Subi pushes for Perth merger

Subiaco councillors voted 8-4 to accept a merger ‘under perceived duress’ with Perth and parts of the City of Vincent to the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) at its special council meeting last week.

Subiaco will tell the LGAB it also supports a proposal to extend Subiaco’s border to include parts of Jolimont currently within the Town of Cambridge, but its preference was to remain independent.

Cr Mark Burns said Perth was the best financial decision when faced with a Cambridge merger or the State Government plan to amalgamate seven western suburbs councils.

‘Subiaco’s representation would be completely outweighed by the fiscal assets we would have brought to the table,’ Cr Burns said.

‘We had to ultimately choose to protect the community from both a G7 and Cambridge’s takeover bid,’ Cr Burns said.

Cr Scott Arbuckle said Perth had $900 million worth of assets so would not need to ‘reach into our pockets’.

‘It’s all about risks, money and keeping control of the City.’

Cr Julie Matheson said the Perth merger solved issues with the capital city plan of ‘cherry picking assets’.

‘If they want to take our university and our hospitals, then they have to take us too,’ Cr Matheson said.

Cambridge Mayor Simon Withers said Cambridge was financially strong and money spent by a combined Subiaco-Cambridge council would benefit all residents, who would have access to a redeveloped City Beach, Bold Park Aquatic Centre and new restaurant at Wembley Golf Course.

However, some councillors said these facilities would be a drain on funding.

Cr Stephanie Stroud said Perth was not a willing merger partner and there were ‘huge’ town planning conflicts.

‘How are we possibly going to protect Subiaco from high-rise development?’ Cr Stroud said.

Perth’