Meanwhile, bullying and duplicity remain features of the Government’s prosecution of its reform agenda.
The councils that have initiated legal action against the Government are to be commended for their brave stance on behalf of all local authorities in WA, both metropolitan and country. All the action is seeking to establish is whether or not the Government’s reform agenda is legal.
Surely, the Government would be interested in knowing it is acting legally?
If the Government’s actions are found to be legal then presumably it will push ahead with its unrequested, unjustified and unfunded amalgamation plans. If the councils successfully show that it isn’t legal then hopefully the Government’s manic desire for amalgamations will cease and we will get back to an open and transparent dialogue about reform, which is what councils have been seeking all along.
The Premier talking of the legal action as ‘bankrupting councils’ is yet more bullying from this Government, something which has been a feature since the minister announced his amalgamation plans last July (‘amalgamate or we’ll do it for you’).
By implication, the Premier and the minister apparently believe that if they get their way, the millions of dollars of transition costs that the ratepayers would be required to fund would not bankrupt their councils. This Government has raised disingenuousness to an art form.