Tonight, Fremantle Council held a Special Council Meeting to adopt a response to the Local Government Reform Expert Panel’s final report. WALGA has formulated a response on most of the 30 recommendations, but failed to reach consensus on border reform. This leaves WALGA’s submission sadly lacking on what many believe is the most crucial recommendation. WALGA’s failure to get consensus was brought about by most of the smaller Councils not wanting any amalgamations at all.
The Mayor of Armadale brokered discussions between what has become known as G20. This is a group of 20 metropolitan Councils who wish to put a combined response. Therefore by necessity Fremantle’s submission is guided by the G20 position. The remaining 10 metropolitan Councils will put up individual submissions; presumable requesting there should be no amalgamations.
Broadly speaking the northern boundary goes from the river to the ocean along Victoria Street in Mosman Park. The eastern boundary runs along Stock Road from the river to the freight rail line near Bibra Lake Bunnings. It then follows the line to the coastal at a point between the South Fremantle Power Station and Port Coogee.
Three controversial issues are where the northern boundary should be located, whether to let Samson go to Melville and the taking in of Cockburn Council Chambers.
Other recommendation that differ from WALGA’s submission was the support for optional Preferential and compulsory voting and requesting a commitment by the State Government to support Constitutional Recognition of Local Government as part of the reform package. The City ran a survey on Local Government Reform and the strongest response was that the community wants to vote on the final outcome, so a clause reflecting this was also added to the motion.
This was a crucial meeting discussing important issues for Local Government in metropolitan WA, so it was sad to see no members of the community and only one journalist in the gallery.