Greens Alarmed over Handling of Council Amalgamation

Greens WA spokesperson on Local Government, Robin Chapple MLC, today joined Member for South Metropolitan, Lynn MacLaren MLC in expressing concern over the shambolic process surrounding the leaking of the Barnett government’s push for metropolitan council amalgamation.

“In recent days, the fiasco that is this government’s approach to council amalgamation has been laid bare for all to see.

“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 dished up under successive local government ministers in the Barnett/Grylls government has been a series of take-it-or-leave-it edicts”, said Mr Chapple.

“There is very little excitement for the proposal among communities in the South Metropolitan Region, with some strongly opposed,” said Lynn MacLaren.

“I think people are coming around to thinking that some boundaries could be changed to good effect, especially if they are based on strategic activity centres. But the Councils’ own proposals have been mostly dismissed. 

Mr Chapple continued, “Our position is that local government is the bedrock of our democracy – it is the first point of contact for people in terms of representation, and as such it plays a huge role in our society.

“Both major parties have consistently failed to respect this in their dealings with councils – this current amalgamation mess being the most recent example.

“Some communities will undoubtedly benefit from amalgamation, but it must be up to them to drive the agenda.

“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.

We will continue to consult with all affected communities”, Mr Chapple concluded.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255; or Lynn MacLaren on0403 721 951 or 9430 7233.

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