Julie Matheson

CFP Business Specialist | Local Government Expert | Political Adviser

Costs of abolishing 14 Councils

The Post, 17 May 2014, page 1.

The Post, 17 May 2014, page 1.

Dear Letters Editor,  @thewest_com_au

I refer to the letter  from a Mr Mark Williams titled “The Cost of Unity” which was published in @thewest_com_au on 3rd November 2014.   

Mr Williams suggests that the costs of #amalgamating the Local Government Councils of Perth might be limited to the cost of developing new stationery for the #amalgamated councils and goes on to say – “Can someone please tell me where these massive costs will be incurred?” 

On Monday I took up Mr Williams request to supply information regarding increased costs and forwarded a letter to The West letters editor which letter is repeated below.  I have written my letter on behalf of #Western Suburbs Alliance which is a major group of electors in the Western Suburbs opposing the Premier’s agenda of @amalgamation of local councils.

It is somewhat disappointing, therefore, to observe that you have apparently decided not to publish my letter of the 3 November which seeks to put the correct position before the electors of Western Australia.  I believe your newspaper is in the rather privileged position of being the only daily newspaper in Perth. In such circumstances as this you ought to, and previously have on other occasions, publish the response to such letters particularly where, as in this case, the original writer states an incorrect assumption and has asked for clarification which might correctly inform all of the Western Australian public.

May I request that you consider publishing my reply (repeated below) to Mr Williams letter as soon as possible so that the public are not mislead as to the true costs of Local Government #amalgamation in Western Australia.

Thank you for considering this request.

Yours sincerely

Ken Eastwood

#Western Suburbs Alliance


Thanks to Mark Williams letter of 3/11 re The cost of Unity @thewest_com_au.   

Changes to stationery stocks is the very least of the costs which amalgamated councils will be forced to fund.  Here are a few more of the initial costs of this exercise:

  • Aligning of all the IT, financial and administrative systems. (there are currently four different IT platforms operating throughout Local Government in WA)
  • Aligning all operational procedures
  • Retraining of staff
  • Designing and applying new logos, stationery, street and other signs, websites, etc.
  • Changing street signs in each locality $1million (ref. Mayor Norris, 26 Oct 2014)
  • Refurbishing, or even building and/or establishing new council offices
  • Redundancies and/or redeployment
  • The growing number of costs being passed on to councils by the State and Federal governments
  • Other costs – who knows???  Minister Simpson knows but he’s not going to tell us!

And then there are additional ongoing costs such as the cost of replacing all current elected low paid (about $35,000 per year) Councillors with 12 new Council Directors per huge Council to be paid at around $120,000 each per year as in the Eastern States. Council CEO’s will have to be paid much more to equate with higher responsibilities. Mayors of these new super Councils will need to be paid 3 times more than their current $80,000 or so per year. Certainly no savings to be had in this area.

So not only will we be faced with huge additional costs, we have no idea just how much these costs will amount to. Perhaps the Premier or the Minister for Local Government have an estimate of these additional cost. If not – why not? If Yes – why haven’t we been told just what these costs will amount to?

Ken Eastwood

#Western Suburbs Alliance





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This entry was posted on November 7, 2014 by in Amalgamation and tagged , , , , .
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