Quite possibly at least in terms of the current boundaries if Metropolitan Local Government Reform goes ahead as it looks like it might.
In July last year, the Minister for Local Government announced that he had established a reform panel to review metropolitan local governance structures. The panel is required to report to the Minister by 30th June 2012.
The panel released a discussion paper late last year and sought public submissions on the paper. The CEO and I met with the chair of the panel in December to discuss the matter.
This week, WALGA held a workshop for metropolitan councils to help WALGA develop a consensus view that could be represented in their submission to the panel. The City of Fremantle was represented by the myself, CEO and Councillor Strachan at that workshop.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that FEWER local governments across metro-Perth is the most likely outcome of the review and that some amalgamations are almost inevitable. If this were to happen, we need to make sure that we don’t allow for local governments so big and anonymous that they are disconnected from their community. Fremantle has previously said that a reconfiguration of boundaries so ours ran on its eastern side along Stock Road to the river and then South as far as the South Freo Power Station was the way to go.
I also think that key activity centers like Fremantle still need to be homes to future local governments as a home to these ”communities of interest”. I wouldn’t be supporting a Brisbane model of one “super-Council”.
The panel has established a website www.metroreview.dlg.wa.gov.au where details of the panel’s work to date can be viewed. The following is a link to the submissions that have been received by the panel.
Of particular interest for the workshop will be the submissions by the City of Melville, the City of Cockburn, and the Town of Mosman Park.
The panel is expected to release a draft paper with its preliminary recommendations in March.