Proposals blocked if deemed too drastic

‘If your merger proposal does not fit with the Government’s preferred model, (the) minister may put forward a counter proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board,’ Local Government Minister Tony Simpson told mayors at last week’s announcement.

Mr Simpson said ‘minor boundary changes, but not wholesale changes’ could be tolerated and councils could develop a solid case to move a few streets or blocks after talking to the board to ‘iron out any anomalies’.

Each of the nine groups of merging councils has been given $200,000 to organise committees, mooted to comprise one to two members of each council.

The committees will write submissions to the board about what council they want by October 4.

The board, will evaluate each submission and send a recommendation to Mr Simpson, who told mayors if they did not send a submission, the Government would put in its own.

‘He basically said he would gazump us,’ Cottesloe Mayor Kevin Morgan said.

The Government’s plan calls for each group of merging councils to send a representative to its Metropolitan Reform Implementation Committee, chaired by a Department of Local Government bureaucrat, that would report to Mr Simpson.