Country Council amalgamation

Premier Admits Plan to Force Country Shire Amalgamations

8 August 2013

Greens WA spokesperson on Local Government, Robin Chapple MLC, today said that the Premier’s push for metropolitan council amalgamation now appears ‘dead in the water’.

“I have been very critical of this government’s approach to council amalgamation in the past, describing it as a ‘fiasco’.

“However, even I was not expecting such a public unravelling of the process, as I witnessed yesterday at the 2013 WA Local Government Association (WALGA) conference.

“Here we have heard the WALGA president, Mr Troy Pickard, reveal that the Premier has told him bluntly that country shires will be forced to amalgamate, in the face of the bulldozer which he has let loose, in the form of the new Minister for Local Government.

“What a blatant desecration of the democratic process we are witnessing over this issue!

“How will the Nationals react to what looks on the surface to be a betrayal of the Premier’s promise to leave the bush alone, in return for Parliamentary support from Mr Grylls and his followers?

“The Greens have always maintained that the local grassroots communities should be the drivers of policy in relation to council amalgamation.

“Yet what has been foreshadowed by the Premier in a blatant display of effrontery has been a move to strike out the Dadour amendment, which was established by the WA Liberals’ own Sir Charles Court government – a move which will effectively muzzle the voice of the people.

“The government made great play of its concern for community input when it conducted the Robson Review - I fear this is yet another example of how this government pays lip service to consultation, but in reality just does as it pleases”, Mr Chapple concluded.

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