City of Fremantle disappointed with state government decision to create ‘supercouncils’ via forced mergers

It was deeply disturbing to hear this news this morning.  All I can do is post our media release in despair.

Media release: 

The City of Fremantle is shocked and outraged by today’s state government announcement that it has secretly passed legislation that will see many metropolitan councils, including Fremantle, merge into larger super councils.

The plans will see Fremantle merge with Cockburn, East Fremantle, Kwinana, Rockingham and Melville to become the City of South Swan. Councils have been given until the end of the year to finalise the arrangements, with the changeover happening on 1 January 2016.

The decision was announced at a press conference in Perth this morning by Premier Colin Barnett with only a few hours’ notice to councils with the Premier stating that the new boundaries aligned with WALGA’s zone boundaries and those of the South-West Group of councils.

Former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri was announced as interim commissioner on the new merged local government.

Fremantle Mayor, Dr Brad Pettitt, said the decision had come as a shock and that the City of Fremantle would be fighting to oppose the shock merger plans.

“It’s come right out of left field and quite frankly, we’re outraged that this has happened with absolutely no notice to us. We will be fighting this decision and I call upon all other councils to do the same,” Dr Pettitt said.

“This is a backflip with a triple-pike by the state government. After it rescinded its previous amalgamation plans just a couple of months ago it has now gone for super-sized local governments”

As part of the announcement, the state government will require all local government employees to reapply for their jobs in what it is calling ‘prudential measures to significantly improve efficiencies’ across the local government sector.’

“It’s completely unrealistic for the state government to expect local councils already battered by the previous reform process to now plan for even greater upheaval,” said City of Fremantle CEO Graeme Mackenzie.

“How am I now supposed to go back to staff after all the uncertainty of the last couple of years and tell them that that they will have to reapply for their jobs this year?”

“What’s worse is that the January 1 2016 changeover means all Xmas and annual leave will have to be cancelled effective immediately.”

The City is now in discussion with its lawyers to decide the best course of action moving forward.

Ends

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
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10 Responses to City of Fremantle disappointed with state government decision to create ‘supercouncils’ via forced mergers

  1. Lee westbrook says:

    I Hope this is an April Fools joke.

  2. Ross McCallum says:

    This is an April fools joke surely!

  3. Colin Nichol says:

    It is 1 April, isn’t it? Or am I on another planet??

  4. Murray Slavin says:

    The reality is that larger councils DO work. Despite the trauma of the Victorian mergers, they provided a very good outcome. This is especially the case when a small bunch of silver tails in East Fremantle, goaded by ex-mayors and the like, can completely derail the orderly process that had been put in place.

    Thanks to them, we’re now under the control of a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ and will most likely have little say in the outcome.

    I’m terribly sorry for officers and elected members, especially Brad, who championed a far more rational process at the time.

  5. Adrian says:

    🙂

  6. Murray Slavin says:

    … and it’s April 1 … I’m not sorry for anyone anymore!

  7. Emma says:

    You have just stressed me out SO MUCH, I was totally falling for for this until I realised the date…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Bruce j Dargie says:

    The ABC or Channel 9 gave no mention of this tonight. Why?

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