Julie Matheson

CFP Business Specialist | Local Government Expert | Political Adviser

NationalsWA consider local government reform

Please consider writing to National Party MPs seeking their support for a motion to withdraw support for Premier Colin Barnett’s amalgamation plans.

Nationals will use their state conference in Margaret River this Saturday to put the motion.

It comes as Local Government Minister Tony Simpson is about to receive the long-awaited council amalgamation recommendations from the Local Government Advisory Board.

The Moora branch of the Nationals will put forward a motion that the party “withdraws support from the metropolitan local government reform process”.

The Nationals had supported moves to slash the number of councils in the metropolitan area from 30 to about 14. But there is increasing concern that country councils are next for the chopping block.

Here’s what I sent today:

Dear Member of Parliament, representing the NationalsWA,

I am writing to seek your support for the Moora Branch’s motion that the National Party “withdraws support from the metropolitan local government reform process”.

I agree with North West MP Vince Catania that “once city reform occurs, regional shires will be next”. Minister Simpson has said so in a recent public statement in Bunbury (June 2014). http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/06/11/4023305.htm#.

Not only do the Liberals want forced amalgamations, but they also want to soften up councils for property development at any cost. In 2011 they introduced the development assessment panels (DAP) right across the state.

So far the DAP have approved six developments in secret, not only in the city but in the Shire of East Pilbara.

In the Shire of Broome 2012 the Kimberley DAP overrode the council’s resolution to refuse a retrospective planning approval by Woodside and approved it anyway. The localities of Alfred Cove, Mandurah, West Leederville, Swanbourne and Subiaco have all been subjected to DAP approval of non-complying developments.

The DAP are immune from community outrage being unelected and unaccountable for their decisions.

By making councils bigger through forced amalgamations, and removing their powers to plan for their local communities using local knowledge, development at any cost will prevail right across the state.

It is only fair that both country and metropolitan WA have a say in their elected local government representation, and councils they may or may not amalgamate with. Protection of the Dadour Poll is vital to ensure good process is adhered to.

Whilst the Premier claims he wants stop the city sprawl to save on infrastructure costs, he does nothing to assist country towns to attract more residents when he lets Chevron get out of an agreement to build a village in Onslow and ‘fully fund’ the upgrading of the local airport! http://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Cracks-in-Liberal-National-alliance

So please support the Moora Branch’s motion to withdraw support from the local government reform process. Your support will not go unnoticed in the city, especially by those areas that have been affected by the powers of the DAP.

Kind regards

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