Tag Archives: City of South Perth

Proposed Local Council Amalgamations

The following is an excerpt from a speech I delivered in Parliament on Thursday 15 August 2013 regarding the proposed local government amalgamations. While I am generally supportive of the City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park merging, it would be a great loss for the amalgamated councils to lose the Crown Casino, which generates $2.8 million in annual rates. I have discussed this with the Premier and explained that the Swan River should be the natural geographic boundary.

 

Extract from Hansard

[ASSEMBLY— Thursday, 15 August 2013]

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Mr J.E. McGRATH: A lot has been said in recent weeks about the state government’s plan to reduce the number of councils in the metropolitan area. I must put my position on record in this place because I have made some public comments, some of which were repeated ad nauseam by the opposition. When the Robson report was released, two proposals placed the City of South Perth within the City of Perth, and the City of South Perth is the only local government area in my electorate. My electorate covers the entire City of South Perth. I said publicly at the time that I would not support such a move. I have always had the view that one day the City of South Perth could become like North Sydney with a mix of residential and commercial developments sitting right across the river from our great city. I have always believed that South Perth should retain its identity. When talk of council amalgamation began to swirl around, I became aware that the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park had already begun talks about a possible merger. When the member for Bunbury was the Minister for Local Government, I guess they saw that the movement towards local government amalgamation was on, so they decided to be proactive. I was happy to support that, provided it did not impact adversely on the ratepayers of my electorate. The two councils after some discussion decided to come together and they had a vote, and they agreed to progress the amalgamation on one condition—that they retain the Burswood peninsula, which currently sits in the Town of Victoria Park. By then, it had emerged that the City of Perth had its eyes on Burswood so that it could announce to the world that it was a city with great icons like Crown Perth and the new sports stadium, along with Elizabeth Quay and Kings Park….

When the City of Perth made that claim, I made a statement that I think has been repeated by the member for Victoria Park a few times. I basically said that if Burswood comes out of the planned amalgamation between the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park, all bets would be off because it would be totally unsustainable. The government has since been very strong in its insistence that Crown casino and the new stadium will stay in the City of Perth. The Minister for Local Government has been very good throughout this process. All the councils I speak to think he has been very genuine in trying to bring about the best result for them, and he has worked very hard at it. He drew up a new map that excises the Crown casino and the stadium from the Town of Victoria Park. If this amalgamation goes ahead, the boundary will go around South Perth and Victoria Park and then it will move onto the Burswood peninsula and up and around the Crown casino. Crown will keep the parking, but the parking area next to the old superdome is actually owned by the Town of Victoria Park. I do not know how that will be managed. Then, South Perth and Victoria Park will keep a bit of high-rise there at the back of the casino and then go around to Belmont Park…

It will be difficult because, as someone pointed out to me today, if the residents of the City of Victoria Park who live in the high-rise were impacted in any way by the stadium because of louts coming home at night after the footy or the casino, by traffic or whatever, who do they go to? They cannot go to the City of Perth because they are not City of Perth ratepayers. They do not have any representation on the council. It is a difficult issue and one that I will continue to talk to the minister about…

As compensation for losing the $2.8 million in annual rates from Crown casino, the minister has extended the boundary on the southern part of the two existing councils down to Leach Highway; that represents 7 000—as the minister calls them—rooftops. Some are commercial, but they are mostly houses. They have been excised out of the old City of Canning and they will come into the new council…

They have to do the cost–benefit analysis. They will put their report in to the Local Government Advisory Board by 4 October. I have to say one thing about this: I have not had anyone knocking on my door saying, “Oh gee, isn’t it great, we’re going to amalgamate.” I think the people of South Perth do not care whether they amalgamate or not. They are very happy where they are. They like where they live; the suburb is pretty good. I do not think they are in the mood for a change. The only thing they do say to me when I ask them about it is that it is their belief that the river should be the natural boundary. That is why we are South Perth and the City of Perth is the City of Perth. They say the natural boundary should be the river. I think that will be the argument they put to the advisory board when the two councils make their submission, but the minister has a tough job. I want to commend him. At least he is prepared to talk to the councils but—pardon the pun—there is still a lot of water to flow under the bridge on this matter. All I will say, and I have always said this from the outset, is that I will support my voters to get the best outcome. Hopefully, through the process we can come up with the desired outcome for both councils.

ANZAC Spirit

John McGrath with Como Secondary School RepresentativesOn ANZAC Day we remember the many lives lost and pay tribute to all Australians who have proudly served our great nation.

Their courage, mateship and bravery reinforces the unique values on which Australia is proud to be founded.

Thank you to the City of South Perth for hosting a special ANZAC tribute service at the South Perth Memorial Gardens on the morning of the 25th April. The service was well attended and it was a timely reminder of our troop’s service to Australia.

Welcome to New Australian Citizens!

This Australia Day I had the pleasure of attending the City of South Perth Flag Raising and Citizenship Ceremony at Sir James Mitchell Park. It was a great ceremony and I congratulate all those candidates who were granted or reaffirmed their citizenship.

Also announced on the day were the nominees and winner of the City of South Perth Citizen of the Year and Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Award. I was delighted to announce these on behalf of the Premier. A big congratulations goes to Lyndon Lewis who was the winner for his outstanding contribution to the South Perth environment and community. Well done to the other nominees – Raema Stanford, Brad Coopes, Paul Magiatis and Ajay Tandon.

Thank you to the City of South Perth for putting on such an enjoyable event.

130126 Shaking hands

130126 John with Premier's AUstralia Day Active Citizenship Award Nominees

City Celebrates Emerging Artist Awards

Young Artist Award Winner Imogen Kotsoglo’s drawing ‘Up in the Air ‘

Last night I attended the City of South Perth Exhibition Launch and Awards Presentation for the Emerging Artist Awards. All art was of a very high standard and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Now in its tenth year, the Award has evolved into a well recognised prize and exhibition that showcases rising talent in Western Australia.

Congratulations to all the artists, and a special mention must go to Imogen Kotsoglo for being awarded the $500 John McGrath MLA Young Artist Award. Her pen and pencil drawing, “Up in the Air” (pictured) shows a great eye for detail and originality. Imogen is an ex-Penrhos College student who is now completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Curtin University.

All artwork will be on display at the South Perth Civic Centre (cnr Sandgate Street and South Terrace) from Friday 26 October to Saturday 3 November 2012.

Pressure’s on for underground power in Moresby Ward

On Wednesday John McGrath received a petition from local citizens in the City of South Perth requesting that the program of under grounding the supply of electricity in Moresby Ward be expedited.

540 residents signed the petition. They claim the infrastructure associated with underground power will more adequately support any projected increases in housing density and improve visual amenity of the Ward.

John will table the papers early next week in the Legislative Assembly.

Centenary Avenue Black Spot Funding

South Perth MLA, John McGrath MLA is hopeful that agreement can be reached between the Cities of South Perth and Canning to utilise Federal Black Spot funds to upgrade Centenary Avenue.

Mr McGrath said “it would be most unfortunate if the $600,000 funding set aside for priority road works was returned as is currently proposed by the City of Canning.

“I am pleased that the City of South Perth is pressing the issue of transferring the available funds to enable it to undertake the works in the interests of the many users of this major traffic thoroughfare,” he said.

“It is not easy to gain access to funding of this magnitude for identified ‘black spots’ and when it is provided I think the opportunity should be taken to eliminate the congestion which is evident around Manning Road and near Shelley Bridge.”

“It is understood discussions are proceeding between officers of both councils so I remain hopeful there can be a satisfactory result for all concerned.”