Mayors meet for merger edict

All 30 metropolitan mayors and CEOs have been ordered to gather at Cockburn city council HQ in Spearwood on Tuesday.

While it’s unlikely premier Colin Barnett will take inspiration from The Godfather and order in a machine-gun toting helicopter, the gathering is an assassination of sorts—just slower: The mayors and CEOs will be told details of council amalgamation plans that will see half lose their heads (metaphorically speaking).

Melville is likely to gobble up Fremantle and East Fremantle while Cockburn is anticipated to take Kwinana.

Cockburn mayor Logan Howlett told the Herald he’s looking forward to the change.

“There are many synergies between both cities which have strong growth rates, major industrial areas, a focus on community infrastructure, an unparalleled range of community services and respect for the great work our respective staff and strong volunteer bases do in the complex world of local government.”

Kwinana CEO Neil Hartley read the writing on the wall and quit in recent weeks, taking a job at a country shire likely to be unaffected by the reforms.

It’s all-but certain that Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain will take the reins of the amalgamated body, lording over a coastal and industrial behometh that is expected to drive Perth’s economic growth for the next two decades.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt says his council will kick up a stink if the government confirms rumours it’s to be incorporated into Melville: “If it is Melmantle as rumoured then I have no doubt Fremantle council will continue to argue strongly against this.”

He says his doomed council will propose, “a robust alternative option with sensible boundary reform properly based around strategic activity centres”.

“This process is once-in-a-generation reform of local government in Perth and the Fremantle council is supportive of reform but only if done well and strengthens Fremantle as a place, not dilutes and weakens it.”


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