas, Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson, Claremont Mayor Jock Barker, Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris, Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan and Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins.
Peppermint Grove President Rachel Thomas, Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson, Claremont Mayor Jock Barker, Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris, Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan and Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins.

The seven western suburbs leaders met at Cottesloe Civic Centre last Wednesday.

‘We need to determine if the Government has the will to proceed with getting rid of the Dadour Amendment (law) given some opposition to mergers from backbench Liberal MPs and whether the Government can get it through the Upper House,’ Mosman Park Mayor and meeting chairman Ron Norris said.

In a joint statement, the mayors of Cambridge, Cottesloe, Claremont, Mosman Park, Subiaco and Nedlands and the president of Peppermint Grove said they disagreed with the G7 being forced by the Government and opposed its proposal to scrap the Dadour Amendment.

They said they would develop an alternative model to the Government’s proposed borders announced last month that joins their councils with North Fremantle, Wembley and Churchlands.

Studies after Nedlands’ failed bid to merge with Subiaco indicate a G7-plus council would have a rates base of about $95 million and operating revenue of about $150 million.

Mr Norris said potential alternative models discussed at the meeting included the G4 centred on Claremont, an ‘east-west’ council of Cambridge and Subiaco, and another running ‘north-south’ through Subiaco and Nedlands.

However, limited time to consider complexities of any model, such as integrating seven planning schemes or the cost of linking the councils’ IT systems, may cause the G7 leaders not to complete a submission to Local Government Advisory Board by an October 4 deadline.

Mr Norris said this could result in Local Government Minister Tony Simpson sending his own submission to the board, resulting in a recommendation that could trigger the Dadour Amendment if it had not been erased.

The mayors will seek their councillors’ directions on how to deal with a G7 submission, after they discounted a residents’ referendum at the October 17 council elections because a model for ratepayers to consider may not be complete.

Mr Norris said the G7 mayors would consider inviting North Fremantle and Doubleview wards’ councillors to future meetings.