Shire ire on merger plan

‘In our electorate we only need 120 voters, or 10 per cent of ratepayers, to ask for a poll,’ Peppermint Grove President Rachel Thomas said.

At Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on August 19, residents were briefed on the implications of amalgamating seven western suburbs councils with North Fremantle and three City of Stirling suburbs by July 1, 2015.

Issues included the Government proving the need for mergers, no guidelines for submissions to the Local Government Advisory Board by October 4 and the costs of and funding of transition to a new council.

‘The meeting was unanimous in its rejection of a G7,’ chief executive John Merrick said.

The traditionally Liberal Party stalwart residents said they wanted to stay independent, be in a council smaller than a G7 if mergers were forced and opposed removal of the law allowing a poll and new government appointees dominating the board.

Last week, councillors unanimously agreed to take on the ratepayers’ ‘absolute wish’ to reject the G7, to protect laws allowing a poll and create a residents’ petition.

A similar motion at Cottesloe Council also backed lobbying MPs to save the polls provisions but caused division when councillors Peter Jeanes, Rob Rowell and Katrina Downes failed in attempts to add amendments repeating previous interest in a G3 or G4 council, or a community ballot.

Mosman Park councillors agreed unanimously to reject the G7 and investigate a merger referendum at council elections in October.