Peppy Grove unease

‘He did confirm that he would initiate a change to the Dadour amendment that will require legislation being done quickly and follow publication of the (new border) map,’ Mrs Thomas said.

The amendment allows ratepayers of a single council to stop a merger if half vote in a poll but Mr Simpson’s change would erase that power by consolidating all the residents’ votes from amalgamating councils.

Mrs Thomas said she now had a strong impression the change would follow Mr Simpson announcing the State Government’s reply to the 2012 Robson Report by July 31.

Mr Simpson will not meet Mosman Park leaders before an expected announcement on new borders in eight days. Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said Mr Simpson did not take up an offer to meet his council, after he met Subiaco, Cottesloe and Nedlands councils.

‘We were told Mr Simpson wasn’t available to the end of July,’ Mr Norris said.

Mr Norris said this showed the Government was not interested in dialogue with his council but it was prepared to accommodate Claremont because of its links with Mr Barnett and to engage with Subiaco because it had shown it could mobilise ratepayers.

WA Local Government Association President Troy Pickard said councils’ reserves should be quarantined from being used to pay for mergers but the State Budget on August 8 would not have enough money to put new councils together.

‘We’re talking tens of millions of dollars, and if it’s short it will risk some merger outcomes,’ Mr Pickard said.

Mr Simpson’s spokeswoman said meetings were held with all councils that requested, including Subiaco and Peppermint Grove.

She said MPs’ briefings about new borders and other reform had ‘almost concluded’, no time had been scheduled to change the Dadour amendment and an announcement was on schedule for the end of this month.