Last night Cockburn Council voted to shelve plans to amalgamate with Kwinana. Cockburn’s Mayor, Logan Howlett say’s their change of heart was brought on by disunity in the Barnett Government on the issue. Mayor Howlett is now saying Cockburn Council wants a community Poll on the issue, a direct swipe at the Premier’s commitment to remove Poll Provisions from the statute.
Colin Barnett’s leadership is currently in tatters, yesterday saw our schools close due to industrial action and the realisation that the State’s credit rating has been cut from 3* to 2*+. This must have been quite a feat, given we have just experienced the largest iron ore boom ever. Whilst earlier in the week the threat of party member to cross the floor on amendments to the Local Government Act to allow forced amalgamations and remove the Poll Provisions. A week can be a long time in politics!
Mr Barnett must be thinking long and hard about maintaining his threat to education and forced school closures, announced in the recent Budget, he must be wondering how his Treasurer, Troy Buswell could get it so wrong when the State was awash with money. Trying to deflect this disaster by calling the Federal Government to increase GST, when it was sworn in less than a week ago, after being elected on a platform of no GST increases seems pretty desperate.
Given all the above pressures a solution on Local Government reform seems easy. The State Government must abide by its election promise of no forced amalgamations and work with Councils for outcomes the sector and community wants.