No to extended merge deadline

‘The State Government is not about to change its timetable or change its policy,’ Mr Barnett said.

Councils are concerned they may not be able to achieve an accurate submission in time, after chief executives said they were not given clear information about the composition of the replies to the Government’s July merger announcement in briefings last month.

‘I think (chief executives) are well -paid, mature people who can deal with structural change and they have had three years to think and talk about it,’ Mr Barnett said.

But Mr Barnett now faces opposition to his Government’s plans for a G7 super council in the western suburbs from at least Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Subiaco, Peppermint Grove, Cambridge and Nedlands councils that rejected the proposal in the meeting last month.

In addition, Nedlands and Mosman Park are investigating ratepayer referendums on a G7 at local government elections in October, a residents’ petition is being organised by Peppermint Grove and ratepayers have started sending protest letters to Mr Barnett.

‘Replying to my wife’s letter, he said he considered there was limited opposition to his plan as those who stood on anti-merger platforms got few votes at the State Election,’ Liberal Party member and Peppermint Grove resident Julian Frayne said.

Mr Barnett said it was up to councils to determine their reactions to G7 and when asked whether the opposition efforts would have any effect on the Government, he said he continued to listen to people but ‘we are headed down this path’.

‘I don’t think anyone can suggest they haven’t had an opportunity to make their view known,’ he said.

Mr Barnett said council was a ‘creation’ of the Government and the decision had been made to restructure metropolitan councils

‘Any powers (a council) has for planning or to raise revenue through rates is given to it by the State Government, and that seems to have been forgotten,’ he said.