10/07/2013 - 15:36

'We’ve got to get rid of the Cottesloes': Lenzo

10/07/2013 - 15:36

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Leading property industry player Joe Lenzo says the proposed amalgamation of a number local councils would benefit property development in the state.

Leading property industry player Joe Lenzo says the proposed amalgamation of a number local councils would benefit property development in the state, especially in Perth's most established areas.

Mr Lenzo, executive chairman of the Property Council of Australia WA, identified the western suburbs as an area in particular need of the reform.

“In the western suburbs we’ve got to get rid of the Cottesloes and the mindsets of the people that actually live there and try to get some development happening”, he told an audience at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

Mr Lenzo said he expected the upcoming reform to reduce Perth’s local councils to about 12, down from 30. The state government had a policy of council amalgamation in its last term but met fierce resistance from many local governments.

Other panellists at the event today in Perth were more restrained in their statements around the size of local councils but most identified it as a problem.

Stockland WA’s general manager residential Col Dutton said some local councils had a very good strategic intent for development but that there were definitely implementation problems.

“Some councils need to take a more holistic view of how we’re trying to build Perth together, we as in industry and government,” he said.

LandCorp CEO Ross Holt was more reserved than Mr Lenzo, saying that although there were a number of well publicised bad examples, there were many local councils doing good work.

He added that local councils that made processes difficult property development would suffer from a lack of development in the long term.

“Our approach tends to be ‘you don’t go where it’s all too hard and you’re not welcome,” Mr Holt said.

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