04/11/2013 - 15:47

Scaffidi slams government's Perth proposal

04/11/2013 - 15:47

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The state government has proposed folding in the entire City of Vincent to a bigger City of Perth but Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says the move is a "cop out" driven by populist politics.

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has labelled a state government proposal to fold in the entire City of Vincent to a bigger City of Perth as a "cop out" driven by populist politics.

The state government today backed down on plans to split the City of Vincent as part of its planned local government amalgamations, opting instead to include the entire City of Vincent within its final proposal for new boundaries for the City of Perth to the Local Government Advisory Board.

The City of Vincent had campaigned against the government's original plan to split the council between the City of Stirling and the City of Perth, arguing this would compromise the area's inner-city character.

"These changes will give the city the status it should hold as a capital city with growing importance in the region," Premier Colin Barnett said.

"This model will enhance the city, bringing the emblematic features that are the city's great selling points under one administrative umbrella. A bigger City of Perth will also be better equipped to respond to the needs of a growing state."

Under the government’s proposal, landmarks such as the University of Western Australia's Crawley campus, the new Perth Stadium, QEII medical centre and Crown Casino will all fall under the City of Perth.

However Ms Scaffidi said the government had taken a selective consideration of the community's views and called the proposals disappointing and inconsistent.

"We believe the state has positioned itself to hedge against criticism from Vincent knowing that LGAB will make the ultimate decision," she said.

"The premier has repeatedly stated that he is keen to take community concerns on board but does appear to have selective hearing according to where his seats are."

While the City of Perth had proposed taking chunks of the City of Vincent, Ms Scaffidi has taken issue with the entire of Vincent falling within the Perth boundaries.

She argues that the inclusion of low-growth residential areas will create ward structures that are undesirable in capital cities.

Ms Scaffidi said the standardisation of rates under the proposed amalgamation could lead to a significant revenue shortfall for the city or a rates increase for its current ratepayers.

The City of Perth had also called for a number of changes to the government's original proposed boundaries for the city in a submission to the LGAB in September.

These included: extending the city's western boundaries to include sites earmarked for future UWA student accommodation development; and integrating the Burswood precinct, including Belmont Park, into Perth and incorporating Matilda Bay and Pelican Point to the south.

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