Local Government Metro Reform
City of Perth Act Update - Message from the Mayor
23 January 2015
On 15 January 2015, the City of Perth released their position on the City of Perth Act, which you can view here.
The Vincent Council then approved its position on the Act at its 20 January Council Meeting, which can be viewed here.
I have called for a Community Forum on this matter and this will be held on Wednesday 28 January at 7pm, at the Vincent Administration & Civic Centre. Please click here for further details.
I hope to see you there - thank you for your continued interest and support.
Previous 2014 updates from the Mayor
On behalf of the City of Vincent Council I want to thank everyone who helped make the campaign to keep Vincent together a success. Community members signed petitions, wrote emails and letters to politicians and displayed signs on their houses or businesses. Thousands of people attended rallies on Angove Street. You made your views known strongly and clearly.
Thanks to people power we have won the debate and our community will not be split. However, the State Government’s decision on local government reform still means uncertainty for our community and we believe it is critical to keep you informed on how it may affect you.
What has just happened?
On Wednesday the 22nd October 2014, the State Government announced its decision on local government reform, in response to a detailed report from the Local Government Advisory Board – the independent umpire on local government reform.
The Board’s 700-page report and recommendations were the result of exhaustive public consultation, review of around 30,000 submissions and detailed analysis of 38 different proposals. In its report the Board recommended that the State Government accept the City of Vincent’s proposal for a full and equal amalgamation with the City of Perth.
In making its recommendation to government, the Advisory Board found that the City of Vincent’s proposal represented “the ‘best’ local government boundaries for this area” and “stood out as being the best in terms of the strong community of interest links within the inner Perth area.”
Under an amalgamation, the residents and ratepayers of Vincent would have been entitled to have a final say for or against a merger by voting in a poll. However, the Premier rejected the Board's recommendation and instead proposed special legislation to be called the 'City of Perth Act'. The Premier’s proposed Act would include Vincent and Perth and also include the University of WA, QEII Medical Centre and Kings Park and nearby areas.
What does the City of Perth Act mean for the Vincent community?
While much uncertainty remains about the proposed City of Perth Act, there are three key concerns.
Firstly we are concerned that the proposed City of Perth Act will deny you the right to have your voice heard on whether you wish to become part of the new expanded City of Perth. Under a City of Perth Act it appears very unlikely there would be any opportunity for residents to have their say via a binding referendum.
Secondly there are clear signs that a City of Perth Act might include some kind of vote-weighting or gerrymander to give an unfair representation to the interests of CBD landowners at the expense of Vincent residents and ratepayers.
In public statements the Premier has said “you would not want residential voters to be able to control the central business district”. This gives the clear impression that the new City of Perth Act might somehow erode the rights of our residents in favour of the rights of CBD property owners. Despite repeated media questions on this issue, the Premier has not ruled out such a model. The Lord Mayor of Perth has also indicated vote weighting is likely.
Thirdly there are no clear timeframes or plans for the legislation. Uncertainty remains, despite an already exhaustive process. The new City of Perth Act will require significant Council time, money and resources to be spent in responding to this latest plan.
Where to now?
On Tuesday 28 October 2014, our Council held a Special Meeting to discuss the government’s latest plan. The Council strongly recognised our community’s first preference, based on previous referendum results, for Vincent to stand alone.
Over the weekend of 29/30 November 2014, I sent a letter to all Vincent households to update them on where the reform process is at, and what it means for Vincent residents. You can view this letter here.
I am also writing to the Premier, requesting a referendum to ascertain the community’s interest on the proposed City of Perth Act and seeking a written commitment from the Premier for fair representation of all electors in any expanded City of Perth, if the government’s plan proceeds.
Sign the petition before 30 January
You can help too, by signing a new petition which calls for fair treatment of Vincent ratepayers and the right to have the final say on how you are governed into the future. You can obtain the latest petition by clicking here or by picking a copy up at the City of Vincent front counter, Beatty Park Leisure Centre or our Library Foyer. We need the petitions back to us by 30 January 2015.
Whatever the future holds, we remain committed to getting on with the job of delivering for our community, and will continue to fight to ensure our residents and ratepayers get a fair deal in any local government reform.
PS: If you have any questions or comments about this issue please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact me directly on 9273 6570 or at email@example.com
Vincent’s actions in previous years
Please follow the links below to read more about the City’s actions and submissions during this process. Note that much of this information is now redundant and not applicable to the current situation.
Reform update 2013
Reform update 2012
Reform update 2009
Thanks to the community for their continued support during this process.