Mergers now a guessing game

Last Tuesday, Perth council voted unanimously to submit a new proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB), which would have it take over City of Subiaco’s key infrastructure and business precinct but not residential areas.

The proposal would extend Perth’s western boundary as far as Station Street, Railway Road and Hensman Road, taking in Subiaco oval and three hospitals, as well as part of Cambridge up to Cambridge Street.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the council was responding to Subiaco’s proposal to merge with Perth entirely.

Mr Withers said he did not see the decision for Perth to lock out Subiaco’s residential areas coming.

‘Subiaco’s strategy is now in tatters and Perth has lost all credibility because this is the third boundary change they’ve made this year,’ Mr Withers said.

‘In our discussions with Subiaco, Cambridge has always been upfront, very clear and open about how a merger between the two should work ” you can’t say the same thing about Perth.’

Ms Scaffidi said Perth’s decision not to take in the residential areas was part of the council’s consistently held view that its role should be as a capital city managing key infrastructure.

‘Reform, to my mind, is starting with a blank page and redrawing areas that would work in the future in a more sensible way,’ she said. ‘If we’re going to pussyfoot around and just do a little tweaking and say it doesn’t matter if there’s a bit of suburbia and there’s key infrastructure, we’re not being strategic.’

Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said Perth’s proposal did not align with Subiaco’s preference.

‘My point of view is that it’s all or nothing,’ she said. ‘Subiaco is united in its stance that, as you know, our main focus is on remaining independent.’

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