We are told at the weekend that by reducing the number of councils this will ensure that councils are best equipped to meet the demands of the growing city and that the government’s amalgamation blueprint is a critical step in ensuring that we have modern local councils that can meet the challenges now and in the future. We don’t accept that it will ensure anything of the kind.The Minister’s claim that getting 600 submissions state-wide on the local government reform proposals is evidence of the “extensive” community consultation is also an extraordinary claim!The Minister says that its essential that local governments merge to create economies of scale to provide quality and affordable services. Not a word about the facilitating and strengthening our local communities, building on the critical elements of community engagement and sense of place that are the foundations stones of building strong communities.
What is most astounding is, is that the Liberal National government has come up with the idea of corporatizing this third tier of government, without mandate or demand from the community or its ratepayers. This is a State government idea, to make it simpler to impose the centralised control on local developments so favoured by this government.
Fremantle 2029! To think we almost made it to the 100 year as a city. But for the desire of the faceless people who strive for sameness, we would have. Welcome to the super council of the future, ushered in by Premier Barnett – the municipalities of Sameness! With regional centres north, south and the east of Parliament House. They are all the same, like peas from the same pod. Not a ”local” government among them. Super regional councils, discussing and dispensing the three Rs – roads, rubbish and regulation. As for the rates, they will probably be set by the Premier himself!
The imposition of the Emperor’s law is not going to be tolerated. Sameness is not what we do in Fremantle. Communities that have strong and independent local governments, proud traditions of local culture, identity and achievement cannot be subsumed into the sameness of Melmantle or any other mega council.The voices of the communities of greater Fremantle area must have their own forum and be able to hear and govern themselves.
Mr Barnett, getting a bigger bottom line is not building better local government!
President – Fremantle Society