23/03/2009 - 13:40

Peppy Grove exempt from council mergers

23/03/2009 - 13:40

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The state opposition has called the plan for local council amalgamations a "complete farce" after Premier Colin Barnett said the Peppermint Grove council should be exempt.

The state opposition has called the plan for local council amalgamations a "complete farce" after Premier Colin Barnett said the Peppermint Grove council should be exempt.

Shadow Local Government Minister Paul Papalia today wanted that local councils may abandon the local government reform process.

"Premier Barnett has reassured wealthy Liberal Party donors in the suburb that their tiny council will not have to amalgamate," Mr Papalia said.

"This process has now been exposed as a complete farce."

Last month, Local Government Minister John Castrilli gave the state's 139 councils a six month deadline to present amalgamation plans to the government.

It has been claimed that the state government will force amalgamations if local councils did not achieve them voluntarily, Mr Papalia said today.

"Thousands of ratepayer dollars and hundreds of hours is now being wasted on a shambolic reform process," Mr Papalia said.

"The Liberal Government is so out of touch with normal Western Australians that the Premier thinks he can apply one rule to his most wealthy supporters and another rule to the remaining 138 councils across the State.

"While the Peppermint Grove council sits back ignoring Minister Castrilli's amalgamation threat, every other council in the State is being asked to spend time, money and effort compiling an amalgamation proposal whether they think it will benefit their ratepayers or not."

A spokesperson for Mr Barnett confirmed the comments were correct but that they were just personal opinions.

She said no council is exempt from the amalgamation process.


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