Welcome to Melmantle/Freeville. Population 157,000

Today the Premier and Minister for Local Government announced their plans for local government reform including merging Freo with Melville, East Freo and even part of Canning all the way east to Vahland Ave. Whilst we will extend a long way east we get a haircut on the North and lose most of North Freo and don’t extend south at all.

The premier argued this morning it would lead to a stronger, more functional and effective local government sector and that 100k is his preferred size minimum. Freo is about 30k right now.

The new boundaries will mean:

  • 14 Perth councils down from 30 currently
  • The residential part of north Fremantle into western suburbs and out of Fremantle
  • The new council of Melmantle/Freeville will be 157 000 people
  • The stated logic is port transport routes and river management.
  • On July 1st 2015 commissioners will replace elected councils although maybe brought in earlier if no progress been made on amalgamations

The City of Fremantle position is likely to be not to support the proposed new Melmantle/Freeville boundaries but instead make the case for boundaries that strengthen Fremantle as a unique and key strategic centre.

Fremantle Council is not opposed to bigger local government in fact it makes sense but it has to be based around a coherent community of interest not some crass sticky taping together of exiting local governments.

I hope over the next few months (we have until October 4 to have our alternate submission in) we can make that case and convince the State Government to be willing to do more than just tweak the illogical boundaries they have created. But to be frank I am not confident.

melmantle or freville

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

22 Responses to Welcome to Melmantle/Freeville. Population 157,000

  1. freoishome says:

    This is not a time to be talking about lack of confidence to convince the Premier. In fact it is the time to mobilise the Freo community as Andrew Sullivan has done for the Coogee development and North Fremantle , and how Michael Martin et al did to Save Fremantle Beaches Alliance for the City and South Freo. It can be done.

    Have you got what it takes do that?

    Paul

    • Paul
      I like your optimism. We will be fighting this one hard but didn’t want to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of chances of getting major change.
      We will be putting forward a workable alternative model to create a greater Freo that really is very Freo and asking the Freo community to get right behind this. But my guess is local government reform isn’t as sexy saving beaches but hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.
      cheers, Brad

  2. Hector Pascal says:

    With a swag of efficient regional councils perhaps Honest Col Barnett could remind us precisely why we need a State government? Surely all necessary functions could be decentralised and duplications at the state level abolished. A two tier Federal-Regional system of governance. The ultimate efficiency dividend!

  3. Lionel says:

    Could you please publish what percentage of North Fremantle residents selected option A as their preference in the Catalyse survey?

    • I’ll go back and dig that out. Might take a few days.
      Cheers

    • Lionel, I hope this helps
      North Fremantle 45% for leaving a greater city of Freo and 50% against.
      More broadly:
      People in the City of Fremantle are open to change….just 1 in 5 support keeping the status quo with council boundaries.
      There is most potential for a merger between the City of Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle with 3 in 5 residents supporting this amalgamation option.
      City of Fremantle residents are fairly divided over the option to merge with the Town of East Fremantle and incorporate Rottnest Island, small parts of the City of Melville and the City of Cockburn with about half of residents opposing this amalgamation option.
      Other amalgamation options which would incorporate larger areas (merging the City of Fremantle,
      Town of East Fremantle, Rottnest Island, a major part of the City of Melville, and part of the City of Cockburn, while losing the majority of North Fremantle OR merging the City of Fremantle with the Town of East Fremantle, City of Melville and Rottnest Island) are met with the strongest opposition. Only about 1 in 4 support these options.

  4. Robert Fittock says:

    Asking a good cross section of Nth Freo folk I am not really surprised by the number giving the thumbs up to joining the western suburbs

    If this happens, and my gut feeling says it will, then we will need to work very hard to ensure that we are a strong and effective voice in the big picture

    Challenging times ahead

    Cheers
    Rob Fittock
    North Ward Councillor

  5. Lionel says:

    Thanks, would be interesting

  6. Rob McGlynn says:

    I’m not sure who Frittock is speaking to but North Freo people want to stay in Freo. I think his comments in the Herald are ill considered and he should actually at and down if he’s not interested in working to be part of Fremantle. On that note what is the mayor doing to fight this? other councils have had community meetings; where is ours? And what are you doing Brad about gauging the feeling among North Freo folk? How about some action guys. it sounds to me like you’ve given up already.
    Rob- North Freo resident

    • Rob
      Council met on Wednesday to formulate a consistent position which will be to oppose the proposed boundaries but support a larger Freo local government area that represents the Freo community.
      Watch this space for how you can get involved over coming weeks.
      Brad.

  7. Chris Steele says:

    Brad
    I just read the City of Vincent has unanimously resolved to oppose the merger with the City of Stirling, suggesting an alternative merger with the City of Perth. The City of Stirling is also allegedly opposed to a merger with parts of Vincent. This is all to familiar with the position of Fremantle and Melville, Cockburn and Kwinana, and I imagine several other councils throughout Perth.
    Barnett obviously has 14 as his magical council number in Perth. He’s not going to compromise on this as he seems hell bent on implementing mergers regardless of his mandate or voter opinions. The only way therefore that I can see to get a solution that is palatable to most councils is for all Perth mayors to sit down to a specially convened meeting of WALGA and thrash out boundaries based on this number. This may allow Barnett to get almost everything he wants and give the appearance of listening to the people (although I suspect he may not care about the later).
    Chris

  8. Pingback: East Fremantle: A brief description | The Writing's On The Sprawl

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