Tonight I have read that though the LG Minister and Premier have declared that the amalgamation, and mergers are finished or sidelined for now and that Governors orders are to be rescinded. I also read and I quote the ABC,
“Mr Simpson has confirmed Governor’s Orders forcing council mergers would be rescinded after discussions with any council wishing to amalgamate.
“I think it’s incumbent on me as Minister to meet with those affected local governments just to clarify their position but also to meet with them to give them the opportunity, and some would possibly like to move forward with the reform process,” he said.
“We’d certainly see if we can work with them.”
Mr Simpson said a number of Governor’s Orders were cancelled by the no vote for three proposed amalgamations in Perth’s south, leaving nine orders still in force.
He said there were some councils still interested in reform.
“I had a meeting with nine mayors in the last week since the announcement last Tuesday,” she said.
“At the moment it’s very, very hot and contentious. They need a bit of time to let the dust settle.
“But there’s definitely some good synergies happening.”
Mr Simpson said mayors had told him they had benefited from the process, including improved relationships with their neighbouring councils.
He said he expected some councils to request a realignment of council areas to more natural boundaries.
But Mr Simpson declined to name which councils he had been talking with.
“I think there’s a lot that can go on the table. I don’t want to point out any of them. I want to keep working with them,” he said.
“What we’ll do is sit down with them. The Governor’s Orders are due to kick in on July 1. If they think they can meet that deadline, yes, I’m happy.
“If they see they need another 12 months, I’m happy to give them another 12 months to put that case together.”
So if councils are making deals behind closed doors or back room deals, at what point does the the community have a say or is even informed?
If Fremantle City Council is partaking in these meetings? Are they making deals with the minister? At what point would wider electors have input into such a deal, if at all? Its now reported this could go for 12 months, so where would that leave the next election that should be in Oct 2015?
What could we end up with and when?
Late this afternoon the LG Reform Group let out this public update.