I FEEL there has been little public debate on boundary changes to local councils. There were only two public meetings last year concerning change. Both were poorly attended in university venues with poor access by public transport.
The West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), mayors, CEOs and councillors discussed the issue at length. The result is many councils reject change.
I think some staff and councillors will never agree to relinquish their personal powers to amalgamate with a neighbouring council.
But some local governments realise the need for boundary changes in their regions and made submissions to the draft proposals for change.
It is far better to become part of the process than allow the final decision to be made by the Minister for Local Government.
For example Fremantle cannot survive in its present state; there is little room for growth.
Fremantle and Melville propose realistic boundary changes to the region to accommodate future development.
Cockburn and Kwinana reject change.
Changes made to the Local Government Act only neutralised community contribution and caused more public turmoil and disillusionment with the system.
It is essential that the Act be part of the process of change.
For the sake of democracy the public must be informed and allowed to participate through public meetings. The whole process must be opened up.