Minister pushing reform talks

Paula Newton with Community Newspaper Group editor-in-chief Greg Thomson and Seasons general manager Erin Erceg.
Paula Newton with Community Newspaper Group editor-in-chief Greg Thomson and Seasons general manager Erin Erceg.

Mr Simpson said he wanted ‘personal feedback’ from council representatives and a collective agreement about changes.

‘They need to flesh out how this can best work and make a recommendation to me through the WA Local Government Association. As soon as they are ready, we are ready,’ Mr Simpson said.

Mr Simpson said the Government was now considering 450 submissions about the review, but there had been no decisions on possible options, including a 16-council option or a G4 centred on Claremont that would also create new and larger Subiaco and Cambridge councils.

A spokeswoman for Mr Simpson said meetings would be held ‘in coming weeks’ at the West Perth headquarters of the WA Local Government Association (WALGA).

WALGA president Troy Pickard said he believed council boundaries would be the main topic of the meeting, with other discussion points including a new Dog Act, waste disposal and new rules for borrowing money and managing council-controlled organisations.

‘There could also even be the reality the Government doesn’t have its position decided on Robson by the time the meetings are organised,’ Mr Pickard said.

Western suburbs mayors said they first knew of the meetings when they were contacted by this newspaper last week.

Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said he felt discouraged when Mr Pickard recently argued against councils smaller than those suggested by the review, but he would attend the meetings.

Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers said he was undecided, but Peppermint Grove president Rachel Thomas and Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said they would attend.