Tag Archives: Local Government amalgamation

Local Government Reform

South Perth MLA John McGrath says he is extremely pleased with the outcome for his electorate in the State Government’s decision to leave the Burswood Peninsula within the boundary of the proposed new council that will take in South Perth and Victoria Park.

However, he is disappointed that the arrangement might be reviewed in five years.

“When I and some of my parliamentary colleagues supported the City of South Perth in its bid to amalgamate with the Town of Victoria Park, I did so on the explicit condition that Burswood remained within the boundary of the new city,” he said. “Now we are told by the government that the situation will be reviewed in five years’ time.

“To me this is unacceptable.

“I appreciate some of my constituents would prefer the City of South Perth to have remained in its current form but with the inclusion of Burswood I think we are able to achieve a satisfactory compromise that will provide a larger and more sustainable local government authority.

“Keeping Crown Casino, the new Perth stadium and Belmont Park Racecourse within the boundary of the new entity will help create a more exciting and vibrant city in which to live.”

Mr McGrath thanked his MLC colleagues Hon Simon O’Brien, Hon Nick Goiran and Hon Phil Edman for their support in the process. “We made a joint submission to the Local Government Advisory Board in support of the proposal advanced by the South Perth and Victoria Park councils,” he said.

Mr McGrath said: “I also agree with the decision to use the amalgamation provisions of the Local Government Act, which allow for the public to demand a poll on the proposal. I believe the availability of this democratic right will be appreciated within the community.”

Note: The Board has selected the name ‘South Park’ for the new local government in the interim until the newly elected council votes on a new name, in partnership with the community.

City of South Park Map

Burswood Peninsula Petition

On Tuesday I presented a petition to Parliament signed by 3533 residents concerned about parts of Burswood Peninsula being excised from a proposed merger between the City of South Perth and Town of Victoria Park.

The proposal by Minister Tony Simpson to the Local Government Advisory Board is that Crown Casino and the new football stadium be transferred into the City of Perth.

However, the South Perth and Victoria Park councils are adamant that the proposed new local government entity will not be financially viable without the rate revenue coming from Crown.

The petition was circulated by the City of South Perth and presented to me by Mayor Sue Doherty for tabling in the Legislative Assembly.

It said, in part:

“We, the undersigned, respectfully oppose any action by the State Government that will excise any part of the Burswood Peninsula from the Town of Victoria Park, or any entity resulting from any change of boundaries or any proposed amalgamation between the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park.

Your petitioners therefore respectfully request the Legislative Assembly to oppose the annexing of the Burswood Peninsula to the City of Perth and to support us in our endeavours.”

Combining City of South Perth with Town of Victoria Park

South Perth MLA John McGrath has urged ratepayers in his constituency to stand up against a State Government proposal under its Local Government amalgamation agenda that will see the City of South Perth come under the control of the Town of Victoria Park for a period from July 1, 2015.

This is a result of the Minister for Local Government putting forward a submission to the Local Government Advisory Board to abolish the City of South Perth and absorb it into the Town of Victoria Park.

The two councils have made submissions for a simple amalgamation, which would see them both dissolved at the same time and commissioners put in place by the government to handle the transition until fresh elections are held.

“Instead of that happening the assets of the people of South Perth will come under the control of the Town of Victoria Park,” Mr McGrath said. “This is a slap in the face to a local government authority that has been prepared to act in a spirit of co-operation with the Government and I am not happy about that.

 “If the residents of South Perth also think this is unsatisfactory they should make a submission to the LGAB by 13 March 2014. That is the only way of expressing their views.”

Mr McGrath says it seems wrong in principle that a City Council is to be abolished and its district  incorporated into the boundaries of a Town Council.

“If the new enlarged Council is to be created as the Minister wishes, by simply changing boundaries, then I believe it is more appropriate that the City of South Perth boundary be adjusted to incorporate the Town of Victoria Park” he said.

 “The public needs to be aware that achieving council mergers by boundary change rather than amalgamation also circumvents the democratic right, under the Local Government Act, for polls to be demanded by residents wishing to have a say on any proposed changes.

“The only way of expressing their views now is to make a submission to the LGAB.

“The Advisory Board is an independent statutory body which makes recommendations to the Minister before he can act on proposed changes to the constitution of local government authorities.”

Mr McGrath says he is not opposed to a new combined South Perth/Victoria Park local government authority provided it incorporates the entire area of both existing councils and does not transfer a portion of the Burswood Peninsula to the City of Perth.

“The Swan River is the natural boundary and Burswood should not be divided between two local government areas,” he said.

“In my view it is imperative for the financial viability of the combined South Perth-Victoria Park council that it retain all of the Burswood Peninsula.”  

Written and email submission can be forwarded to the Local Government Advisory Board:

Advisory Board, GPO Box R1250, Perth WA 6844

Email: advisory.board@dpc.wa.gov.au.  The closing date for submissions is Thursday 13 March 2014