While Kwinana will be extended to cover Cockburn, Rockingham is happy to retain its original borders. Under the proposal, which will turn Perth’s 30 Local Government Boundaries into 15, Rockingham is one of only three councils which will retain its original boundaries. The other two are Joondalup and Wanneroo.
Barry Sammels, City of Rockingham Mayor, made a brief public statement on 13 November, shortly after the announcement by Tony Simpson, Minister for Local Government. Mayor Sammels was very pleased that Rockingham will retain its boundaries and stated that he thought the announcement would help set a “clear direction for the reform process in WA.”
Mayor Sammels was also happy that the uncertainty is now over and that the new boundaries are seen as a long-term solution to the reform of local government in WA. Mayor Sammels is acutely cognizant of the fact that many other councils will be busy with mountains of red tape and paperwork as they go about the business of streamlining local government.
How It Came About
The proposed boundaries were created last July, but opened to community feedback. After spirited debates in nearly every council, the Government made changes to the original map based on feedback they had received from citizens via the various councils.
According to Mr Simpson, the Government spent 4 months turning community feedback into a plan that reflected the input received from all affected communities and governments.
The proposals were formally lodged with the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB) and will be taken under advisement. The LGAB has already begun its formal inquiry and is expected to take until around June 2014 to report back to the Minister with its recommendations. The Minister will have the option of either accepting or rejecting the LGAB’s final document but will not be allowed to change it in any way.
Our Humble Opinion
We are in favour of the changes. We think local government reform will create a streamlined process that will allow local councils to affect changes faster as the population of the Perth metropolitan area increases by an estimated 500,000 people in the next 13 years.
As mortgage brokers, we feel that Rockingham, Kwinana and Baldivis will benefit greatly from this flexibility. Call (08) 9527 1800 to learn more.